A mere two weeks after graduating, I landed myself a replacement teaching contract, spanning until the end of the academic year.
That was a couple of weeks ago. Now, I find myself in a whirlwind of end-of-year lesson planning, exam preparation, and corrections.
A particularly fun aspect of this contract is that I am teaching grade 7 and grade 11 English; very much the best of both worlds. The grade 7s are sweet and innocent, usually ready to please, and still, somewhat, impressionable. The grade 11s are full of character, are incredibly clever, and are really starting to come into their own.
The hours, days, and weeks have never passed by so fast, though, and I often find myself doing a mental double-take, wondering where the time has gone.
I suppose that time does, indeed, fly when fun is on the menu.
Much like my classes are the best of both worlds, so, too, is this marbled banana bread.
And it’s vegan. Oy. Best of thrice worlds.
Marbled Banana Bread (Vegan)
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
1 cup mashed very ripe banana
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or virgin coconut oil)
1/3 cup almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water, divided
1. Prepare boiling water, no need to measure yet. Also, preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl until relatively smooth. It should take 3 average sized ones, but spoon the mashed bananas into a measuring cup to make sure, then return to the mixing bowl. Beat in the sugar, oil, milk and vanilla.
3. Now add the flours, baking soda and salt and gently mix just to incorporate. It’s okay if there is some flour still visible, just be careful not to overmix at this point.
4. Scoop one cup of the batter up and transfer it to a separate mixing bowl. Now, in a small bowl mix the cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water and stir vigorously until the chocolate is dissolved. Add this chocolate mixture to the one cup of banana and mix until the chocolate is thoroughly smooth and incorporated.
5. Now back to the original plain banana batter; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and mix the batter just until relatively smooth.
6. Here comes the fun part, it’s time to marble! Lightly grease an 8×4 loaf pan. Scoop alternate 1/2 cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the loaf pan. Nothing has to be precise here, in fact, the more random, the better. Once all of the batter is in, take a butter knife and swirl it through the batter in circular directions for about 10 seconds.
7. Bake for 55 minutes. Test for doneness using a toothpick. Let cool and enjoy!