8 Bananas

There they were. Waiting patiently on the counter. Perfectly ripe. Forgotten. Ignored. Thrown over for watermelon, berries and that rare bird—affordable organic grapes. 

Throw them in the freezer I say but, yikes, there's already a stash in there taking up most of a frozen shelf. Waste is not an option. Can I do it? Use (if not consume) 8 bananas today without making banana bread. 

4 Banana Cake with Caramelized Bananas

It's NOTHING like banana bread because it's cake and feels like it. Light and tender with a cinnamon-sugar dusting and rich caramelized bananas. I made it in a 9 x 12 pan, flipped it out, cut it in half and stacked it for a lazy lady's layer cake.

2 Banana Mango Ice "Cream"

Frozen bananas and mango chunks, a splash of coconut milk, a lime's worth of zest. Healthy and creamy (although it's freezes quite hard so it's at its most luxuriously creamy right after making). 

2 Banana Lemon Curd Pistachio and Chocolate Peanut Frozen Pops 

Heading for the finish line I scoured the pantry and found a jar of lemon curd, chocolate and nuts. The chocolate and nuts are a traditional combination and delicious but the lemon curd/pistachio was really good and surprising. This I will make over and over. I ended up slicing the frozen treat and eating them like chips, so next time I would skip the sticks.

It only took the whole afternoon but I did it. Mostly. I lost a banana and a half when they fell apart during caramelizing (delicious though so maybe not wasted). 

Banana Cake with Caramelized Bananas

For the cake recipe click here 

For the Caramelized Bananas, slice 2-3 bananas lengthwise through the middle (so they lie flat and don't curl up at the edges) heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon or so of butter and cook the bananas undisturbed for 3-4 minutes until browned. Flip and sprinkle with raw/turbinado sugar and cook until melted and brown on the other side. Use a large, thin metal spatula to transfer to plate and put of the top of the cake when cool.

Banana Mango Ice "Cream"

2 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 mango (1 cup), cut into chunks and frozen
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Zest from one lime (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and run until creamy, about 4 minutes with lots of stops to scrape down sides of bowl.

Lemon Curd Pistachio and Chocolate Peanut Banana Pops

2 bananas
2 wooden sticks (optional)
1-2 tablespoon lemon curd
1 tablespoons salted pistachios, chopped
1-2 tablespoons chocolate sauce*
1 tablespoon salted peanuts, chopped

*Put 3 tablespoons chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon butter in heatproof dish and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir and add 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Microwave for another 10 seconds. Stir until smooth. Let cool to thicken a bit.

Brush bananas with lemon curd or chocolate sauce and sprinkle with nuts. Freeze until hard, approximately 3 hours.


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