Sunday Special: Picky Eater Approved Banana Bread


Australia is one of my favorite countries. My first solo adventure abroad was spent in Sydney for five months where I studied in between playing basketball, meeting lifelong friends and traveling the country. I’ve been back twice since, spending a few months with my boyfriend in Melbourne during his baseball seasons.

Last winter, he spent his season with The Streets. Usually, my picky eating habits make it difficult for me to be an extended guest in someone’s home. This was not the case in the Street household.  Mitch’s host-mom, Jan, spends most of her time in the kitchen, a room specifically built in proportion to her 5’6″ frame. The counters are the perfect height for her to bake three batches of her famous apple crumble in one evening and the systemic cupboard space gives every pot and pan, spatula and spoon, whisk and wok a home. For most, her specialties include tomato chutney, yellow curry, and lasagna; but for me, her ability to please picky eaters and non-picky eaters alike is what makes her a phenomenal chef.

I was inspired by Jan’s cooking and was often caught reading her cookbooks in search of picky eater approved recipes. Among many, I found Donna Hay’s simple banana bread recipe. This banana bread tastes authentically Australian; each bite brings back memories of being in the Land Down Under and it’s relatively healthy, too. It definitely makes my list of picky eater approved recipes.

Picky Eater Approved Banana Bread:

4oz unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

4 mashed bananas

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup golden syrup (I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup which can be found at Whole Foods)

Preheat oven to 325F. Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add eggs; beat well to combine. Add banana, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and golden syrup. Pour mixture into a lightly greased loaf tin. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until cooked when tested with a toothpick. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before placing onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with extra butter spread on top, if you’d like!

(Picture coming soon…Banana Bread still baking in the oven!)

Pickin’ Your Brain:

  • What’s your favorite banana bread recipe?