October 29, 2008

Got Overripe Bananas?

If you follow June Cleaver Nirvana's weekly potluck, then you know that Holly has some overripe bananas in her fruit bowl. Today Holly's It's Not Me, It's You post has a "what's for dinner" theme and a request for recipes. In honour of Holly's open call for dinner help and her overripe bananas I'm going to share some of my favourite banana recipes.

Bananas are the world's most popular fruit. According to the Banana Fruit Facts website (can you believe there's such a thing as a 'Banana Fruit Facts' website?), "Bananas and plantains are today grown in every humid tropical region and constitute the 4th largest fruit crop of the world." Bananas ripen very quickly so they must be eaten within a few days of purchase, or they go brown. Bananas are not as tasty when they're overripe.

But there is some hope for the lowly overripe banana. Overripe bananas can be used in recipes, or peeled, sliced and stored in the freezer to be used later in baking or smoothies.

Here are some ideas to use up your overripe bananas:

Nanny's Banana Bread Recipe

3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup margarine or oil
1 egg
3-4 bananas (the more, the better)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Mash bananas well - until they form a sweet banana paste. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Mix well. Add egg. Mix well. Add banana. Mix well. Grease pan with margarine. Bake for about 1 hour. When poked with a tester needle (Nanny uses a knitting needle), the needle should come out clean.

The banana bread can be frozen and used later. Wrap in tinfoil, then cling wrap and freeze.

Serve sliced, with or without butter or margarine. Nanny's banana bread is also delicious with ice cream.

Hubby enjoying a piece of Nanny's Banana Bread

Banana Muffins

The Nanny's Banana Bread recipe can also be used to make banana muffins. Simply use a muffin tin, rather than a bread tin. Cook at the same temperature, but because they're smaller, they'll cook faster; so check the muffins with the tester needle after 40 minutes.

Banana Nut Pancakes

Another great way to use overripe bananas is to add them to pancakes.

Make your pancake batter however you usually do. (I use President's Choice Extra-Fluffy & Complete Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix; it's not fancy, but it tastes great.)

Mash the bananas well - until they form a sweet banana paste. Add to pancake batter, stir well. I also like to add nuts. I like to use pecans, but walnuts work well too.

The bananas make the pancakes a bit doughier, so take extra care that they're cooked well through.

These banana-nut pancakes are flavourful enough to be eaten on their own. They are also great served traditionally, with syrup and butter or margarine. I also like them with peanut butter.

Banana Smoothies

Combine a fresh or frozen banana with some vanilla yogurt (if your banana wasn't frozen, I recommend using frozen yogurt) and a generous splash of skim milk in your blender, blend until smooth and enjoy. If neither your banana nor your yogurt were frozen, you can crush some ice in the blender before adding the other ingredients.

Optional additions to your banana smoothie: Peanut butter, chocolate, ovaltine, cinnamon, other fruit. The possibilities are endless. Let your imagination go wild...

What do you do with your overripe bananas?



Suzie said...

I hate to say usually I just throw them out. Bad me

Connie said...

I love Banana Bread!

Amanda said...

I love me some banana bread but usually I can't hang on to them long enough for that. I have a monkey over here that pulls them off the counter and tries to eat them peel and all.

Amanda said...

I can't figure out how to put my email on my blog but I allowed it to show in my profile. Email away.

Working mum said...

Another fact - bananas are the biggest selling fruit in the UK. We love them! Maybe it's something to do with our trade agreements with former British colonies in the Caribbean?

Anyway, I love banana bread, banana muffins, banana smoothies, banana pancakes, .........

texasholly said...

I love it!

I am a big fan of banana bread. I am going to try the banana pancakes too...that sounds awesome.

Thanks so much for playing. I really appreciate it!

Tiffany said...

You do have lots of great banana recipes!

Beth said...

I make oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars with our leftover bananas. They are oh so good! Beth