I have such good intentions when it comes to buying fruit and veg. I get so excited and become so seduced by those big bags of goodies that I just throw them in the trolley and think about what to do with them later. But I never do. Yes some peppers will get transformed into fajitas and I can munch my way through a bag of oranges no problem, but by the time you get around to using up the stragglers, they're dead. Sitting rotting in the crisper, no use to anyone or anything. So as part of my new year new me routine I'm looking at ways to use up these sad old blighters rather than binning them. Love Food Hate Waste and all that jazz :)
One food I never waste is bananas. If I'm being totally honest, I often buy bananas and leave them to go bad just so I can transform them into something delicious. A few weeks ago, while in the supermarket, I asked Kris to fetch a bunch of bananas. He came back with the biggest bag of 'ripen at home' green bananas. Rolling my eyes hiding my secret excitement, I stuck them through the check out knowing they'd never be good for anything but baking. Low and behold, I was right. They went from bright green to black, completely missing out the yellow stage. That's what we get for buying cheap bananas.
My mission was set, I had to turn these bananas into yummy treats before they were too bad for even banana bread. So, if you ever find yourself in my shoes, staring at a big bunch of black bananas, here's some fun things you can do with the sugary buggers.
125g butter, 175g soft brown sugar, 2 eggs, 280g plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, Pinch of salt, 125ml milk, 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed, 1tsp vanilla extract, 75g walnuts, chopped (optional)
Heat oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Lightly oil a 25cm x 11cm (10in x 4½in) loaf tin. Cream butter and sugar together in a food processor or with electric beaters, until smooth. Add one egg and beat well, add the second and continue to beat well. Sift in half the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix well. Mix in the milk, then the remaining flour. Mash the bananas and then fold them in to the mixture with the vanilla extract and walnuts. Then tip the mixture into the loaf tin and level the top with a spatula. Bake for around one hour until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and not sticky. Cover the top with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. Allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before turning out. To serve, cut into thick slices and serve warm or at room temperature.
Caramel Banana Blondies:
250g golden caster sugar, 100g butter, 100g caramel , from a jar or tin plus 2 tbsp for the top, 100g white chocolate, 2 eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 2 ripe bananas, sliced or mashed
Heat the oven 180C/fan 170C/gas 4. Melt the sugar, butter, caramel and chocolate together until smooth. Cool a little, then add the eggs and fold in the flour and banana. Pour into a lined 20cm square tin and add a few blobs of caramel to the top, bake for 45-50 minutes or until risen and set.
Chocolate, Banana and Peanut Butter Milkshakes:
6 pieces of frozen banana, 2tbsp peanut butter, 125 chilled milk, 1tbsp cocoa powder, honey to taste
Put the bananas into a blender. Add the peanut butter, cocoa powder and milk and blend until smooth. Add honey to taste. Blend again for a further 5-10 seconds.