The humble banana
When you’re a kid it’s probably one of the first fruits you eat. Bananas are such versatile ingredients with such endless possibilities that we often just eat them raw and completely look over the fact that they can be used as an ingredient.
Bananas are high in potassium which have multiple benefits including preventing cramping. They have been proven to play a role in overcoming depression due to high levels of tryptophan, a substance which is converted into serotonin which makes you feel happy! Bananas are good for regulating blood sugar levels and can even aid in digestion, to name but a few benefits. Anybody feel like grabbing a banana now?
In my home bananas were only ever used in cooking when they were completely overripe after which they would be baked into delicious, wholesome and homey banana bread. I’m not complaining I love banana bread, but that got me thinking a little more about the humble banana.
Storage and purchasing
First, if you are buying bananas for immediate consumption look for bananas that are already mostly yellow with small black dots on the skin. If you want to keep the bananas for a week or so choose bananas that are still slightly green because they will continue to ripen during the week. Remove them from any plastic packaging and store them at room temperature. Bananas ripen quickly though so don’t buy too many at a time. If they do go overripe, never fear there are many wonderful recipes that require overripe bananas.
Why not try any of the following:
- Fry them with a little butter, some brown sugar and a splash of rum.
- Cut them up and freeze them for use in smoothies.
- Toasted bacon and banana sandwiches (believe me they’re yum!)
- Why not make some banana pancakes for breakie? They are gluten-free, easy to make and a healthy alternative to heavy breakfast muffins or bread.
Banana walnut pancakes
- 3 large bananas ripe to overripe
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder gluten-free
- 90 ml walnuts unsalted, crushed
- 5 ml vanilla essence
- oil for frying
- In a mixing bowl, crack in the eggs and add in baking powder. Whisk well to combine.
- In a separate bowl mash the banana with a fork. Make sure that there are still chunks of banana, the mixture shouldn’t be too fine.
- Add the egg and baking powder mixture to the bananas and mix well. At this point, you can add the walnuts and mix well.
- In a frying pan, heat about 5ml of oil for frying. Add a tablespoonful of the mixture to make small pancakes (easier to flip). Over a medium heat, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Serve with more walnuts, fresh banana, honey, or syrup
Not going gluten free but still craving some pancakes? Why not try my perfect pancake recipe now!