Sunday, 24 February 2013

This is BANANAS!

Each week when I go to the grocery store, I pick up a bunch of bananas. Truth be told, I am very picky about bananas. I really have to be in the mood to eat a banana and the level of ripeness has to be just right. Bananas, however, only stay in the perfect state of ripeness for about a day. Once that precise moment is gone, for me, it's too late. You can slow the ripening of a banana by separating them (see this article on LifeHacker:, but like I said, I have to be in the mood for eating a banana. So, inevitably, I end up with a bunch of overripe bananas which I throw in my freezer.

This week, I opened the freezer door up and an avalanche of bananas fell out. Quietly admitting to myself that I have a problem, I decided I need to do something about it! Frozen bananas are great for smoothies, but I was in the mood to bake something. I realized I didn't have much breakfast food in the house, so I thought what better thing to make with those leftover bananas. After a quick scan in the cupboard and fridge, and a few moments of thought on how I could make something pretty healthy and tasty - I came up with it! Et voila - Banana Carrot Oat Breakfast Bites!

Banana Carrot Oat Breakfast Bites

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups quick oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried, ground ginger
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 carrot, grated
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/4 teaspoon orange rind
1/8 cup squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. In a separate bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together; whisk until fluffy. Add the egg, mashed banana, carrot, orange rind and orange juice and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet, only until the mixture comes together. Do not over mix.

On an ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet, make dollops of the batter spaced approximately one inch apart. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, just until the bottoms of the bites are golden brown. Let the bites cool on the pans and remove. Store in an airtight container. I divided mine into ziplock bags to take to work each day this week. These are super healthy and rather addictive. They are really delicious with some strong dark coffee and asliced fresh orange in the morning. If you like something a little bit sweeter, you could also make a cream cheese icing to drizzle on top, making it a great item to bring to a brunch!

BONUS BANANA RECIPE! Guatemalan Banana Bread

Here is another fantastic recipe which can help you use up those leftover, overripe bananas. This banana bread is a staple in Guatemala and is absolutely delicious, fluffy and sweet. The lemon juice and cinnamon add a distinct and unusual taste to a classic quick bread recipe. 

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the mashed bananas, lemon juice and egg. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients together (salt, cinnamon, flour and baking powder). Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Bake in a loaf or square greased baking pan. For ease of removal, you can also use parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the bread is slightly golden and dry in the middle. You can use a toothpick to test this; stick the toothpick in the middle of the bread, if it pulls out clean without any excess batter, the bread is done. This method can be used for testing any quick breads or cakes you are baking. Let the bread cool in the pan, then remove and slice. Serve this for breakfast or for dessert. 


-Tina (Turnip)

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