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Posts Tagged ‘Banana’

So here’s a small confession: I have not yet revealed to the husband that his opinion that this banana “ice cream” is just as good as true ice cream is wrong. It’s not. I’ve had more ice cream than you’d probably dare to imagine in my twenty-something years of life, and a frozen banana substitute doesn’t quite cut it.

WHAT???? (Husband cutting in here.)  This is news to me.  Okay, if by “not as good” you mean “doesn’t taste like heavy, fatty, cream and sugar,” then, yeah, it doesn’t.  But frappe-ed frozen banana is silky and sweet and light and smooth, and an excellent canvass for subtle and not-so-subtle flavors.  It’s taking gelato one step further.  Because, honestly, who ever had a rich butter-cream ice cream that tasted like mint or basil?

Controversy aside, frozen banana is a delightful dessert.  And after our summer roll party, we had plenty of basil and mint to go through.  So why not mint-basil ice cream?

Banana “ice cream”
2-3 frozen bananas (broken into smaller pieces if possible)
1/4-1/2 cup of milk (add as you go)
splash vanilla
flavorings as desired

You’ll need a food processor or a blender (former preferred).  If you are using leaves that you want blended down, add these first.  Add frozen banana and blend until broken down.  Turn off, add a splash of milk (and any other ingredients you want), continue blending.  Repeat, slowly adding milk, until you get the desired consistency.  Other good flavors would be cinnamon or nutmeg; stirring chocolate (melted or in chip form) at the end is nice, too.

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Well, I certainly think it’s a milkshake, no sort-of about it.  This is a discovery that keeps on giving: a healthy, quick and easy, delicious shake, perfect for breakfast or dessert or snacking because you’re hungry and dinner is just far enough away to warrant eating something now.

So what makes it a sort-of-milkshake?  Well, there’s no ice cream, for one.  No ice, either.  The cheat: frozen banana.  Blend a frozen banana and milk and you get the texture of a true ice cream shake.  The banana adds both richness and creaminess.  And it’s cheap and healthy to boot.

Frozen bananas are a great trick.  Impossible as it seems, a frozen banana really does have the consistency of ice cream.  And it requires nothing more than just a little forethought and planning.  Peel a banana.  Put it in a container (or put several in one container).  Put in freezer.  That’s it.  Definitely peel ahead though; peeling a frozen banana isn’t quite the same as peeling a fresh one.

You need little more than milk and banana to make this work–the more banana, the thicker and creamier, of course–but why stop there?  This shake pictured above has been our staple: banana, oats, peanut butter, milk (and when feeling decadent vanilla and cinnamon, too).  Blend blend blend.  I use a full banana, a large scoop of PB, and fill maybe 1/2-1 cup of oats.  Don’t be scared by the oats.  They get plenty ground up and add both body and healthiness (word?) to the shake.  Okay, they’re a little “gritty,” so if you hate them leave them out.

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Yet another snow day!

We’ve been pummeled by snow here in New Haven this winter. This is the third big blizzard in the last three weeks — the first came conveniently when my snow-hating sub-tropical parents came for a visit for Christmas! Merry Christmas, parents!

This morning we woke up to about 15 inches of accumulation outside. Not quite knowing yet whether classes would be canceled (they were), Greg and I got up bright and early to begin the shoveling work. Let me rephrase, Greg began the shoveling work, and I began the breakfast work. Funny, the conventional gender norms I so actively resisted in the past I now actively embrace when they mean I get to stay warm and dry and bake!

Side note: I’ve come to realize that the biggest hazard of snow days in my life is not slippery sidewalks or falling branches, but rather an oafish, occasionally clumsy husband. Despite countless promises to take good care of me, this morning he accidentally elbowed me in the face! Yes, bruises and swelling galore, and you might notice an extra bump or two on my nose the next time you see me.  Needless to say, my husband feels worse than I do.

Also, our camera broke over the holidays and now we’re working on recycled, old cameras–does anybody have suggestions for a proper camera to purchase?

Blueberry-Banana Oat Muffins

3 T olive oil
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oats
2 T brown sugar
3 t baking powder
1 c frozen blueberries
milk, as needed

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners (ours had seasonally-appropriate snowmen on them) or lightly grease the tin with olive oil or butter. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix olive oil, eggs, and bananas until bananas are completely mashed. (Without a stand mixer, mash bananas first, then whisk together with olive oil and eggs.)

Add in the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Fold blueberries into the batter, adding milk as needed if the batter looks dry.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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