2 x 2 Ways To Resuscitate Those “Lunchboxed” Bananas

September 15, 2011

I guess the kids don’t like to peel their own bananas. What goes to school fresh and lively in the lunchbox comes back home bruised and blackened. Towards the middle of the week, there’s nothing left to do but cut your losses, cope, …oh, and vow never to buy bananas again. Or, maybe you’ll just want to keep using the kids’ lunchbags as veritable banana ripeners after you try our Double Batch Banana Bread (we get 1 parent-friendly and 1 kid-friendly loaf from this recipe) as well as the Elvis and Allergy Monkey versions of our Vegan Banana Ice Cream.

Double Batch Banana Bread

makes 1 plain-boozy loaf  & 1 mix-in loaf
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • cup brown sugar + 1 tsp for topping a loaf
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • super-ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or other mix-in  i.e. chips, nuts, candied ginger
  • 1-3 +tsp rum or other liquor/liquer optional


  • Heat the oven to 350 F.
  • Spray two loaf pans with baking spray (or grease and flour).
  • Cream butter and sugars in a mixer until light and airy.
  • With the mixer on low, add eggs and vanilla.
  • Cutting the banana peels at the tips, squeeze the bananas out of the peels and directly into mixer. (You could mash them, first, in a separate bowl, but why bother?) Keep the mixer going slowly until you have incorporated all of the bananas into the the dairy and sugars. Don't worry if there are still a few chunks. The mixer should take care of them in due time.
  • With the mixer on low, add all of the dry ingredients (flours, soda, salt, and cinnamon) until incorporated.
  • Using a measuring cup or ladle, fill each loaf pan equally with about 1/2 of the total mixure in the mixing bowl.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of chips (or other mix-in) into one of the loaf pans.
  • If you don't want to have a second, plain loaf  (although, we guarantee, this bread is delicious without the addition of anything sourced from the LCBO!), you can pour 1-3+ tsp of liquor/liquer into your "plain" batter to make it just plain boozy!
  • Divide the remaining 1/2 of the bread batter equally between the two loaf pans.
  • Using a spoon or butter knife, carefully stir the mix-in-filled loaf so as to incorporate the mixins without disturbing the coating at the edges of the loaf pan.(We're sure there's a better way. However, when baking in bulk, we are slackers!)
  • If you're making your plain bread boozy, do the same sort of stirring with your liquer-filled loaf. (Yes, at times, we are slackers!)
  • Gently tap each loaf pan on a countertop or table to distribute the batter evenly.
  • Using a butter knife or toothpick, draw a line down the middle of each batter-filled loaf pan so that the bread can "breathe." This is probably just superstitious, but it's getting closer to Halloween...
  • "For special," as the kids would say, sprinkle the top of your plain-boozy loaf with that extra 1 tsp of brown sugar.
  • Bake your loaves in the centre of the oven (or wherever the bread will fit) for approximately 55 minutes or until a knife comes ouf of the middle of each loaf fairly clean.



[Vegan] Banana Ice Cream

makes 2.5 cups
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • Elvis Style
  • ripe bananas peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1/3 + cup peanut or other nut butter preferably nuts-only, sugar-free, chunky or smooth
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs [optional]
  • Allergy Monkey Style
  • 5 ripe bananas peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 1/3 + cup soy butter [like "Wow" butter]
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes optional


  • Remove your frozen banana slices from the freezer. If you have a moment, you might want to bang your container or freezer bag against the table or countertop to separate the slices a bit.  You might also use a knife to separate the bananas, at least the larger chunks, from one another as the slices tend to get stuck together in the freezer.
  • In a food processor or a very powerful blender, pulverize your frozen banana slices for at least two minutes. Yes, it is going to look like there's no way in God's green earth these frozen chunks will ever turn into something remotely resembling ice cream.
  • Add your pea, soy, or alt. -nut butter to the bowl of the food processor and continue to pulverize the mixture.
  • As the -nut butter begins to become incorporated with the frozen bananas, the mixture should become smooth and supple. This does, however, take a little work. Occasionally, you will want to stop the machine, remove the lid, and, using a long wooden spoon or rubber spatula, relocate some of the last remaining banana to the space near or below the blade of the processor. Be careful! Make sure the machine is turned off, if not unplugged! And, use a long wooden spoon or rubber spatula to place your bananas closer to the blade, nothing metallic!
  • If your mixture is still resisting ultimate pulverization, hang in there!! You might choose to add a bit more -nut butter to the mix to see if this loosens things up!
  • If the mixture remains chunky even after you've added a bit more -nut butter (this happens, sometimes, for us, for instance, when our -nut butter has been stored in the 'fridge instead of coming fresh from the cupboard), begin adding warm water to the processor, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Be sure to pulverize for a good 30 seconds or so before you add each additional tablespoon of water.  A few tablespoons should do the trick!
  • Once your mixture reaches a relatively smooth ice cream consistency, you can either place it in a bowl and stir in your nibs and/or coconut with your wooden spoon, or you can add the mix-in directly to the processor. If you choose the latter option, of course, you just might end up with finer bits of chocolate or coconut in the finished product.
  • Of course, any mix-ins are optional. You can go for the "Basic, Sugar-Free Style" by simply pulverizing bananas and adding a nut-only butter, and nothing more. You can also try the "Make it Sweeter Style" by using sugar-added butters instead of natural ones or by adding a spoonful  to about 1/4 cup full of your favourite syrup or honey. We find that buckwheat honey adds a particularly rich flavour.
  • NOW EAT THIS ICE CREAM RIGHT AWAY!!!!  Neither Elvis nor the Allergy Monkey like to go back into the freezer!

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