Bananas are fabulous things. They taste great, they’re easy to eat and you can cook with them too. They are most popular as a high energy snack, and are perfect for adults and children’s lunchboxes. For those who like to really know what they’re eating bananas are also packed with potassium and are fat free to boot.
Bananas used to be just bananas. Now however there are choices to be made. There’s the everyday banana, which is perfect for most of us. The tiny lady finger banana has become more popular in recent years. These are more concentrated in flavour and have a wonderful texture too. There’s also the choice of eco-bananas with one end dipped in red, blue or green wax.
Not forgetting the plantain, an astringent banana that needs to be cooked before eating. It is used in South America, African and Caribbean recipes. It can be deep fried, boiled, grilled, baked, stuffed, pickled or mashed.
Bananas are at their best during summer and autumn. When buying bananas choose bunches of even-sized fruit that are yellow with green tops. This will ensure they have a few days of ripening at home. Avoid those with black spots unless you plan to cook with them pretty quickly.
Store bananas at room temperature. If bananas are refrigerated it turns the skins brown, although this doesn’t affect the flesh too much.
Most bananas are peeled and enjoyed as they are, which is absolutely fine. They can be mashed and added to cakes and muffins where they impart a beautiful aroma, flavour and moistness.
Overripe bananas are best for cakes as they mash well and are naturally sweet. Mashed banana is also a wonderful breakfast when combined with a spoonful of natural yoghurt and served with a little honey and cinnamon on top.
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Herbs: basil, chervil, coriander, marjoram, mint, oregano, sage, tarragon, thyme
Seafood: Atlantic salmon, coral trout, flathead, kingfish, flounder, King George whiting, mussels, ocean trout, prawns, redfish, scallops
Cheese: goat’s milk cheeses, white rind cheeses
Content provided by Allan Campion and Michele Curtis www.campionandcurtis.com.