Bananas are the most popular fruit in America. Some might assume it is nature’s convenient easy-to-peel packaging that makes bananas so well liked. But that is only part of their charm. The smooth texture and floral fragrance pair with an alluring balance of sweet and acidic flavors to make them irresistible on all counts.
There are more than 300 banana varieties, and several have become commonplace in many supermarkets. In addition to the common Cavendish type, large produce sections often stock exotic red bananas with their inviting bronze-tinged maroon skin, petite finger bananas with “digits” about 4 inches in length, and slightly larger manzano bananas, named for their subtle apple-like flavor.
Generally, we think of bananas as a grab-and-go treat, eaten raw out of hand. Or incorporated into fruit salads, shakes or layered into peanut butter sandwiches. But they are delicious in cooked dishes as well, piping hot in spicy dishes such as curries or fried rice. And desserts.
No Added Sugar Banana Ice Cream
Made using frozen very-ripe bananas, this reduced sugar “ice cream” dessert takes advantage of the fruit’s high pectin content. The pectin aids in making the dessert creamy when frozen. The natural sweetness of the ripe fruit means that no sugar needs to be added to the recipe, just 1/2 cup of heavy cream to add flavor and further aid in producing a silky texture. Plus some vanilla, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon. Voila!
Yield: 8 servings
6 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Peel bananas and place in large zipper-style bag. Press out excess air and seal. Freeze bananas until solid, at least 8 hours.
2. Let bananas sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 15 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch thick rounds and place in food processor. Add cream, vanilla, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon; process until smooth, about 5 minutes. As they process there will probably be logjams of slices that form, sometimes making raggedy balls above the blade. Stop the processor and using a silicone spatula, press the wayward slices down by the blade and start processor again.
3. Transfer mixture into airtight container. Seal and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days.
Source: Adapted from americastestkitchen.com
The original recipe for Easy Banana Nut Chocolate Cake called for a bittersweet chocolate bar, but using semisweet chocolate chips is simpler without sacrificing flavor or appearance. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)
Easy Banana Nut Chocolate Cake
My husband loves to eat a wedge of this delicious banana cake as a breakfast treat with his morning coffee. It is delicious as a dessert as well, accompanied with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. I love to make layer cakes filled with sliced bananas and whipped cream, but this is so much easier, and just as delicious. The original recipe called for a coarsely chopped 3 1/2- to 4-ounce bittersweet chocolate bar. I use semisweet chocolate chips instead, to speed up the process without sacrificing flavor or appearance.
Yield: 8 servings
Butter for greasing …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment