I started baking this delicious bread when my husband and I first got married. He loved the heavenly aroma that swirled around our kitchen and asked if I could bottle it up for him… you see, in the late ‘90s, neurologist Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation set out to discover which scents really push people’s buttons. He exposed subjects to several scents and measured their sexual arousal by monitoring the blood vessels in and around the erotic zones of the human body. The results? Banana Nut Bread was one of the most effective scents to trigger a response in both men and women!
At times, raising kids can get in the way of being intimate with our partners, but it’s important to nurture the physical intimacy in our relationships to connect and enjoy one another… and I can’t think of a tastier way to give our sensuality a boost! This recipe overflows with natural aphrodisiacs ~
Cacao Nibs. Pure, dark chocolate, the undisputed queen of natural aphrodisiacs, contains a host of compounds including anandamide, the psycochoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenylethylamine), the “love chemical,” which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and peaks during orgasm. PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria. Cacao also contains tryptophan, a key component of the neurotransmitter serotonin known to promote a sense of well-being and relaxation.
Dates. Once a staple in the Judean desert, the fruit of the date palm was regarded as an aphrodisiac and considered a symbol of grace and elegance. They were often gifted to women.
Vanilla. There has long been a connection between the sweet, alluring aroma of vanilla and sexual arousal. Its intoxicating, warm, sensual smell has captivated lots of folks over the ages from the Mayan and Aztec Indians, the Spaniards, the French and the Orient right through to modern times. When consumed, it has been proven to have a euphoric effect on the brain and act on the central nervous system to combat sexual debilitation.
Nutmeg. This sweet spice’s aphrodisiac reputation dates back to early Hindu cultures, where it was believed nutmeg’s warming properties stimulated sexual appetites while its ability to sweeten breath increased attraction.
Cinnamon. Eating cinnamon heats up your body and, in turn, your sex drive. The Old Testament’s Proverbs and Psalms romantic verses extolled the sensory excitement offered by cinnamon: “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love till morning.” (Proverbs 7, 17-18). In Rome, the word cinnamon was equivalent to the current use of “sweetheart” or “darling.” Besides its direct effect on desire, cinnamon is also said to strengthen the heart.
Walnuts. Known to have aphrodisiac qualities ever since Roman times, walnuts encourage circulation and are related to the overall energy of the body and sexual health.
Coconut oil. Okay, this isn’t an aphrodisiac, per se, but it makes for a silky and wet lubricant that can lead to friskiness… plus it smells and tastes wonderful, and is free of toxins unlike most over-the-counter lubricants. It’s also a natural anti-fungal. Just don’t use it with condoms, as the oil could degrade the latex.
Bananas. Its shape is clearly suggestive, but phallic allusions aside, bananas have a lot to offer to the world of romance. Packed with potassium and B vitamins, these nutrients are essential to sexual hormone production. In India, their aphrodisiac nature was embraced early on, and were said to be a favorite fruit of the sages. Even today, bananas are included in Indian offerings to the fertility gods.
While most banana bread recipes call for dairy, eggs and sugar, this vegan version is moist, naturally sweetened and oh-so-delicious!
- 2 cups flour (I use 1 cup oat flour and 1 cup apll-purpose gluten-free flour)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup cacao nibs
- 1 cup mashed banana (about 4 medium bananas)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped medjool dates
- ¼ cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
- ½ inch vanilla bean, seeds scraped, pod discarded – or – ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into a prepared 5″ x 9″ loaf pan. Bake for one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy, lovers!