Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Love FOOD Hate WASTE (ing) Bananas

1.6 million bananas wasted each day according to this article at the very brilliant lovefoodhatewaste.com - Well it doesn't happen here. I am out and out proud that we now never ever throw bananas away. I thought we were quite good before when on the whole, most would get used up by making Nan's banana and honey tea loaf. Though I have to admit that sometimes more than a few ended up in the compost bin.

Now in the Little Foodies household EVERY single brown banana gets frozen. Sometimes even when they're not brown they get frozen, though the brown ones give a much sweeter taste when using them in ice cream, smoothies and cake.

We peel them, chop them up, put them in a freezable container, pop them in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours and then we have the making of some fairly average tasting banana dishes. Oh it's so not worth the effort! I mean why do we bother when we could add to the 1.6 million banana high pile in the sky... We could take them outside, put them on pavements, hide with a video camera, ready to film some unsuspecting passerby as they slip. Of course that's childish and dangerous and we don't advocate that sort of thing around here, so instead we do freeze them and so far not one thing we've made has tasted average.

We've been given many thumbs up for frozen banana ice cream. We've been given hugs, and even a round of applause for the banana based smoothies. Nan's banana and honey tea bread always goes down well and it doesn't seem to suffer if made with frozen bananas so long as they're defrosted before using. Freezing bananas is the way forward. In fact freezing fruit that wont get eaten, that will go off and have to be thrown away, wasted, is the way forward full stop.

Banana ice cream - this isn't new and it's not rocket science, there's even a recipe for it on the lovefoodhatewaste website. Peel and chop bananas, then freeze. Then simply take out as many frozen banana pieces as you want (we like approximately one banana per person) and pop them in a blender. Blitz until it goes creamy, , it will be fairly softpossibly the best banana ice cream you'll ever taste. No cream, no sugar, just gorgeous!

Banana based smoothies - to make enough for 4 -
Note: you don't have to use frozen bananas for the smoothies it's just that we like our smoothies super chilled and using frozen bananas seems to give that indulgent feel of drinking melted ice cream.

Place in a blender - two bananas, (that have been chopped into pieces and frozen if you wish),
a cup of plain natural yogurt,
3 cups of apple juice,
Blitz until smooth, if too thick add more apple juice a little at a time.

If you like it a bit sweeter then add honey to taste.

Variations: You could add strawberries (our favourite of the moment), I'm sure you could add almost any fruit you like. The key is to experiment and have things that you like, you could also use different fruit juices or flavoured yogurts, perhaps ones that need using up which are heading for the bin, (better to use them up than waste them) - If you were feeling naughty you could add chocolate powder, though what's naughty about that I really don't know!

Check out lovefoodhatewaste.com for lots of great information, and of course for more banana recipes including some different smoothies and the ice cream as mentioned above.


Deborah said...

I freeze my bananas as well! I'm starting to get quite a collection, though - so I should try out that banana ice cream!

Joanna said...

Amazing, I'd never have thought it was possible. Plums, they freeze well - all the "proper" advice says you should take out the stones first, but I find it doesn't make any difference at all ;)


Jules said...

Banana icecream sounds delicious. I will certainly have to try it.

David Hall said...

Hi Amanda (or should I say 'the person never destined to meet me) :o)

Great tips on bananas. I'm very shocked by that fact, sad days indeed. Off to freeze me brown bananas now!


Meeta said...

freezing bananas! i normally make banana bread and freeze that. but i love the idea of banana ice-cream!

Sylvie said...

I was so pleased as well when I realised that it was possible to freeze bananas.

Food.Baby said...

Making banana icecream like that was the first icecream I ever made as a kid. Yum! I've passed on a blog award to you, you can pick it up at my site http://food-baby.blogspot.com :)

Aimée said...

I'm making banana cake for Noah's birthday, so I am doing my part, OK?
Amanda, why won't you meet David Hall? He seems like a nice enough guy.

Gemma said...

I freeze bananas for banana bread but just chuck them in the freezer whole then when the urge to bake strikes I take 2 or 3 out and pop them in the oven while it heats up to speed up the defrosting, peel, and use. Frozen bananas are gross when you peel them though, very slimy.

Marie said...

I'm ashamed to say that more than a few bananas have ended up in the bin in my home as well. I never thought of freezing them!

flower said...

I freeze my Bananas as well untill know I wasnt sure what I was going to do with them, but that Banana Ice Cream has gone to the top of my to do list, I love anything Banana and most things Ice Cream :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Absolutely spot on Amanda. I don't think I've thrown out a banana in over 20 years. Our boys always loved bananas in smoothies. A frozen banana makes a thicker smoothie anyway. And there's nothing better than having them frozen and that puts me in control as to what and when I want something banana. The ice cream is fabulous because there's so many ways to go with it.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh. Pig is dumbstruck by the simplicity of freezing bananas. Why has she never done this? She thinks Amanda is a wonderful clever lady.

Nora B. said...

Hi Amanda,

It's been a while since I swung by. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I haven't been that regular with updating it since life seems to full of other things these days.

I started freezing my bananas only a few years ago. I even mash them and freeze them in ice-cube trays sometimes to make it easier to use if I only need a certain amount.

have a nice weekend ahead,

Culinary Cowgirl said...

I try so hard not to throw out bananas...many make it to the freezer, but some do occasionally end up in the bin. However, we seem to always have a loaf of banana bread floating around :)

KJ said...

I freeze bananas two. Otherwise, you can never find an overripe banana when you need one. It's always the way!!

Bush Mummy said...

Hi Amanda. New reader Bush Mummy here. Love your blog as a fellow foodie and gardener. Have tagged you for an award over on mine. Check it out.


Bush Mummy x

Cynthia said...

Great idea to freeze bananas.

Tash said...

I hadn't thought of freezing bananas, though we're fairly short on freezer space as it is (we're working through a put-away food mountain, which is helpful in these times of economic meltdown, let me tell you!). However I seldom bin them, unless they've gone to the so-alcoholic-they-are-more-alcohol-than-fruit stage. Usually it's my mum's banana loaf recipe which stores well and freezes too if you make 2 loaves. It stores really well and is good for up to a week, which is useful in Mr. VP's lunchbox (I am a kind and thoughtful wife, me!).

Hope you're keeping well and thanks for the lovely email of support. You're ace.

Michelle said...

Great ideas here! I've been looking for more banana recipes too as I have a ton of apple bananas cut up and frozen in my own freezer and it's good to have inspiration!


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