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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Cooking > Fruits & Vegetables

Bananas
by Jennifer A. Wickes

Geography

Bananas are only grown in hot, humid, tropical climates.

Science
Musaceae.

Varieties
There are hundreds of varieties of bananas grown around the world. The Cavendish is the most popular in the United States. Other varieties that may be found in specialty markets are: Burro, Blue Java, Dwarf, Manzano, Mysore, Orinoco and the Plantain.

How to Select
This is the only fruit that actually gets better if it is picked while it is unripe. When choosing a ripe banana, choose a plump yellow banana with brown flecks. Avoid any with blemishes.

Green bananas can be bought and allowed to ripen at home on the countertop, or they can be placed in a brown paper bag with holes pierced through it. Storage
Store ripe bananas on the countertop for 3 days or in the refrigerator for several days. If you place the banana in the refrigerator, the skin will turn brown, but the actual fruit will be fine.

Nutritional Qualities
High in carbohydrates, low in fat, high in potassium and Vitamin C.

Trivia
Once peeled, a banana will turn brown fast! To avoid this from happening, brush the banana with lemon juice.

Over-ripe bananas may be frozen in a plastic bag until enough bananas have been saved to make banana bread! Thaw before using.

Wine Pairings
Zinfandel Blanc, Vouvray.

Equivalencies
1 lb. Fresh = 3 medium bananas = 2 cups sliced = 1 3/4 cup mashed = 1 cup dried

Additional Information
http://www.uffva.org

Recipes

Impossible Banana Cream Pie
Recipe By: Public domain recipes converted from Meal Master format

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar -- granulated
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • 2 bananas -- medium, sliced
  • 1 cup whipping cream -- chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar -- powdered

Preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4". Beat milk, butter, vanilla, eggs, granulated sugar and Bisquick till smooth, 30 seconds in blender on High or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake till knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completely. Arrange bananas slices on pie. Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar in chilled bowl till stiff; spread over top.

Yields: 8 servings

Banana Bread
Recipe By: Public domain recipes converted from Meal Master format

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 bananas

Mix together the oil and eggs. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mash bananas and add alternately with dry ingredients to the oil and egg mixture. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Yields: 10 servings

Amazon Fried Bananas Recipe
By: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered

  • 4 banana -- firm ripe
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice -- strained
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • vegetable oil -- for frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 dash liquid hot pepper sauce
  • 2 ounces sliced pimiento -- as garnish

Peel bananas, cut into 1/8-inch slices. Dip into orange juice. Coat with cornmeal. Heat oil to 360-370 degrees F. Fry a few slices at a time, until golden. Drain on a cooling rack and blot with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and pepper sauce. Arrange onto a serving platter. Garnish with pimiento. Serve hot or warm.

Yields: 4 servings

This article was originally published at Suite 101.

Jennifer Wickes is the editor at "Cookbook Reviews" and "Cooking With The Seasons", which has been voted to be one of the Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! For more information about Jennifer Wickes or her columns, please go to: http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/CulinaryJen

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