Sunday, 19 February 2012

How To Win Friends And Influence Carnivores

As sure as the sky is blue, any vegan has started out with skeptic friends.
To be fair, they probably tried Tofu as an impressionable 8-year old at their Primary School's Multicultual Day (cue: hippy parents) and thenceforth...
(side note: isn't that the best word ever?)
...decided that all food void of animal products tasted like raw sponge.

It takes a great many experiences to rewrite the impressions made by this one. I would know. That kid was me.

However now in my arsenal of facts and figures and statistics, I also have one recipe guaranteed to draw a concession that maybe, perhaps, just this once... a vegan option is better than a dairy one.
Clearly this recipe does not usually include meat.
Here we go...
Vegan Banana Bread
(recipe borrowed/stolen/altered from here)

Los Ingredientes:
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cups raw or white sugar 
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4-5 (over) ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts, whole or broken
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sesame seeds

What to do...
One. boring prep stuff
Preheat the oven to 180 C, fan-forced. Oil up a 9"x5" loaf pan.

TWO! Sift-sift-arama
 Get your mediumest bowl and add (sifted!!) flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then the sugars. 
Sift the dark brown sugar last because it sifts poorly and leaves a powdered sieve.

Three. Sir Mix-a-lot
Find your large mixing bowl and add the milk and apple cider vinegar and WHISK your heart away. Maybe sing some Julia Andrews while you do so. I enjoy a little 'Climb Every Mountain' with my mixing. It inspires me.
Once mixed, LEAVE. Not the room, just the milk solution. Let it rest for 2 minutes. I'm timing you...

Fooooour. Addition and subtraction.
To the milk solution, finally add (you've been waiting for this) the mashed banana, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract and whisk again. Add the dry ingredients and whisk/mix, but this time, not until your heart is content. Just until your heart is barely satisfied and your ingredients are just mixed.

5ive. (Remember the boyband?) Nuttyness.
Fold in the walnuts, pepitas and sesame seeds. The latter two ingredients are not essential, but as a vegan it's an extra dose of iron (pepitas) and calcium (sesame seeds) and that's never a bad thing. Pepitas add great texture, sesame seeds finish unnoticable and they add nothing bad to the taste.

6ix. (The lesser known spin-off boyband). BAKE SALE!!

Pour your mix into the loaf pan, chuck into the oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes. A little burntness adds crunchiness, I always say, and charcoal aids digestion. That being said, start checking it from 1 hr 20 minutes but be prepared for it to need up to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Once it is tolerably touchable with oven mitts, tip out and let sit/stand/precariously perch on a wire rack to cool.

Seven. Cut Up And Eat.
Cut up and eat.

From the many superstars who've ventured to try this alternative, the result back is unanimous.
...just like Back To The Future II.

The walnuts decided to run out, so this vegan banana bread is topped with pepitas.

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