using up black bananas again

October 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm 12 comments

Is it just me, or do bananas in your house go brown as soon as you turn your back on them?  I’m sure they don’t keep as long as they used too (yes I know how old I sound!)   Last time I experimented with black bananas they were transformed into some very angelic banana and date cookies (sugar free, dairy free and wheat free ).  In keeping with that theme I flicked through Barbara Cousins ‘Cooking without‘ cookbook for inspiration. 

I chose a recipe for mango, orange and apricot muffins but as I had none of these in my fruit bowl it became a loaf made with bananas, walnuts, sunflower seeds and raisins.  A loaf for one reason only – so I could slather it with damson jam (definitely not sugar free!).  

The result?  Not without taste I’m pleased to report –  a nice nutty banana cake with no nasties for delicate teeth or tums.  Better with jam but fine without. If making a banana bread loaf cook for longer as I discovered mine was a little undercooked when I reached the middle of it.  I think this is because wheat free flours rise differently – personally I’m not a fan of them and prefer to use oats or ground nuts. So back to the cookies next time black bananas appear in the fruit bowl I think.

to make banana cake (without sugar, dairy or gluten)
225g mashed banana (about 3)
225g gluten free flour
240ml non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
2 eggs
2 tbsp sunflower oil
4 tsp baking powder
50g raisins
50g sunflower seeds
50g walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg

Bake at 200 degrees C for 15-20 mins until risen, golden brown and firm to touch.
Cool on a wire tray.  Eat within 3 days or freeze.

Any other cat owners have this problem when trying to photograph your food? Fortunately Billy’s a sniffer.  Mikey would have licked and Poppet would have nibbled being rather partial to brown bread!

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Simon  |  October 26, 2010 at 7:29 am

    This is a bit of a gues on my part about why bannanas seem to go black quicker now. When we first had bananas in this country they were transported by ship which would take weeks to get here, so to stop the bannanas going over rip on the journey they were picked before they had ripened ie still green. Now with more modern transport methods and storage methods the bannans can be left on the plant ubtil they are ripe before been harvested and transported. So in the past when we had bannanas they were still ripenning now they are ripe when we get them. Have you noticed how few green bannanas we get these days.

    As I said this is pure guess work on my part and I have nothing to really back it up with.

    Reply
  • 2. Ann  |  October 26, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Your bread looks delicious, especially with that damson jam! I had to buy an oven thermometer because my baking often had an uncooked area, I found out that the dial was way out compared to the actual temperature. It’s disappointing when things are a bit uncooked but they still get eaten!

    Love the picture of your cat, they can be so nosy can’t they, ours really used to make us laugh with his antics.

    Reply
  • 3. Johanna GGG  |  October 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Strange that simon says you don’t get green bananas because we get green bananas in Australia – but I agree they go brown quickly – actually I only like them just as they ripen so if I don’t eat them quickly I cook with them.

    I showed E the cat photo and he thought it was our cat zinc (obviously he doesn’t take much notice of what I cook). Zinc gets curious when I photograph food – she can often be found checking out the food sylvia throws on the floor – but when on holiday recently we had a cat in the cottage who ate anything at all and would leave E’s lap when I went to the kitchen.

    Reply
  • 4. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  October 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

    The bananas are definitely going black quicker than they used to, I agree! Managed to buy a green bunch the other day and they are still ripening pretty quickly. The magic power of bananas is good for ripening avocados though if you put them in the same bowl.

    Love your cat! :) There is a nice thing you can do if you cook the ripe bananas with sugar before you add them to the cake/muffin mix and they go into a soft of nice toffee banana sludge and you get a different taste in the final cake.

    Reply
  • 5. Tom  |  October 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    While we are quite fond of banana bread, we are even fonder of
    cats. Hope Poppet got to sample some of your work.

    Reply
  • 6. nina - tabiboo  |  October 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I love to toast my banana bread so it tastes like caramel – weird I know.

    Nina xxx

    Reply
  • 7. Anne  |  October 27, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Have you tried using one of those special banana bags? They help a bit, here in Brunei, because of the heat they seem to ripen and go black very quickly even when picked green.
    Love the picture of your cat Billy, Molly is a sniffer and a licker too.

    Reply
  • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  October 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Simon – I think you’re right and suspect they do something with the packaging to preserve them in transit and then as soon as you open the bag they start to deteriorate. I spoke to an apple expert last year who was waging a one man campaign against the gases used to store fruit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :o)

    Ann – I find the wheat-free flours so unpredictable and a goey middle is certainly not what you want. Billy appreciates baking however it turns out!

    Johanna – I love how cats look like other cats. I bet we’d spot some differences though between our boys (Zinc is a boy isn’t he?) You can’t see in this photo but Billy has a black Elvis side burn and a black tail. Ours do a good job of the washing up the plates after meals {wink}

    Joanna – I love avocados but they’re too hard when I buy them and then too soft by the time I remember them a week later. Hey ho, I now have the banana trick to try out so thanks for that. I love the sound of banana toffee sludge in cake. Heck banana toffee sludge full stop sounds nice. I do love a banana fritter…. mmm

    Tom – I’d happily post about cats every day but the gardeners and home cooks might be disappointed. Although I have noticed a pattern amongst other blogs I read … love cooking + love crafting + love being outdoors = love animals :o)

    Nina – not weird, scrummy. But then I love anything with butter on!

    Anne – I’ve heard of those bags but not tried them. Must admit I avoid bananas if we go somewhere hot – bad memories of being really seasick on a dolphin spotting trip and only having black bananas and bread as the veggie option for lunch. ewww

    Reply
  • 9. carolynk2010  |  October 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I have just read in a magazine that you can wrap bananas in foil (unpeeled) and put them in the fridge and then they won’t go black! I haven’t tried it but let me know if it works!

    Reply
  • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  November 1, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    thanks for the tip Carolyn, I’ve not heard of that before. I’ll have to test it out on the next bunch of bananas I get – the couple in the fruit bowl are, yes you’ve guessed it, already turning brown!

    Reply
  • 11. BitterSweet  |  November 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I haven’t made a good old banana bread in such a long time! I must remember to let some bananas go super-ripe next time I buy a bundle- Your loaf looks so moist and delicious, I just can’t resist.

    Reply
  • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  November 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I’d definitely use wheat flour next time – just can’t get on with the gluten free ones (can always taste the baking powder, ewwww).
    Please share your recipe for banana bread when you make it. Your foody creations always look amazing

    Reply

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