Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tip Tuesday is Going Bananas!

Because I just made a loaf of delicious banana bread over the weekend I decided that bananas should be the topic for today. Around here we don’t seem to eat all the bananas I buy before they start getting that speckled appearance – and no one wants them at that point. I started throwing the whole banana into the freezer when it’s getting too ripe.

When I decided to use them for the bread I pulled 5 out of the freezer and put them in a colander in the sink to thaw. After a while they were ready to peel and mash, and the 5 made just enough for a loaf of bread. Give this recipe a try…it’s quite easy and yummy!


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BANANA-NUT BREAD

1 1/3 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 large)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 2/3 cups Bisquick mix
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom only of a 9 x 5” loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients until well blended. Stir in Bisquick and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

(Recipe from Betty Crocker Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook, published in 2009. Available at Amazon starting at $.01 plus shipping!) The book is hardcover, with 416 pages. Recipes include everything from appetizers to desserts – and don’t forget those impossible pie recipes!

Notes: A frozen banana has less volume than a fresh banana, so it took more than called for in the recipe. I used an artificial sweetener blend rather than sugar. The nuts used were walnuts. 

TIP TUESDAY

So while we’re on the subject of bananas, here are some helpful tips for you:

1) When you get the bunch of bananas home, separate them at the stem, and they won’t ripen as quickly.

2) Bananas are typically picked while still green. If they ripen before picking they lose their taste and texture. Picking while green allows the bananas to be shipped over long distances before ripening fully.

3) The best place to store and ripen bananas is between 60 and 70 degrees. Do not store them in the refrigerator as they will ripen too quickly.

4) 1 cup mashed banana = 2 to 3 bananas. 1 cup sliced banana = 1 medium or 2 small bananas. 

5) An average banana contains about .6 grams fat, and a fully ripe banana contains about 20% sugar. A small banana will have about 80 calories, and a medium one about 100. 

Ideas for using bananas:

Banana Pops – peel banana and cut in half crosswise. Insert a popsicle stick into the cut end, then stick in freezer for a few minutes. Take out of freezer and dip into melted chocolate, then roll in crushed nuts, coconut, sprinkles or whatever you like. Return to freezer.

Foster Ice Cream Topping – melt butter in skillet and add brown sugar. Stir till sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Stir in sliced banana and saute just a few minutes. Stir in a small splash of vanilla. Serve over vanilla ice cream and top with chopped, toasted nuts.
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A couple of humorous banana quotes:

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

"I'm getting so old, I don't even buy green bananas anymore." - Chi Chi Rodriguez
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The FREE Christmas Cookie E-Book is still up for grabs. Get yours today by emailing me at fromgrammieskitchen@gmail.com (for an emailed version) or by going to www.thecottagepantry.com for an immediate download.
I hope you’ll all take advantage of this free special – the book has 400 great recipes just in time for planning your holiday baking!
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Today is National Root Beer Float Day - doesn't that sound tasty? I love those things, and they might just be on the dessert menu for tonight!

It's also National Night Out Day, an event which was established by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) in 1984, with the first Night Out being Tuesday, August 7 of that year. National Night Out is held annually on the first Tuesday in August (in Texas, the first Tuesday in October). Every year since then the number of participants has grown. The purpose is to bring neighbors together for the betterment of neighborhoods, to prevent crime and provide emergency information. It also builds a sense of community in those who take part. So, if you can, turn on your outside light and step outside to see what's going on in your neighborhood!
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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