Weekends are the perfect time for baking, no? Yesterday Annabelle wanted a cookie and, feeling a bit guilty for having to admit to polishing off the raspberry thumbprints we’d picked up from a local vegan bakery, I asked if she’d like to bake some together. (I know I’m not the only mom who eats cookies while the kids are sleeping. Nursing mothers need extra calories, right?) She enthusiastically agreed and I quickly went through my mental list of favorite cookies, comparing it to our currently minimal inventory of baking supplies. We had no chocolate on hand, and not much in the way of fruit or peanut butter. Snickerdoodles seemed like the obvious solution. I used to bake a darn good snickerdoodle way, way back in my pre-vegan days, but I hadn’t tried them in years. Veganizing and making other, healthier substitutions in the recipe from my mom’s old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook worked like a charm, so I thought I’d share it in case you should like to give it a go, too.
- Prior to becoming pregnant, I had been vegan for six years. I continued a vegan diet throughout my pregnancy, and still do.
- I supplemented with B12, when I remembered, which admittedly was not often enough. Since I use nutritional yeast liberally, my poor memory probably didn’t do me too much damage. I took no other vitamins or supplements prior to pregnancy.
- When I learned that I was pregnant, I immediately began taking a vegetarian prenatal vitamin with B12 and iron.
- Because I was vegan, my doctor gave me a referral to see a dietitian. I didn’t feel I needed it, but was not about to turn down a free service or be haphazard about the health of my unborn child, so I went. I learned a few tips for increasing my iron absorption, but otherwise was told my diet was excellent.
- At her birth, I requested delayed cord clamping and cutting to ensure that Annabelle got the full benefits of her iron rich cord blood.
- I continued to take a prenatal vitamin with iron and B12 as I breastfed Annabelle exclusively for the first seven months of her life.
- Because I was supplementing my own diet with vitamin D through my prenatal, and we spend plenty of time outdoors here at 14 degrees north of the equator, I chose not to give Annabelle Vitamin D drops as the AAP recommends.
- At seven months, despite introducing some complementary foods, I continued to take prenatal vitamins.
- As Annabelle’s intake of complementary foods has increased, I have taken care to include foods rich in iron such as hemp seeds and blackstrap molasses every day and I have transitioned from the prenatal vitamin to Floradix liquid iron, which includes B12. I also take care to eat foods rich in iron each day and cook in cast iron often. For added B12, I continue to use nutritional yeast on both her food and mine.
- Annabelle is still breastfed, at least five times per day, usually more.
- Lab work early in my pregnancy revealed that I was borderline anemic. This was not surprising, as my iron levels were never particularly high, and iron deficiency is common among the women in my family – including those who eat meat. I upped my iron intake.
- Labs taken later in my pregnancy and on the day my daughter was born revealed that I was no longer anemic.
- Annabelle was born at full term (40 weeks and 2 days), and at a normal weight (6lbs15oz). She lost only five ounces in the first days before my milk came in, and once nursing was well established she had perfectly normal gains.
- Because of our vegan diet and my history of low iron, I requested that Annabelle’s iron levels be checked at 9 months rather than waiting until a year as the pediatrician normally would have done. Her iron levels were normal.
- At 12 months, Annabelle’s pediatrician requested that we check her calcium and phosphorous and Vitamin D levels. Again, everything came back normal.
- At 14 months, Annabelle is energetic and happy and loves to eat her vegetables. She began walking before nine months, and continues to advance in all of her motor, communication, and self-care skills.
I have been taking Saturday as my blogging sabbath, but I made my oft-requested banana bread this morning and felt it was absolutely necessary that I share the recipe with you today. I have been baking this bread for several years now, and everyone raves about the stuff. The loaf I made for the three of us this morning is already nearly gone! The first incarnation of the recipe came from my grandma, who pulled it from the web for me (seriously, I dare you to find a more supportive grandmother: oh, you’re going to try eating vegan? Let me find some recipes for you!). I’m not sure if it was this one exactly, but it was strikingly similar. I really loved it, but despite my love of all things coconut, I prefer a more traditional bread to the coconutty version. So, I have toyed with the recipe over the years and finally have it just as I like it. The recipe below is hardly sufficient, however – you should probably double it!
Melissa’s Vegan Banana Bread
1/2 – 1 cup sugar*
3 or 4 bananas, preferably very ripe
1/4 cup oil or vegan margarine (softened)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp aluminum free baking soda
1 generous tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice (optional)**
1/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 cup water or non dairy milk of choice
1/2 cup nuts***
Enjoy! Please let me know how you like it if you give it a try!
|Super easy – you don’t even need a mixing bowl!|