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June 19, 2008

Yes! We Have No Bananas!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about BANANAS

I had no idea what I was doing for my TT this week. I thought about it while eating my porridge. I glanced around my kitchen and my gaze lit on it–inspiration in the form of one lonely banana. I hereby dedicate my TT to the humble banana.

1. Bananas are originally from Malaysia, but they have spread throughout the world and grow well in tropical areas.

2. Bananas plants are not trees but are actually herbs.

3. Bananas are high in potassium. They also contain protein, Vitamins A, B & C and have trace elements of iron and zinc. In other words, they’re good for you.

4. One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

5. When buying bananas select ones that are slightly green, firm, and without bruises. If the bananas have a gray tint and a dull appearance, these have been refrigerated, preventing them from ripening properly. Personally, I prefer eating bananas that are on the green side. In our house ripe bananas get converted to banana cake. That’s the only way I can eat a ripe banana without barfing.

6. Ripe bananas can be peeled, chopped into pieces and frozen for later use in smoothies or baking.

7. Most parents have probably heard of the Bananas in Pyjamas. Here’s the link to the website, if you’re interested. There are games, stories and things to make for kids at the website.

8. Bananas are the world’s favorite fruit. Today there are about 400 varieties of bananas. Chiquita is one of the leading distributors of bananas worldwide.

9. The fruit fingers grow in clumps known as hands, since they resemble a hand with fingers. The entire stalk, known as a bunch, takes up to a year for the fruit to ripen enough to be harvested.

10. The original stem dies after producing fruit, but sideshoots rise from the same underground corm to produce a new plant to be harvested the following year. The fruit itself is sterile, unable to produce a plant from the miniscule dark seeds within. The tree itself also has uses. The leaves are used as wrappers to steam foods in Latin, Caribbean, and Asian cultures. The banana flower is also edible, but if you eat the flower, you obviously won’t get any fruit.

11. Some banana trees continue producing up to one hundred years, although most banana plantations renew their stock every ten to twenty-five years.

12. The cliche “One foot on a banana peel the other in the grave” means almost dead or near death and orginated in the United States.

13. Banana Cake (Shelley’s favorite recipe – from the Edmonds Cookery Book)

Banana Cake125g (4 oz) butter
175g (6 oz) sugar
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
1 teaspoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons boiling milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
225g (8oz) flour

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, mashed bananas, then baking soda dissolved in boiling milk. Lastly add flour and baking powder previously mixed. Bake in two greased sandwich tins for 20 mins at 180 degrees C (350F).

Note – I tend to improvise when I cook anything. I like to add either walnuts or chocolate raisins or plain chocolate chips to my cake. I cook mine in one loaf tin. I also like to add some wholemeal flour so substitute some of the white for wholemeal. My oven is a fan bake one and it tends to cook more quickly so I set my timer for ten minutes and check my cake. Normally it takes around 15 minutes before the top springs back when I touch it and/or cracks appear in the top. Once cool I ice with either chocolate icing or lemon icing, depending on my mood. I make a glace icing with icing sugar, a bit of butter, cocoa and a dash of boiling water to bring it to the right consistency.

Do you like bananas? If so, what is your favorite way to eat a banana? Hey! No naughty thoughts…

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  1. Christina Phillips

    argh I really want a slice of that banana cake now, Shelley! It looks delicious. Instead I have to go into the kitchen and whip something up for dinner. hopefully without burning it! (I’m copying your recipe, rather fancy it with chocolate chips!!)

  2. Shelley Munro

    It’s very yummy, Christina. Hubby actually made a banana cake this week. He put coconut and walnuts in his. I’d never have thought about coconut, but it was delicious. He’s being rather smug about it too, which is a bit of a cheek, since I was in charge of cooking. Chocolate raisins are a really good addition. :grin:

  3. Adelle Laudan

    I haven’t made banana bread in ages. My brother in law makes the BEST. Of course, there’s always those little candy bananas, yummy!
    Happy T13!

  4. J.K. Coi

    I LOVE banana bread!
    I actually like it plain without any nuts or chocolate, but my husband likes the chocolate, so every time I make it, I have to make two. But that’s okay, because then I get a whole one to myself!

  5. Nina Pierce

    OMG! That cake looks decadent!

    Have you ever heard there’s a poisonous seed in the bottom stem of the banana? My SIL believes it will kill her and she won’t eat the last bite.

    Still scratching my head on that one!

  6. Tempest Knight

    OMG! These are all too tempting, you, evil woman. :lol:

  7. Sarah @ pussreboots

    My daughter loves bananas. Happy TT.

  8. Alice Audrey

    That cake sure looks good.

    Lately I’ve been dipping my bananas in peanut butter. Such decadence!

  9. Gabriele

    I had to eat too many bananas as kid; I can’t stand them any longer.

  10. Bethanne

    That banana bread looks fabulous! YUM

  11. Amy Ruttan

    Mmmm I love bananas! Love them.

    In fact when I was pregnant with Boo (my first) I craved banana popsicles like crazy.

    Frozen banana treats.

    Which now, since it cures hangovers, makes sense. I was insanely ill during my first pregnancy.

  12. Sandra

    This was a good one, Shelley! Of course, all your blogs are:) I didn’t realize bananas could be frozen. My bud makes banana muffins and adds walnuts and chocolate chips. Absolutely wondrous.

  13. Shelley Munro

    It sounds like bananas are universally popular.

    Gabriele – I’m a bit like that with feijoeas. We ate buckets of them when we were kids, and I hate the smell of them now. I can’t eat over ripe bananas. I’m very fussy when it comes to which bananas I’ll eat.

    Amy – frozen bananas are yummy. I can understand craving them.

    Sandra – you can freeze them in their skins as well, although they come out of the freezer with the skins looking pretty gross.

  14. Lisa Andel

    Hey woman!!!
    I once saw a show on TV about bananas and they had all these different FLAVORED bananas growing. I haven’t been able to find any reference since, but the reminded me of ice cream flavors. I’d never known there were so many different varieties!

  15. Jenyfer Matthews

    I make banana bread all the time and it freezes wonderfully. If I make it in a muffin tin it’s even easier to pull a single serving out of the freezer!

  16. Janice

    That cake looks good, can you save a slice for me?

    I love bannas and miss the homemade banana ice cream my dad use to make in his old crank handled ice cream maker.

    My daughter mom and sis don’t like bananas. I personally love them.

    Another bit of banana lore is that if you eat bananas the misquitos will bite you.

    Janice~ :grin:

  17. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I am currently allergic to bananas — if I eat them without anything else. If I put something with them, I can eat them. Good thing. I really like bananas. This allergy stuff’s got to stop.

  18. Wylie Kinson

    My family LOVES my banana muffins (I like the whole ‘single serving’ idea of a muffin as opposed to bread/cake) so I made a double batch last Sunday and it lasted all the way until… TUESDAY!

    We had bananas growing in our yard in Bermuda, and yes, they’re very interesting how the new shoots come up next to the dead post-fruited tree. There’s a whole underground system.

    Another great, informative post, Shelley :)

  19. Heather

    I can’t eat ripened bananas either unless in banana bread. Those with a little green to them are definitely best!

  20. amanda ashby

    Urgh – I’ve never been able to eat bananas – much to my mother’s fury since bananas are so easy to feed kids! Thankfully, I have no problems eating banana cake, though I prefer it with cream cheese icing!!!