Thursday, July 16, 2015

Uses for Ripe Bananas

Here are my favorite ways to use up ripe bananas:

Banana Bread/Muffins/Cake
4 mashed Bananas
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Softened Butter
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
3 cups Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup crushed crunchy Walnuts (Optional)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Mash bananas with a fork and stir in lemon juice. (At this point you can either freeze the banana mixture for a future baking date, or proceed to the next step.)
If you plan to soak whole wheat or oat flour for this recipe, place banana mixture in fridge to await the next morning.
To soak whole wheat flour (Preferably white wheat or WW Pastry Flour) mix flour, milk, maple syrup and yogurt in a glass bowl. Cover bowl and leave at room temperature overnight.
To soak oat flour, mix 2 and 3/4 cup of oat flour, 1/4 cup of whole wheat, buckwheat, or rye flour,  milk, maple syrup and yogurt in a glass bowel and leave at room temperature overnight.
(If you live in a cold temperature, leave your soaking flour in the oven with the light on, but the heat off and a large note of the oven's contents)
The next morning blend together the butter and coconut sugar, add the eggs, vanilla, and then the banana mixture. Pour wet ingredients into soaked flour mixture and combine, then add salt and baking soda and mix well.
Now you can leave the banana batter plain and bake it up, or you could add crushed crunchy walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut or even crumbled bacon and swirl in some melted peanut butter.
Or you can bake the plain batter in a 9x13 cake pan and top with cream cheese frosting!
If using sprouted whole wheat or all-purpose flour, simply combine sugar, butter, syrup, and yogurt adding eggs, vanilla, and at last the banana mixture. Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add half the flour mixture to banana batter and combine. Then mix in the milk followed by the rest of the flour. After mixing in the rest of the flour, you can stir in your embellishments if desired.
Pour into pan of choice greased with coconut oil. I just use my washed bare hands to rub half a spoonful of coconut oil in my pans and then rub the excess into my hands like lotion.
Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a muffin in the middle of the pan. They should look caramel brown around the edges.
24 Muffins, two loaves, or one sheet cake.

Frozen Bananas
My next option is peeling the bananas and stacking them in "safer" plastic freezer bags and freezing them to break up into smoothies, slice into fruit salad, or eat as a treat with peanut butter. You can also cut the peeled banana in half run a skewer up the middle, freeze and dip in homemade chocolate sauce and then eat them as chocolate covered banana popsicles. As done so here:

Cooked bananas are delicious!
Ever heard of bananas foster? I have a delicious hobo version for you.
Cut banana lengthwise on the inside of the curve end to end, careful not to slice through the other side of the peel, drizzle homemade caramel sauce inside, or get creative with peanut butter, chocolate chips, homemade marshmallows, chopped strawberries, cherries or coconut- anything goes! Then wrap entirely in foil and let it cook at the base of a campfire or on a grill for 5-15 minutes (depends on the heat and ripeness of the banana) until the banana is soft and the fillings are melted. They will be molten lava hot so be sure to allow them to cool before eating. A side of vanilla ice cream or whip cream would not go amiss but is unnecessary.

Soaked Tropical Oat Blueberry Pancakes
Inspired by Kristin Marr from
2⅓ cups Old-fashioned Rolled Oats
Finely ground in a blender or flour mill
2 Tbsp Whole Wheat or Buckwheat Flour
3 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
2 cups Milk
2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Olive Oil or melted Butter
2 Tbsp Whey
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 mashed Ripe Banana
1½ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Blueberries or chopped Fresh Pineapple
½ cup Shredded Coconut
Combine flours, flaxseed, milk, syrup, oil or butter and whey in a glass bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Blend eggs into batter, add vanilla and mix. Add mashed banana to bowl and combine thoroughly. Measure baking powder, baking soda, and salt into bowl and mix in very thoroughly again.
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle on medium low, melt about a quarter tsp of coconut oil in the pan and spread to cover surface with a spatula. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter at a time onto hot oil and sprinkle desire amount of blueberries or pineapple into cooking batter, then grab about a tsp of shredded coconut in the palm of your hand and sprinkle over top as if you were rolling dice letting one go at a time.
Let pancakes cook until the edges start to dry with tiny bubbles in them and separate from the pan a bit. Turn pancakes with spatula 180 degrees to rest the uncooked batter on the greased pan and let cook for about five minutes or until the edges are puffed and dry. You do not want them to smoke, but some steam it normal. The pancakes should have a golden caramel Brown crust on each side. Repeat until no batter remains pouring the last of the batter from the bowl.
If you would like larger pancakes, add more batter when frying. If you would like smaller pancakes, use less batter per pancake. Tear one in half to make sure they are cooking through properly. If your pancakes are doughy in the middle, the pan is too hot, you should turn it down until you reach the right consistency with your pancakes. Take note of it next time, different stovetops and ovens cook good differently and different elevations and climates can produce different results. So if you move or buy a new appliance, don't get discouraged, just remember there is trial and error when breaking in new kitchen equipment. Whether the appliance is new or you are new to the appliance.
Have fun with your new experiment!
Note: Always pour batter into one spot and let the batter pool and flatten on its own. This will make the roundest, and most uniform pancakes.

My Favorite Secret Recipe

A warm Homemade Brownie
1/2- 1 Banana, sliced
1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
1/4 cup melted Peanut Butter, smooth or chunky
Fresh Whipped Cream
A Cherry

Build Sunday as ingredients are listed each on top of the former. Enjoy with a spoon and a smirk because those who turn their noses up at this have no idea what they are missing!

I have heard that a mashed banana can be used in a homemade face mask, although I haven't tried it yet. I will update you on this if and when I do try it.

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