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Friday, September 22, 2006

Banana Bread With No Bananas

zucchini bread

I miss my bananas. In March of this year, Cyclone Larry decimated Innisfail, in Queensland's far north, and with it 80% of Australia's banana plantations. Bananas which used to cost about 99c to $3 per kilo rocketed to $16 per kilo. Six months later the price of bananas is still at about $12-$14 per kilo.

Banana bread is now rarer than hen's teeth. Banana bread made with real bananas, that is. So for the latest Sugar High Friday event hosted by A Veggie Venture, I used the surprise theme to bake some friends a fake banana loaf. Okay so it didn't taste of bananas, and it had telltale tiny specks of green, but the moist dense consistency was there, and the crust had that familiar sweet chewy consistency. They were fooled by all external appearances.

It was also a big surprise for a young vegetable-phobe--the type who shies away from anything green--who was spotted eagerly reaching for a second slice. The banana bread guise does work! Surprise the kids. It's one way to get them to eat their vegetables.

Banana Bread With No Bananas
aka Zucchini Walnut Bread

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed firmly
1 cup oil
2 cups zucchini, grated finely
1 1/3 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups plain flour

Beat eggs with sugar and oil in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in zucchini and walnuts and then fold in sifted flours in two batches.

Pour into a 15cm x 25cm loaf tin and bake at 180C for 75-90 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave loaf in tin for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

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16 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 9/22/2006 10:09:00 pm


  • At 9/21/2006 12:47 am, Blogger Yvo Sin said…

    Are those walnuts?!

    *whimpers* I shouldn't come here when I'm hungry.

  • At 9/21/2006 8:18 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Looks good. Tell me more. Did you have it with our good friend butter?

    Bring back bananas!

  • At 9/23/2006 1:29 am, Blogger Tubby said…

    Wow that looks good; thanks for the recipe! I'll try it one day -have you tried apple and cinnamon bread? That's super delicious as well =)

  • At 9/23/2006 8:30 am, Blogger kris said…

    Zucchini bread is an American favorite, and I've had a lot of fun making it for Australian friends over the years. Your recipe is similar to mine, except for the lack of spices! I use white sugar instead of brown, and also add nutmeg (zucchini loves nutmeg), cinnamon, and grated lemon zest. Maybe I'll post it one of these days. My husband loves it, and as soon as the banana extortion started he said I should go commercial and corner the market. We like it spread with butter. Mmmmmm... - Kris from web-goddess.org

  • At 9/23/2006 9:28 am, Blogger Jen said…

    I sorely miss bananas as well. I bought two the other day and it cost me over $6!!
    This bread, although it doesn't contain any
    b-a-n-a-n-a-s, still looks scrumptious, great twist at the end.

  • At 9/23/2006 9:37 am, Blogger deborah said…

    yummo! i'd want to eat this for breakfast... but also lunch. cake like bread for lunch... oooohhh--eeer... with the added benefit of a green vege! you rule :D

  • At 9/23/2006 5:23 pm, Blogger Food Kitty said…

    Ah, I have blogged recently about hiding the bananas from the children

    Looks like I won't have to now..

  • At 9/23/2006 6:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks delicious also without bananas.

  • At 9/23/2006 7:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi i stumbled upon your blog. lovely food pics u have here :) im a foodie myself too and its great to know likeminded ppl. take care!

  • At 9/23/2006 7:29 pm, Blogger thanh7580 said…

    Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. Who would have thought of substituting bananas with zuchinni, not this vegetable fearing person. :-)

  • At 9/24/2006 1:46 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi yvo - Yes they are! I'm always generous with walnuts! (and yes, you did comment when I published this photo accidentally without the accompanying text)

    Hi Veruca Salt - I actually didn't need to as the bread was super moist on its own.

    Yes, I am dreaming of cheap bananas. They have become more lucrative than mangosteen!

    Hi Tubby - I've had apple and cinnamon muffins and cakes, but never bread. Sounds tasty. Bread with pears is also delicious.

    Hi kris - Yes I've noticed that zucchini bread is quite an unusual notion for Australians yet it's quite common for Americans it seems. The addition of spices sounds fantastic. I was thinking I could make this less sweet and add some chilli powder and nutmeg to it, maybe a little bit of bacon!

    Hi jenjen - I liked the suggestion that people bring over a bunch of bananas for their dinner hosts instead of a bunch of flowers. Much more appreciated I'm sure!

    Hi Deborah - Yeah it makes a great breakfast. And lunch. And snack. Isn't it 5 serves of veg a day? :)

    Hi foodkitty - How to explain the crazy price of bananas to a small child. Argh. When will it end?

    Hi zorra - It is delicious. A great way to use up loads of zucchinis too.

    Hi evan - Thanks. The world needs more foodbloggers I say!

    Hi thanh7580 - Never fear the zucchini. It is so delicious steamed, fried, shaved and battered. And now it comes in braad as well!

  • At 9/24/2006 11:59 pm, Blogger Alanna Kellogg said…

    Hi Helen ~ A yummy "banana" bread and a lesson in world weather, too! This is a lovely contribution to Sugar High Friday, thanks for playing along! And look for the round-up later today ...

  • At 9/25/2006 11:08 am, Blogger Ange said…

    Sounds good but if you really want bananas look for specials in the supermarkets, they usually discount the older ones, I picked up over half a kilo of lady fingers from Coles on the weekend for $2.50 & they had hardly gone brown, check out my site for the banana & Date loaf i made, yum - I refuse to live without bananas!

  • At 9/26/2006 12:46 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi AK - Wow. That was a super-fast round-up! Thanks for the great theme and being such an organised host as well.

    Hi Ange - Oh I am always on the lookout for banana bargains, but even they are hard to find. I've found them occasionally at $4/kg but with my levels of banana desire I prefer to eat them whole than mash them up for banana bread!

  • At 9/27/2006 1:01 am, Blogger Josie said…

    Zucchini Bread is something my Gramma would make to use up the summer's bounty...how smart of you to use it to make up for those all-too-dear bananas!

  • At 9/28/2006 12:50 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Josie - Yes this would be the perfect recipe for excess zucchinis. Now I just gotta find someone with a rampant zucchini patch!


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