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Fall always sneaks up on me quite quickly. With the flip of a switch, the days go from stifling hot to dry and cold, howling winds plucking the leaves from trees like thieves.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the change of seasons lately, how it impacts our daily activities, the food we put on our plates, our thought patterns, our mood. It’s pretty amazing how our bodies respond, anticipating the differences, adjusting without hesitation. I even think the oven knows it’s going to be used as a main heat source, all the while churning out a dose of comfort, like this Vanilla Almond Butter Bread with Cacao Nibs.
I used to get anxious when October rolled around, knowing that the days without hats, scarves, and mittens were numbered. But as I’ve gotten older, I see the beauty in this season of change more than I ever have before, and appreciate the calmness it brings to my life. The sunshine fading faster each day seems like the universe readying the world for rest.
I stumbled upon this poem that depicts my thoughts so well, and I wanted to share it with you.
Something Beautiful by H. Sokolova
Watching the last of these days disappear
feeling the air get colder
seeing the world get darker.
Memories of lying on the grass
of the sun warming my closed eyes.
Now, the warmth is gone
the sunshine is gone
the world has turned into something new
something colder, something darker
So lovely. And I think it’s worth a read again after you make this gluten-free Vanilla Almond Butter bread, along with a cup of coffee and maybe a friend by your side.
It took several tries to get the recipe as I wanted — soft and moist, able to be sliced thick and subtly sweet. Using the correct ratio of oat flour + almond flour, fruity olive oil, and creamy almond butter, it finally met my expectations. And it’s sweetened with coconut sugar, which I love for it’s caramel flavor, a perfect match for the hefty dose of amazing vanilla extract.
Cacao nibs elevate the texture, giving each slice a little crunch and coffee flavor, but if you don’t have them on hand, mini chocolate chips would work well too. And as you can see there’s no shame in slathering it with more almond butter.
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I love “sweet” bread. Particularly with something yummy to spread on it. You’ve hit the mark twice!
Such a lovely loaf and poem. They perfectly capture the essence of the season! I’ve been dying to bake something like this to have on hand for chilly mornings along with a hot cup of coffee. This looks perfect slathered with almond butter! xoxo
This bread sounds delectable, but can you suggest an alternative to the oat flour as I am quite allergic to oats. Fall really is the best time for baking. Just this last weekend I made a chocolate chip persimmon bread (gluten and dairy free) that was so moist it was almost like a bread pudding. I’d love to give this recipe a go, so let me know about that substitution when you can. Thanks!
Hi Sarah! I haven’t tested it with other gf flours in place of the oats, but if I had to guess and guide, I would suggest replacing with equal weight millet flour or all-purpose gf flour (of your choice).
What a gorgeous bread, Amanda! I love the combination of flavors you’ve got going here. Cacao + almond butter is divine! I also really like your comments about the changing of seasons. I have struggled with winter ever since college, so I think I need to adopt your more positive mindset :)
Thank you for sharing this recipe and the lovely poem. It is my hope that someday I’ll get to where you are, and I won’t lament winter’s coming. Maybe having it be a few degrees warmer in Des Moines will help (fingers crossed). XOXO have a great week dear!
yes, i actually went to school in Cedar Falls, IA and always loved how it was a little warmer there!
i am totally feeling the seasonal love this time around, too. this sweet recipe looks beautiful, amanda. xo
This looks amazing, Amanda! I’m drooling, I need water… hahah! All the ingredients are top notch – beautiful job! And that poem, so sweet. xo
I always feel that you can never have too many quick bread recipes. This one with the almond butter sounds and looks so wonderful! Love your pictures here!
Such a fantastic recipe!
This is a beautiful bread, Amanda! That cacao nib topping looks wonderful. I absolutely love that poem, too! Encapsulates how I feel right now!
Love all of your GF breads! Especially when they are slathered with goodness.
thank you Karen! have a great weekend.
Beautifully written and photographed post, Amanda. Truly lovely. And you are blowing my mind with all of these delectable, gluten free treats. Wow!
thank you Kristie. it’s quite fun to experiment with gf baked goods. feels like a triumph when it finally turns out! xo
No doubt my favorite time of year, I think in large part because the transition is a feast for the senses, and the pace of life just seems a bit calmer despite the approaching holidays. “The sunshine fading faster each day seems like the universe readying the world for rest.” – Beautiful Amanda. Oh the flavors in this bread are fabulous! I love the extra dose of vanilla and the cocoa nib lined top; form and function. Go ahead and slather that almond butter; I’ll take it! Thank you for this and your generous giveaway!
That was such a lovely poem and such a beautiful bread too. I’ve been dreading the first snow here, but at the same time there is a calmness and complete quiet while I’m out running in the early morning while it’s still dark. It may be cold, but it’s so peaceful.
This bread really looks amazing. I want to curl up with a slice and cup of coffee :)
yes, let the cozy days begin!
This just makes me think of cuddling up at home with the heat on (finally!) and a mug of hot tea! I always dread the start of the cold season, but there is some sort of charm in transitioning into the cuddly season of the year :)
This is one beautiful loaf of bread, Amanda. And I love that poem. Thank you for sharing it. It totally speaks to me. I just adore the changing of seasons and I missed it dearly when I was living out in California. It’s nice now to be back living in a place where I get to experience them all! Cheers!
What a beautiful poem and post as well. This rings so true for me too. Loving the GF bread. Especially with the nut butter slathered over it. It looks irresistible. I am sure it was hard to resist while you were taking these pics!
i couldn’t resist a little more almond butter :) so good!