Baking a fair trade treat

banana_loafI love to bake. I get this from my grandmother who, for a wedding present, gave me a special handwritten recipe book which is essentially my baking bible. Recipes include her delectable carrot cake, extra-moist chocolate cake and the secret family recipe for ‘soetkoekies’. Today I felt I needed to expend some excited energy after hearing that I had been shortlisted to one of three people who could be a fair trade ambassador, or Heartmaker, for The Body Shop. I opted to channel my excitement into the beating, stirring and folding of a household favourite, a banana loaf.

Naturally, fair trade was on my mind and I was rather pleased to realise that many of the ingredients for my banana loaf were fair trade. Maybe this seems mildly trivial but when you begin to think globally, the simple act of me baking a cake, was actually making a difference to other people’s lives. By opting for fair trade ingredients, I could be assured that the people who produced those goods received a decent wage or payment for their produce and thus are being given the opportunity to have a quality of life that is the right of every human being on Earth.

I did not apply to be a Heartmaker because there are some desirable incentives (although that is a great bonus!), I applied because I truly believe fair trade is one of the most effective ways of allowing people to work their way out of poverty. Whether it is marula oil for Moisture Foundation or bananas for my loaf, fair trade practices mean that my minor daily decisions are opportunities for making a positive impact in the daily lives of others.  I’d love your support so please vote for me to be able to champion this message of hope!

And if I’ve left you wanting to bake up a fair trade treat of your own, here’s Nans’ delicious banana loaf recipe, complete with links to fair trade or ethical ingredients:

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cooking oil
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 bananas mashed
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp milk

Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add oil and beat. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in mashed bananas. Mix bi-carb with a little milk, pour into mixture and stir well.
Pour the batter into a well greased loaf pan lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 1 hr in 180°C oven. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!


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