Here at TJ Ranch it’s either feast or famine…either we have too many bananas or none at all. I say this kind of facetiously because we always have bananas, but they are not always large enough to harvest green (for pasteles at Christmas) or ready to ripen for baking, cereal or smoothies. Actually we’re surrounded by bananas. I call the back “bananalandia”. When the bull dozer cleared the jungle and pushed everything to the edge, bananas came up and have continued for the last 36 years.
The banana tree grows very tall regardless of the variety, and there are a lot of varieties. In order to harvest the bunch (racimos); the tree is cut down, the bunch is cut away and the “hijo” (the seedling that grows on the side) is left to grow on its own…..self-planting (my favorite way to farm).
We have a group of bananas different from the rest. They grow short and have two racimos (bunches) on each tree. I can let them ripen on the tree and pick them slowly. Eventually they will all ripen and I’ll be faced with the dilemma. What to do with so many bananas.
I don’t like banana bread as much as I used to and keep trying new recipes….some more cake-like or maybe more bread-like but I think they may be just too banana-like for me. I’m still willing to try new recipes, so when I add “comments”, feel free to send me your favorite.
I’m now freezing bananas in their peel. I think it keeps their color better. I used to mash 3 bananas to freeze for future use, but they really looked unappealing when defrosted,brown and mushy, although I guess they tasted fine in breads and smoothies.
While in quarantine for the Corona Virus, you may not be able to go out for ice cream and happen to have bananas ripening on the counter (or stashed in the freezer), so try this recipe for something different. Recipe from the Food Network courtesy of Joy Bauer.
Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream
- 4 ripe bananas
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup skim milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Mint extract as needed (*a little goes a long way)
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
Peel and cut bananas into 1” rounds. Place in a freezer bag and freeze 3 hours (* if you have frozen bananas, cut them in pieces)
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, milk and vanilla.
Place the frozen bananas, chocolate mixture and salt in a food processor and blend well getting an even consistency. (* or a blender)
Add a drop of mint and taste the mixture.
Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand.
Scoop ice cream in bowls and serve immediately or freeze for later use. (*it gets very hard in the freezer so take it out for a while for easy scooping)
So don’t let the quarantine get you down and think you have to go out to get your ice cream fix. You just might have everything you need rotting on your counter.
Buen Provecho…and Stay Safe at Home.