One of my best friends, Melissa, fellow blogger and fellow lover of baking offered a guest spot on her blog and I jumped at the chance…thanks in advance for giving me the opportunity! Here is my shout-out to BANANAS! In something that I hope captures the spirit of her already fabulous blog. Thanks to my bf, here are some uses for the ubiquitous banana, in every stage of their ripeness…apart from green. Because I don’t know what you would do with a green banana. I don’t know many people who like to eat them like that. Except perhaps my brother. Ew.
While I’m off in the wilderness for the next few days my wonderful friend Liz from In the Kitchen with Yolanda is filling in for me. I hope you enjoy!
I say we start with a slightly underripe banana: not green anymore. Nice and yellow, but still a little firm. How about some bananas foster? At this point, I regret to say that I have never actually had bananas foster, but my bf assures me that his family has enjoyed it many times, despite his own picky preconceptions when it came to food. I am happy to share his dad’s recipe for it!
Estimate about 1/2 a banana per person: cut in half lengthwise and quartered.
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a non-stick pan.
Add 1/4-1/3 cup butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and stir until caramelized.
Add the bananas and stir to coat.
Add a healthy shot of dark rum. If you care for some pyrotechnics, then you can tilt the pan to catch heat from the element, or if the pan itself is hot enough, then the alcohol will automatically catch fire. When the flames burn out, remove the pan from the heat.
Plate the bananas over vanilla ice cream and then drizzle some of the sauce over the dish.
Enjoy! (May I suggest that if you’re going to attempt this, you have a fire extinguisher handy???)
As the banana ripens, there’s more and more uses for them, besides eating, that is. You can slice them up and put them on toast with peanut butter, which is one of my faves. You can throw them into smoothies with a multitude of other ingredients: yogurt, strawberries, milk, nutella, kale, spinach, blueberries…..The list is endless to make a tasty smoothie!!
Finally, my favourite part! Dead bananas! I particularly like baking with dead bananas for a couple of reasons. First, I am Mennonite and I can’t throw food out without feeling guilty and bananas are one of the few fruits that you can do something with no matter how far gone they are. Have black bananas in the bowl? No worries! Just throw them in the freezer and take them out when you want to make something with them. Also, bananas add a great amount of moisture to muffins and cookies, so they will last longer on the shelf and won’t dry out as quickly.
Here is my go-to, super simple banana chocolate chip muffin recipe. It takes literally 5 minutes to mix together and makes an even dozen muffins.
BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 ripe/dead bananas, mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup+ chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. It helps if you take the egg (and the bananas if kept in the freezer) out ahead of time to come to room temperature. That way nothing will curdle with the shock of a sudden temperature change.
Mix the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl and add to the larger bowl. Stir together until just combined. It’s okay if you still some streaks of flour in the batter.
Measure out the chocolate chips (I like to use a generous 3/4 cup, when I bother to measure that is) and add to the batter and continue to mix until fully combined. Be careful that you don’t over mix!!
Throw them in the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes. The tops will be nice and golden brown. Remove the muffins from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
You can start eating them as soon as you like – I would wait until they don’t burn your mouth, but they are very nice when they are still warm and the chocolate a little bit melty. These babies don’t usually last very long in our house – they also make a good snack, just ask my bf!
And finally, I’d like to round off this post with a little nutritional information because what kind of nutrition blog would it be without it? The banana, like any fresh fruit, is going to be an excellent source of fibre. It also offers a healthy dose of vitamin C and potassium. The banana is also friendly for those of you (ie; students) eating on a budget. These things combined make the banana a winner in my book, so if you didn’t know what to do with them before, I hope you do now!
Thanks for reading! And thanks again to Melissa for letting me write a post for her! I really enjoyed myself!