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Gluten-Free Banana Bread and Graduation

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on June 30, 2011

Twelve years, three schools, countless teachers, and the birthplace of lifelong friendships. It all came to this: graduation. That time of year where stress is in the air and hope is in our hearts. Each step had prepared us for the next one. We went to elementary to learn how to learn, how to get along with our peers, read, write and have an introduction to what the next six years would teach. In junior high, hormones raged as we tested out a little independence. We moved between classes on our own, but most of all, we kept learning how to learn. Come high school, each year was a build up to the next. We were always training for the next step. We still are. In high school, we had to decide what that next step would be. Were we training for university? For a trade? For whatever would take us? Each of us have our own answers. Choosing the stream of classes to fit us best, we worked towards our goal. However, there are always bumps along the road, so teachers were always there to steer us and provide options.

Now, with all of the diplomas complete, I’m starting to breathe. Those scary government tests worth half our grade are off to be marked. In a month, we’ll stand on our stoops and tear into the envelope with our marks. With any luck, those twelve years (well, 15 if you count preschool and kindergarten) have prepared us well enough for that one June morning. We’ll find out soon enough. The conditional acceptances will become full-blown ones. The gap years will begin. Planes will take off, and summer jobs will have orientation.

Somewhere along the line, we grew up. At least we started to do so. We’re stepping into that fabled “real world” which we have been warned of forever. We will fail. We will fail more times than we can count (which will hopefully make for some fantastic stories). Then, we’ll find the occasional wisp of success. If we’re lucky, our twelve years of school will have taught us to learn from those mistakes and failures. But who are we kidding – no one is hoping to fail. Who wants to fall flat on their face or lose what they’ve been working towards for so long? Graduation is our big celebration to say, “We did it. We made it through.” And that’s exactly what we did.

I just made it to the Graduation ceremony. These twelve years have been bursting with the unexpected, so it was only fitting that I made it to the ceremony with a dash of adventure and hearty handful of uncertainty. Alas, I made it. “I’m so glad you’re here.” She said as she shook my hand. “Me too,” I thought, “me too.”

Between graduation and my long list of exams, I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen lately. Luckily, I’m not the only one that enjoys baking in my house. This recipe is my mom’s. She adapted it to be gluten-free from Leite’s Culinaria. All I did was eat it (well, I made the one pictured yesterday morning, but she made it the other six plus times). It’s a regular at our house and never ever lasts more than twenty-four hours. It’s best when warm, with the scent filling the air and the chocolate chips in that perfect gooey state. I’ve been hiding bananas away just so they could age and we could make more.

Brown bespeckled bananas are always a spectacular place to start a recipe, in my opinion. I’ve never particularly loved bananas in their normal state, but mash ’em up and bake them into a bread? I’m sold. I used about 3 1/2 for this recipe, but it’ll all depend on the size of your particular bananas.

Chocolate chips always sweeten the deal.

Not to mention this batter. Luscious and lumpy. It’s gorgeous. I think you need it in your life (preferably when it’s just about to be stuffed into the oven and baked to perfection). And as it bakes? A buttery aroma weaves its way through the house. You’ve been warned.

Yes. I think I shall go grab a piece. Well, another one.

See those perfectly gooey chocolate chips? Yes. I love those so.

Just like that, I’m no longer a high school student. I’m always amazed by how long the days are yet how fast the years go. We certainly live in a beautiful, crazy world. Now, summertime. Ah, how I love summer. I hope all of you have a fabulous summer (or winter, depending on where you are!), and Happy Canada Day!


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Nelly Rodriguez June 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

Seeing bananas here made me smile, love them! Congratulations on graduating, and I wish you the best! Honestly, the best is yet to come! Cheers to you!

Kate June 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I graduated high school! It goes by so fast. Enjoy what comes next, Lauren. And congratulations!

PS. Can’t wait to try out that recipe :)

flo makanai June 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Beautiful moving mature post, Lauren!
The schools, among many other things, are different here in France but I do hope my 3 girls will be as mature and solid as you seem to be when they’ll be your age. Bravo Lauren, wish for you the very very best for the many happy decades to come!

Shirley @ gfe June 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Congratulations, Lauren! You’re written so beautifully once again, dear. I’ve always heard with raising kids that the days are long and the years are short and it’s the same living them as one grows up or even ages. Tell your mom she did a beautiful job on the banana bread recipe. Wish I could have a piece right now! 😉

All the best to you, Lauren! Hugs,

CatieP June 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

congratulations on graduating from high school – and that banana bread looks absolutely delectable

SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen July 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Congratulations, Lauren!! It’s a bittersweet time, isn’t it?
So, I have to ask — what’s next for you?

oh, and that chocolate chip addition to the banana bread… wonderful.

Tracey Mardon July 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

All the best in your next chapter Lauren, whatever that may be! BB is a favorite in this house so thanks to you and your mom for the recipe!

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite July 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Congrats on your graduation Lauren – I feel like a proud mum myself watching your journey over the past couple of years :)

Pureglow *16 July 3, 2011 at 6:22 am

Hey! I love your blog so much (:
That bread looks beautiful.
I hope you come check out my blog sometime! I’m a fairly new blogger, so it would mean a lot to me! thanks (:


Thomas July 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

Congratulations Lauren! You have a wonderful and bright future ahead of you!

kyleen July 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Congratulations on graduating from high school! Is it scary? I’m a rising junior in high school and university/graduation/the rest of our lives talk kind of freaks me out. By the way, the banana bread looks delicious.

chelsey (Cookteen) July 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm

It is such surreal feeling walking across the stage and graduating…you put it perfectly saying that everything we do and learn is to prepare us for the future.

Best of luck next year


Brooke July 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wow! hadn’t had a new post from you in so long!!! Congratulations on all accounts….Your writing is really terrific!

Jessica July 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

Congrats on graduating!! I was watching on twitter the whole time…so nervous you wouldn’t make it back in time!

Ethan July 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Nothing says graduation like banana bread! Congrats Lauren :)

Lauren | Celiac Teen July 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Thank you all so much!

Kyleen, it is scary, but it’s also exciting. There is pressure, but also time to enjoy yourself. It is full of unexpected perfect moments (and not-so-perfect ones), and it’s all yours. I hope the next few years bring so many good things for you!

SnoWhite, it’s definitely bittersweet. Up next, I’ll be getting caught up and doing some traveling this year, then going to university next fall :).

Lori @ RecipeGirl July 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Congrats!! Yay!! I’m going to make your banana bread recipe to celebrate (for my Mom) :)

Barbara | Creative Culinary July 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

I’m so happy for you and can only imagine how excited you are. And I guess proud too; I know you’ve struggled with some things even beyond most teen concerns so that you have accomplished this step is a very big deal.

Here’s to your future unfolding both just as you plan and with exciting, amazing steps you can’t even envision!

Redpath Sugar July 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

We love this! We’ve posted it on our Facebook page! :)

Connie July 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Thank you so much Lauren! I substituted goat yogurt, date sugar, and carob chips to accommodate my sensitivities and it turned out great! My first baking experience. So happy to have made something good that fits my diet requirements, and fills up my constant hunger! And it’s just so good! Many, many thanks!

Beth Wood July 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

That sounds delicous! I can’t wait to try it next time I’m in the kitchen. :-)

Sarah July 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Congradulations Lauren! I can’t believe you are finished high school already where does the time go.

Edwina July 27, 2011 at 5:23 am

Fantastic blog and congratulations on graduating from High School. Now the real fun and work begins.

Connie Q August 26, 2011 at 9:59 am

Wonderfully written post! I’m excited for you taking the next step in your life…and hope that you continue your blog so we can see what happens next! Not to mention, sharing your delicious recipes! I made this banana bread recipe last night. I waited until late evening as the weather has been very warm here. Even so, I had a HUGE hot piece with butter at 11pm!!!

Bekah August 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I have all the flours except for quinoa? Is there anyway I can still pull this off? Love that I found you blog!

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