I am beyond thrilled to announce the arrival of our baby girl – 41 weeks and 1 day late!
Labor started out at the stroke of midnight, welcoming us into the 1st day of May with a bang. I had experienced so many false alarms over the previous week that my husband didn’t really take me seriously when I told him to start timing my contractions. Though he still did, he did it casually lounging in bed with one eye barley on the clock. But about 30 minutes in, my contractions were getting more and more frequent, more and more intense and more and more uncomfortable. Once the vocal toning sounds started escaping my mouth – we both knew showtime was finally in our not-so-distant future. He jumped out of bed, called the OB, doula, babysitter, made himself a double expresso and got dressed.
Now “my plan” was to labor at home for as long as I could but, about an hour after my doula arrived, I had an urgent desire to get the F outta the house and make our way to the hospital. I knew I was progressing but I really didn’t expect to be a shocking 7 cm when we arrived! From then on I steadily rode the incredibly mind altering waves of labor for the next few hours until I reached the long awaited 10cm. Tribal music played, coconut water was sipped, vocal toning expressed, unexpected colors and animalistic imagery popped in my head – all of them helping me to charge on. It was challenging, no doubt, but labor has it’s own rhythm which inherently offers a bit of relief along the way.
However, once the pushing began, my momentum and progression began to slow down and I ended up pushing for almost 4 hours! Though it was the most strenuous experience I have ever had – giving up was not an option. I dug deep and along with the gorgeous support of all the nurses, midwife, OB, doula and husband, she FINALLY made her way through to the other side and I was able to experience the natural drug free (successful VBAC!) birth I so desired.
The morning of the night I went into labor, I made this Buttermilk Berry Coffee Cake. Little did I know that this would be the first thing I would desire to eat soon after the long arduous labor marathon ended. But it was. This recipe came by way of one of my favorite food blogs, Sprouted Kitchen. It perfectly called for the few ingredients I was looking to find use for: 2 lone ripe bananas on the counter and a beautiful but flavorless box of first of the season strawberries. I began to play around a bit with the ingredients and, as with every recipe you attempt for the first time, you never know how it’s gonna turn out. Which is also why I didn’t take a lot of great pictures and then, well, I popped out a baby a mere hours later so…
But I am happy to report this first cake attempt was a huge success. It’s moist and full of flavor with just the right bit of sweetness. I call this a coffee cake cause the definition of a coffee cake translated to an “anytime” cake and this is the kinda cake you could eat for breakfast, snack, or top it off with something sweet and creamy for dessert. The baking time is a bit questionable and will depend on how accommodating and accurate your oven is so it may take a little longer or less to cook. Just like our little girl. We never knew when she was gonna be ready. We all just had to patiently wait in the wings until she was “done”. And, as with this cake, she is oh so delicious and oh so divine.
Buttermilk Berry Coffee Cake
You can use any berries you may have on hand for this. I used a combo of strawberries, raspberries and a few scant blueberries to make up the 2 cups. If you use strawberries just make sure you slice them – any other berries leave whole. Whenever a recipe calls for buttermilk I always substitute it with plain goat kefir as it adds the same wonderful moistness and tang buttermilk does. Though I haven’t tried it, a dairy free yogurt might be a good alternative for those who don’t eat dairy at all. And I also have confidence you could swap out the spelt flour for an GF all purpose one. Let me know if you give it a go.
3/4 cup plain goat kefir or buttermilk
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
zest and juice of one medium lemon
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled a bit
2 tsp real vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole or sprouted spelt flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine ground sea salt
2 cups mixed berries, divided
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup whole or sprouted spelt flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
nice pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 325′
In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, mashed bananas, lemon zest and juice, melted coconut butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix well to combine and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the spelt flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Add one cup of the berries to the dry mix and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine in as few stirs possible. Being careful not to over-mix to keep the cake tender.
In a small bowl, make the streusel. Mix the oats, flours, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted coconut oil together to combine. It will be sandy in texture.
Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining berries on top. Distribute the crumble on top of the berries. Put the springform on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden on top and you insert a thin knife and it comes out clean. Store’s well in an airtight container in the fridge for a good 5 days.