When I was a child, Mum used to tell me that every time I ate a banana, all the cells in my stomach would cheer because they were getting fed nutrients. As a grown up and a doctor, I now realise that the level of inaccuracy in this statement is pretty funny. That being said, it did get me to eat a banana a day, so thanks Mum. 

Every so often a few bananas in our fruit bowl would turn brown and spotty, and whenever that happened – Banana bread. I now have a go-to recipe for this that I use, but over the years I have played around with it to suit my taste for cardamom and chocolate, two flavours that I think go so well with banana. 

Enjoy this cake with a cup of tea, as part of your weekend brunch, or with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes​

3 ripe bananas, smashed
80g coconut oil, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground down in a pestle and mortar 
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
180g (1 cup) soft brown sugar (I used light muscovado)
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder 
190g (1 ½ cups) wholemeal plain flour
150g dark chocolate chips

​1. Preheat the oven to 170°Celsius, and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin. 

2. Break open each of the 12 cardamom pods (I applied pressure on each one by pressing down on it with a large knife) and scoop out all the individual cardamom seeds. Grind them all down in a pestle and mortar until they form a powder (this should take no longer than 20 seconds). Set aside.

3. Peel the bananas and smash in a large bowl. Mix in the melted coconut oil with a spatula. Then add the brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract and mix again. 

4. Add the ground cardamom (and cinnamon if you’re using it), then the salt and the baking powder. Mix. 

5. Add the flour and mix in. Finally mix in the dark chocolate chips, and transfer to the lined loaf tin, using a spatula to get every last bit. 

6. Bake at 170°Celsius for 50 minutes, or until a baking skewer comes out clean. Try and allow it to cool before serving, otherwise just go for it and enjoy!

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