For this self-care Sunday (SCS), I want to address the benefits of aromatherapy for ridding anxiety and promoting calm and relaxation. Much has been made of the power of scent, from the romantic allure of perfume, to the nauseating smell of what I pick up after my dog when I walk her. And now, a number of entrepreneurs have capitalized on the benefits that certain smells have for calming the mind. Most notably peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and camomile.

But for me, some of the best smells for changing my mood from a negative to a positive don’t come from some trendy aromatherapy store, but from my kitchen. More specifically, the throwback to childhood smell of banana bread baking in the oven. My mom used to make it all the time when we had extra bananas that were ripe. It was also a pandemic favorite recipe to bake.

The sweet smelling journey begins with the batter, and my nerdy love of watching my Kitchen Aid mixer blend all the ingredients together.

Then the batter goes into a greased loaf pan. For this version I decided to stud the top with big chocolate chips! They don’t enhance the smell, but it sure tastes a lot better! Notice the batter doesn’t fill the pan, but it will rise.

And now comes the hard part. It has to bake in the oven for over an hour! This is when the smell begins to fill the house. Once that heavenly scent reaches the upstairs bedroom where I’m…well…writing this blog, I start checking the clock to see if it’s almost done.

When the timer finally goes off, I open the oven door and take in a deep breath of that delicious smell. Then I place the bread on top of the stove to cool a moment before taking it out of the pan and placing onto a cooling rack.

Here it has to cool for at least 10 minutes. 3 if I don’t mind burning my tongue.

And voila!! After patiently waiting for over an hour, I get to taste the delicious results!

Hope all of you take time this Sunday to stop and smell the banana bread, or whatever baked treat you enjoy. ❤️