Ah the banana. Too often are my bananas neglected in the fruit bowl, languishing in amongst the superior tropical fruits, browning and freckling. But that’s when they come into their own! A few overripe bananas are the gateway to so many unusual and mouthwatering recipes, as well as the usual favourites we all know and love. For the sportsperson (or the frugal student) straight up or in smoothies are a great option, loading up on potassium and vitamins on the way to a lecture or straight after the gym, but there are a huge number of ways to really bring out the flavour and make the most of those nanas, such as my favourite banana and coconut bread pictured below!
So here are my top ten banana loving recipes from around the web, from savoury to sweet and the healthy to the downright naughty;
- Healthy Banana Pancakes
This is truly tried and tested…a lot! Most of the time I stick to muesli but sometimes these amazing 3-ingredient, grain-free pancakes are so needed after a long shift the night before and guilt-free too! All you need for a portion of around 4 medium pancakes is 1 overripe banana, 2 eggs and some baking powder for that perfect fluffy texture. Fry with low-cal spray to maintain the healthy vibe but watch out as they burn easily. They’re fab on their own but I like to add a little fresh fruit, some Greek yoghurt and maybe one honey to really bring out the flavour.
- Brain Power Smoothie – Wild Blueberry, Banana and Avocado make this the ultimate brain boosting wonder drink.
- Seasoned Banana Crisps
…and the ‘seasoned’ is purposefully vague! Both sweet and savoury ideas work here, as you might when cooking plantain. Honey and cinnamon is of course the go-to combination but experimenting with some spice really kicks them up a notch! Try some popcorn-inspired flavours like sweet and salt, peanut butter or cayenne pepper for a fiery version!
- Goreng Kodok (Malasian Banana Fritters) – naughty but so nice!
- Chocolate and Banana Pudding Cake – The ultimate in cakey indulgence!
- Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Milkshake
- Banana ‘Nice’ Cream
I want to try this so bad but my freezer at university is too small!!! With no refined sugars or dairy, this super healthy ice cream made from only banana, the perfect summer snack. Thanks to the high-pectin content of bananas all you need is to keep a bag of chopped banana in the freezer and this soft-serve style dessert can be whipped up in seconds with a food processor, or put back into freeze to firm up. A tablespoon of peanut butter adds a richness and creaminess, while adding frozen berries will create a sorbet texture.
- Coffee and Banana Frappé because who needs to pay over £3 in Starbucks nowadays!?
- Cocoa Banana Overnight Oats
- My Mama’s Coconut and Banana Bread
I love this recipe. The addition of desiccated coconut and greasing the pan with coconut oil makes the kitchen smell like a Caribbean getaway, hot sun and cocktails. I suppose it’s more cakey than bread but either way it’s totally irresistible.
- 150g butter, softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150g self-raising flour (I used half white, half whole meal)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut plus extra for decoration
- Coconut oil for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and grease a medium tin with coconut oil
- Mix together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Then slowly add the eggs together with a few spoons of flour to prevent curdling.
- Add the remaining flour, coconut, baking powder and mashed bananas. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.
- Dust with icing sugar, some more coconut and enjoy!