We said NO to palm-oil and now the cupboard is bare!
I’m not a Vegan. I try to live a life of awareness and compassion and Vegans have made me so aware of all the areas in my life where there is disconnection and apathy. I make conscious choices, I try to do no harm, and when I do I take responsibility for it. Until then, I try to actively engage and narrow the gaps.
As a family we had a major break-through when my children also realised the impact of our food choices. We are blessed to be able to eat relatively healthily, a vegetarian diet that is 80% home-cooked from organic sources. But we love baked goods.
I’ve always read labels, yet continued to add convenience foods to our trolley despite them having questionable ingredients from preservatives to diary and palm-oil. I had started changing my diet but my family resisted. Applying no pressure, I just answer questions and share what I learn. Sometimes the comfort of the familiar is too strong to change behaviour.
That changed when my eldest, who dreams of growing forests, learnt that Orangutan populations are decimated in the farming of palm-oil. Baked products then took on a different meaning and their space in our cupboard was reduced to zero.
Now we bake! It takes a bit of time and planning. However, I don’t have enough time in our packed day for anything that takes more than 10 minutes to throw together or that is finnicky!
My youngest loves baking and always has and has asked me not to share her Vegan chocolate brownie recipe! My eldest makes oat crackers fashioned on Kim Benjamin’s oat cookies that we love from the Organic and Bio-dynamic Market in Constantia, Western Cape.
Here is my banana bread recipe, that I’ve tweaked over time. It is moist and caramelly, and is delicious for any time of day. The kitchen fills with its aroma and no one grudges that it is Vegan!!! The texture is not breadish, quite moist and pudding like. For a bread consistency, reduce the almond milk to a cup and blend the bananas and coconut oil to a creamy consistency, adding more milk only if too thick.
Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
- 2 x cups flour (if using a wheat free alternative, the texture will be denser)
- 2 x tsp baking powder
- 1/4 x tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 x tsp salt
- 3/4 x cup sugar (you could leave this out or add 3 dates made into a paste if you want a sugar free alternative)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon or dried ginger
- 3 x over-ripe bananas – smashed, leaving some chunky bits
- 2 x (3 x tbsps. powdered flaxseed + 1 tbsp. warm water), leave to thicken (egg replacement)
- 1 1/2 x cups unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 more if needed
- 3 x tbsp. melted coconut oil
- a handful of choc chips (there are vegan brands)
- 1/2 cup lightly crushed macadamia nuts
- a handful of pumpkin seeds
- a handful of sunflower seeds
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to aerate.
Add all the wet ingredients into a jug (except the bananas and whisk until frothy).
Pour 1/2 the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold with a spatula.
Add the smashed bananas and continue to fold in. Add the last of the wet ingredients creating a batter.
The rest of the milk should only be added if needed. (All flours are not created equal, some need more moisture others less). Pour into a greased glass tray.
Choose a tray that is at least 25cm x 35cm big so that the bread is not too thick and can bake evenly. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.