Friday, April 6, 2012

Banana French Toast - A new way to use an old banana

I know I'm not the only one that has experienced this scenario: I buy beautiful (still slightly green) bananas one day, only to find that splotchy brown color that kids refuse to eat, starting only a few days later.

I've tried almost all the tricks for extending the life of fresh bananas. I've taken them apart, kept them together, put them in special bags, and I’ve hung them. I’ve even pampered my bananas in the palm tree banana hammock. None of these techniques worked for any noticeable time, but there are two other options that I haven't tried yet. Supposedly, wrapping the perfectly ripened bananas in brown paper bags and refrigerating them will allow the skin to darken slowly, but the fruit will maintain that perfectly ripened flavor.
There is also a gadget I stumbled on called the Banana Bunker. It's a sturdy plastic container, shaped like a banana, with a section of bellows like a bendy straw. Storing your single banana in the Banana Bunker will allow your family to carry around a healthy snack in purses, backpacks or briefcases. I don't carry around bananas, so this is one gadget I won’t be testing out, but I did find it interesting.

I keep a Ziplock bag in the freezer, and just toss the bananas in as soon as they hit the ugly stage. Some folks prefer to remove the peel and chop them into chunks before freezing, but I only bother if I’m making pre-measured fruit smoothie mixes. When the banana is frozen, the skin turns black right away, but the fruit will be perfect for mashing when you’re ready for it. When ready, remove the number of bananas needed, and let them thaw for a few minutes before removing the skin. The bananas at this point will be mushy, and half mashed already, but that just saves me from doing all the mashing myself!
Often my frozen bananas will be in there for months before I feel like making anything with them, and occasionally I would like something different than bread or cake. That's where this recipe comes in!

Last weekend I had two of those ugly bananas to use up, and didn't feel like banana bread. I found this interesting recipe called Easy Banana French Toast, posted to by TheDangerChef and had to try it. I've seen lots of recipes for banana stuffed French toast, but I'd never seen a recipe that adds the banana right to the egg mix and uses it as part of the batter. My 5 year old mashed the bananas and measured the spices. I made some adjustments, other than just doubling the banana, to the original recipe. It needed more egg and the addition of some milk to cover six slices of sandwich bread, so you’ll find my version below. I served it with peanut butter, butter and maple syrup. My family LOVED it!

Banana Battered French Toast
2 bananas
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 slices bread

In a shallow bowl, mash bananas with a fork until most of the lumps are gone. Whisk in the eggs, spices and vanilla extract. Preheat a griddle (350°) or a frying pan and wipe down with a thin layer of canola oil, or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Dip slices of bread into the egg and banana mixture and transfer to griddle. Cook 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until lightly browned.

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TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License