I am obsessed with bananas, not even because I really like eating them (they’re okay and liven up my porridge –plus banana smoothies). But mostly I’m obsessed because they are one of the UK’s most wasted food, with 1.3 million bananas chucked out every single day in the UK. I see preventing this waste as an opportunity, and have decided to change the world, one brown banana cake at a time.
Therefore, when Co-op Local Forum asked FoodCycle to get involved in a cake sale coffee morning for FairTrade fortnight, raising money for BabyBank, my mind jumped to bananas. Bristol’s (if not the world’s) biggest banana cake to be exact. Co-op provided us surplus bananas (almost 1000 of them!) and all the ingredients we needed. We were ready to bake against food waste.
The turnout wasn’t amazing, but the kids we did have were so excited and keen to get involved. So we all got a bit messy, and a few cakes got burnt, but we made 50 banana cakes using 120 bananas! Don’t worry, the rest went to good homes.
As there is no world record for the largest (or most) banana cakes made from surplus bananas (or any bananas) we’re claiming this! I really felt we succeeded with the message to both kids and the parents, that a brown banana is not a bin banana, but in fact the perfect banana for a banana cake, and everyone went home with a recipe card.
All the families took home banana cakes, and extras were handed out to anyone in need of some food in the Bear Pit.
Our fantastic banana cake costs around 30p all in (not including the brown bananas, preferably too squishy to eat) and are vegan. I have a deal with my colleagues that if they bring me brown bananas, I’ll make them banana cake. This stops food waste and reduces our consumption of resource intensive chocolate and dairy filled cakes (not that those don’t taste great too!)…
Craving some of that sweet, warm, cinnamon-spiced goodness? Here’s the recipe:
225g self-raising flour
100g soft brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
75g vegetable oil
50g of nuts and /or raisins (optional)
Just whack it all in a bowl, stir it up and spoon it into a greased loaf tin. Cook at 170°C for 20 minutes, cover, and cook for another 40 minutes.
This is quite a long time in the oven, so you may as well fill it up with a pie or, y’know, some more banana bread.
Heather, Cooking Manager