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One of my new year resolutions for 2015 was to improve my lunchbox – I aspired to make filling and healthy salads, sandwiches, wraps – you name it. Three weeks ago, this seemed achievable. Now, only two weeks into the semester: not so much. Admitted, I don’t prioritize making fancy lunches as I should – in the morning, I don’t have time to make it. In the evening, I’m too tired. However, there is a solution for lazy lunch-makers (like me). This filling banana bread is one of them.

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The recipe is adapted from Jack Monroe’s book A girl called jack – one of my favorite cookbooks with a truly inspirational message (check out Jack’s blog here – she has loads of cheap, fool-proof recipes, including egg-free, vegetarian and vegan meals and treats).

The bread is easy to make, it stays fresh for a week, it’s super freezer-friendly, and it’s egg-free and vegan. Jack recommends consuming the bread toasted with peanut butter, but apricot or orange jam is also excellent. I’m already planning to make a jacked-up version of this bread with chocolate à la Smitten Kitchen for a seriously indulgent treat.

For 1 small bread (approximately 15 small slices)

2 dl dried fruit (can be skipped)

3 large bananas (roughly 400 g when peeled)

75 g oil (I used soy oil, but any mild-flavoured oil will do)

50 g sugar (white, brown or demerara)

225 g flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C, and lightly grease a 1.5 l bread pan.

Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork in a bowl (or let the blender do the work) until they have formed a smooth mixture. Pour into a bowl, and add oil and sugar to the mixture. Stir. Then sift in flour, baking powder and cinnamon and stir well. Chop the dried fruit coarsely (unless you are only using sultanas, which can be added whole) and fold into the lumpy batter.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake it for 1 hour in the middle of the oven until it has risen, looks golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the bread cool on a cooling rack before turning it out of the pan. It stays fresh for a week if covered in cling film.

Notes:

– If the bananas aren’t over ripe, use extra sugar, and feel free to add some of the oil when mashing them.

– for more lunchbox friendliness, make banana bread muffins; scoop the dough into a muffin tray until each tray is 2/3 full. Bake the muffins for 15 minutes, or until they have risen and look golden.

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