Talented chef Zoe King, owner of POTENCY whose unbelievably delicious, healthy and moreish delights I have been lucky to experience on two private Mad To Live Retreats projects, with Seafolly in Salcombe and The North Face in Croyde, is a woman with a knack for the extraordinary when it comes to food.

As a mother of a child with a variety of intolerances, Zoe found it difficult to find healthy, tasty snacks to sustain the whole family that weren’t highly processed or filled with preservatives. Taking from her knowledge as a chef and extensive practice of holistic nutrition, Zoe got to work experimenting in the kitchen.

Whilst many of her more important ingredients are organic, she also believes in sourcing local produce. At both the Seafolly and The North Face private retreats, guests enjoyed menus busting with local flavours and sugar-free desserts.

With Zoe’s banana bread going down a particular storm, I managed to snag the recipe from lovely Zoe. Check it below!

Vegan Espresso + Raw Cacao Banana Bread with Tahini Cashew Cream + Cherry Cardamom Compote

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Banana Bread


225g plain gf flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp espresso powder dissolved in 3 tbsp water

3 tbsp raw cacao powder

350g very ripe bananas (weight without skins, roughly 5 bananas)

80g coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

80ml plant-based milk

100g coconut oil melted


1. To make the banana bread, grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and line with a strip of parchment paper, so that the ends hang over the long sides of the pan (this makes removal of the cake a lot easier) and preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan)

2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, and the cacao into a bowl and whisk together to combine.

3. Place the banana into a large bowl and use a fork to mash, until just a few small lumps remain. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth and uniformly combined. 


4. Pour the flour mixture over the banana mixture and gently fold together, mixing until the flour is just combined, but being very careful not to over mix, as this will make the bread chewy and tough. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. 

5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out just about clean. 

6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Kept wrapped in clingfilm in a sealed container this cake will keep for up to three days but can also be frozen for up to a month, in slices for whenever you fancy a piece.

7. Assemble slices with a drizzle of cashew cream and a spoonful of cherry compote.

Tahini Cashew Cream


1 handful cashews

280ml water

4 medjool dates, pitted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp tahini

Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a nutribullet or blender. 

Store leftover cream in the fridge for 3 days.

Cherry Cardamom Compote

200g frozen cherries

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp sweet freedom

seeds of 3 cardamom pods, crushed

Place the cherries in a pan and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until syrupy. 

Add the crushed cardamom seeds, vanilla, and sweet freedom.

Store in a jar in the fridge for 5 days.