By Laura Campbell
For many years, my banana bread recipe was very simple but, inspired by the health benefits of virgin coconut oil, I've incorporated it into a new version of my old favourite.
Feel free to also substitute the strawberries for other fresh berries, 150g toasted walnuts, raisins or even chopped white chocolate. If you can't find virgin coconut oil, increase the amount of butter to 100g and you'll still end up with a beautiful loaf. Makes 1 x 1kg loaf
3 large or 4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp natural vanilla essence
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tbsp milk (dairy, almond, soy etc)
1 free-range egg
1 tbsp demerara sugar (for crust)
225g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
90g unsalted butter
2 tbsp organic, virgin coconut oil
175g soft dark brown sugar
200g washed and quartered ripe strawberries
1/4 cup desiccated coconut + 1 tbsp (for crust)
Grease the bottom of a 1kg (minimum) loaf tin with butter, then line with greaseproof paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees f).
Place the flour and salt into a bowl. Add in the butter, cut into small pieces, then rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sifted brown sugar, desiccated coconut and strawberries.
Add the vanilla, milk and yoghurt to the mashed bananas with the beaten egg. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, then mix until well combined. Turn your mixture into your lined pan then smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and your 1 tbsp extra coconut.
Place the tin into the preheated oven and bake for 90 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown, risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool in the tin on a wire rack. Serve sliced with butter or mascarpone cheese.
Read more about the benefits of virgin coconut oil at coconutoil.com