This week I read in the Guardian that a quarter of the UK’s food is thrown away ‘untouched’. This upset me as not only is it a waste of good food that could be given to someone going without, but it is also a waste of money and contributes to our waste collection and landfill.
I live in a house with two girl friends and I like to think we are very good at avoiding food waste, we write shopping lists and do meal plans to avoid over buying. Any leftovers or veggies looking a bit past their best we turn into soup or use for wholesome stock. We do however, often find ourselves with a few not so pretty looking bananas. Quietly I am quite pleased as I know these will turn into a delicious nutty, chocolate banana loaf. So here’s a couple of recipes for when you find yourself with a few black bananas – don’t throw them away! They are delicious…
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g sugar (half light muscovado, half golden caster
2 free-range eggs
175g self-raising flour
2-3 very ripe bananas (about 250g/9oz total weight)
drop vanilla extract
175g/6oz good-quality dark or milk chocolate chips
a little demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 12cm/8in x 5in loaf tin with baking parchment, or use a silicon one like I did.
Beat the butter and sugars until light and coffee-coloured. This is best achieved in a food mixer or with a hand-held mixer.
Toast the hazelnuts for 6-8 minutes in the oven, rub them in a tea towel to remove their skins, then chop quite finely.
Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, then mix in the toasted ground hazelnuts and self-raising flour.
Peel the bananas and chop them the small pieces. Gently fold the vanilla extract, the bananas and the chocolate chips into the cake mixture, turning gently and taking care not to overmix.
Scoop the cake batter into the loaf tin. Dust with a little demerara sugar. Bake for between 1 hour and 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the cake with foil if the top starts to darken too quickly.
Banana and Peanut Butter Oat Bars
I spotted another banana recipe in my ‘Medicinal Chef’ cookbook by Dale Pinnock, a fantastic book full of healthy recipes, colour coded to target specific health problems. His Banana and Peanut Butter Oat Bars look delicious and are healthy too!
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
3 large ripe bananas
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablspoons of crunchy peanut butter
280g porridge oats (I used gluten free oats)
2 tablespoons of flaxseeds
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease a 20cm square baking tin with a little coconut oil
Mash the bananas in a bowl until smooth.
Melt the coconut oil, peanut butter and honey in a saucepan until liquid.
Stir in the mashed banana then the oats and flaxseeds.
Put this mixture into your greased baking tin then press down until even.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Remove and allow to cool before cutting into pieces.