The massive egg recall has made many of us stop and think about how many eggs we use and, for some, questioning our use of them at all. According to the New York Times, “A Hen’s Space to Roost” Sunday August 15; 97 per cent of all eggs consumed in the USA are from hens raised in battery cages, six birds to a cage allowing 67 square inches for each hen for her entire life.
This for an animal who enjoys seeking out a nesting place, hunting for food of various sizes, shapes, taste and textures, walking proudly with her chicks and engaging in a social life. Here, she cannot sit on her eggs or even stretch her wings. The Humane Society of the United States has stated, “Confining birds in cages means increased salmonella infection in the birds, their eggs and the consumers of caged eggs,”.
Many people think that if they buy hens from “cage-free hens”, these inhumane and dangerous conditions do not exist. Two per cent of hens live crowded together in large indoor spaces with 120 square inches per bird. The same hideous ammonia smell of a caged facility exists.Only one per cent are free range and they only need to have “access to the outside air”. This may mean a door leading to a cement yard with a large dog chained to the fence. The hens do not care for that. Only a very tiny amount of producers raise hens who truly live out of doors and have anything resembling a natural life. Even if these eggs are used at home, people consume eggs from caged hens in baked goods, processed foods and restaurant dishes. If you eat eggs you are not observing the commandment called “Bal Tashlit” which means we are not to destroy needlessly.
Here is a recipe for a vegan banana cake, it is not only delicious, but you can lick the bowl without fear of salmonella. Puts the fun back into baking with children. I have recipes for scones, cookies, biscuits and other cakes. All egg-free and all delicious.
I cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
I teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger and ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and cloves
½ cup organic sugar
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 small bananas
¼ cup soy or ricemilk with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar added
½ half cup raisins or walnuts (or both) – optional
First add the vinegar to the soy or rice milk (makes it like buttermilk, for a tender crumb)
Mix the baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt into the flour stir well, add nuts and/or raisins, if using, stir to coat.
Add the oil and sugar to the soymilk mixture, add the sugar and vanilla and stir well
Mash the bananas (overripe bananas can be frozen and used for baking)
Add the wet ingredients and the bananas to the flour mixture, mix well with a fork but do not over mix as this makes cakes dry.
Lightly oil a 9×9 or 9 inch round pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Use convection setting if you have it. This recipe can be easily doubled.
To frost, mix some Earth Balance margarine with powdered sugar and some sherry or lemon juice and a bit of vanilla, should be soft enough to spread but not runny. Spread it on in bits, leaving some of the cake showing.