Umpteen people have been involved in getting that banana to you. Banana trees were grown and cared for, bananas harvested, weighed, packed, transported by road and sea, broken up into bunches, bagged up, put on the self, passed through the till all for 511 million of them end up in the bin. Yet bananas are so versatile and there are literally hundreds of recipes using them on the internet. Most people think banana cake but put "recipes for ripe bananas" into a search engine and you'll find things as varied as banana-bread, pancakes, hundreds of puddings and smoothies galore. In most of these recipes a bit of black on the bananas you use is not problem and in many cases will enhance the flavour of the final dish. But if you really can't bear the thought of using the black bits, simply cut those bits off and use the rest of the banana.
Are you guilty of banana waste? Here are my three favourite ideas for making sure they are not wasted:
Banana Ice Cream
- 400g tin condensed milk
- 500g pot crème fraîche
- 2 ripe bananas
- a few drops of vanilla essence
- Mash the bananas (including any black bits) thoroughly until there are no lumps
- Mix all the ingredients together and stir thoroughly
- Tip the mixture into an ice cream machine and set to churn. If you don't have an ice cream maker the ice cream can be poured into a freezer container and put in the freezer. When half frozen mix the mixture well by hand to remove any ice crystals that have formed.
- Once the ice cream maker finishes it's cycle put the ice cream into a freezer container and freeze for several hours.
Note - this ice cream tends to be very hard so remove from the freezer approximately 20 minutes before serving to allow to soften.
Jazzed up Banana Cake
If you have found a banana cake recipe you like why not ring the changes in any of the following ways:
Add extras to the mixture eg chocolate chips, small fruits such as blueberries or blackcurrants, dried fruit, chopped nuts, coconut flakes or your favourite seeds
Top with an icing of your choice - peanut butter icing goes well or a rich chocolate fudge topping.
In a pan, sauté 2-3 sliced bananas in 20-30g melted butter until soft and heated through. Stir in brown sugar to taste (approx 2 tbsp) and stir until it starts to caramelise. If you want add 2-3 tbsp alcohol of your choice which you can flambé for a real touch of decadence. Serve with cream or the banana ice cream above.
Do you a favourite way to use up bananas? Let's get sharing our best ideas and save 511 millions bananas from being wasted this year.
And for some information on why we waste food click here. Identifying what causes us to bin food is the first step in reducing the waste.