Banana Bread

Alliterative names improve the flavour of meals. A well-known fact of course; doubters need only to observe the use of the technique by those doyens of persuasion – the clever marketeers. Well do they recognise the truth that food names that sound good have developed in our vocabularies for food that tastes good, and are good for you. Our brains and higher cognitive capabilities naturally acting in harmony with our senses and self-awareness.

Originally anyway, until the phenomena was recognised and described by the US’ FSA and Kellogs University in 1957 in a study sponsored by a consortium of wheat and corn industry bulk producers and market speculators. The group was seeking ways to use the emerging technologies of television and wire communications to create new markets for their products, as they faced declining rates of margin as crop yields increased due to mechanisation, profligate use of fertilizer, and a cheap Mexican labour force. Having learned that tastes can be influenced by the sound of the name of the food, they turned this evolutionary useful vocal quirk into a weapon of mass persuasion.

Which is why Banana Bread is good for you. Why it tastes really very nice. Why it is easy to make. And why it fills the house with a scent while cooking that makes you want to go “Hhmmm!”

Better bring bags of these for the banana bread…

* 1/3 cup of sunflower oil
* 1/2 cup of organic raw sugar
* 2 heaped teaspoons of linseeds, soaked in 2/3 cup of room temperature water for 15 minutes (use the water in the final mix)
* 1 3/4 cups of white stone-ground flour
* 1/2 cup of almonds, finely ground in the bamix whizzycupthing (or use whichever inferior method you wish if you do not have a bamix)
* 1 teaspoon of baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon of salt
* 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarb)
* 1 cup of mashed overripe bananas (usually 3 to 4 bananas). The best bananas for this are ones that are several days into their black skinned phase. Once peeled, cut of any really mangy bits however bruises and mushy bits in the flesh are no problem.

Bringing banana bread into being…

* Thoroughly mix everything together
* The bread will rise better if you “whip” the final mix for 5 minutes or so with a fork or a whisk
* Pour mix into as large and shallow a baking dish as you have. The banana bread doesn’t rise much, so baking in a deep dish will result in an over heavy cake brick. Use a quiche tray, or a baking tray (3-4 cms deep) or similar. Also works well in muffins trays, if they are lined with paper cups.
* Bake in a prewarmed oven at 180C (350F) for twenty minutes, or a little more if needed

OK….lets be honest….this isn’t “bread” it is “cake”. But lets keep that to ourselves.

This recipe was shared with SheWhoMustBeFed by her friend The Stitch’n Bitch.

PS. The first two paragraphs of this post are works of sheer free association.

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

Many years ago I was living in the inner Sydney suburb of Enmore. On Enmore Road was a fantastic little cake shop – the sort that actually makes cakes on the premises instead of just selling glazed crap with fake cream and trans-fat oils.

Anyway, that was where I first had Orange Poppy Seed cake, which if I recall was A$15 for a double-decker 30cm diameter cake. So it was just obvious that we would need to re-create a vegan version of that if for no other reason than Enmore Road is now a 24 hour flight away.

Like the Chocolate Cake, this too has passed the vigorous “Non vegan visiting children” test with flying colours.


  • 1 ½ cups plain flour (organic, stoneground, white flour – preferably NOT “strong” flour which is used primarily for bread making)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 1 ½ tabs poppy seeds
  • ½ cup almond meal (or finely chopped almonds)
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 2 tspn orange extract
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Egg replacer, equal to one egg (or use an egg if you eat them)


  • Preheat oven to moderate temperature (180˚C).
  • In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds, and almonds.
  • Add the soy milk, orange extract, zest, oil and egg replacer (or egg) and stir together gently until “just mixed”.
  • Pour into a lightly oiled 8-inch cake pan
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Ice the cake with icing made with icing sugar and using only some juice from the orange as the liquid.

Chocolate Cake

That got your attention didn’t it….Chocolate….


  • 1 ½ cups plain flour (organic, stoneground, white flour – preferably NOT “strong” flour which is used primarily for bread making)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tspn salt
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tspn vinegar
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to moderate temperature (180˚C).
  • Grease and flour a standard sized square cake tin, (or a round one of equivalent size, which would be perhaps 30cm in diameter).
  • Mix all ingredients together lightly and thoroughly with a fork.
  • Pour into tin and cook for approximately 35 minutes or until cake pulls away slightly from the edge of the tin.
  • Test with a thin skewer in the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out dry, then the cake is ready.
  • Cool the cake mostly in the tin, then turn out onto a cake rack.
  • When cool, ice with chocolate icing, or just eat the cake as is.

This has passed the vigorous “Non vegan visiting children test” with flying colours, and has also won special awards at the “School fair – I can’t believe it is vegan” category.