The Year of the Monkey has us all going bananas at Young Post. To help you get ready for all the monkeying around you'll be doing in the next year, we've put together a bunch of the most a-peeling ways to eat bananas that will make you and your friends go ape for the long, yellow fruit.
Bananas can be a fickle fruit ... some may even say they split opinion. Aha! You wait and wait for the moment they're that nice yellow colour, and then in an instant it seems they get brown and overripe. If you don't want to keep your bananas under constant surveillance while you wait for the right time to strike, try cooking them when they're green.
The time is ripe
The biggest problem comes when bananas get brown and overripe. They turn all mushy and are slimy and not as pleasant to eat raw. But this is also when they are at their best for cooking.
Chocolate peanut butter green banana smoothie
If you've got a sweet tooth, try a smoothie! Cut up a peeled green banana and throw it in a blender with two tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of cocoa powder and a cup of milk. An easy dessert in a glass.
Chocolate baked bananas
Take an overripe banana, and cut a slit along the side of the peel. Poke a few chocolate chips into the slit, and then wrap the banana up whole in some aluminium foil. Bake it in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. The skin will turn black, but the inside will be a gooey, chocolatey treat of hot melted banana.
Microwaved banana pudding
If you don't have an oven, don't worry. You can still make a delicious treat in your microwave. First melt 100g of butter in a microwave-safe dish. Peel and add two overripe bananas and mash them into the butter. Add 100g of sugar, 100g of flour, two teaspoons of cinnamon, two teaspoons of milk and two eggs and mix it all up well. Then just pop it back into the microwave and cook on high for eight minutes. You can sprinkle the pudding with icing sugar and top it with fresh sliced bananas to make it look fancy. No one will ever know it came out of your microwave.
Of course fresh bananas are best when they are at that perfect yellow point. You don't need to cook anything fancy to get them to taste great, as they're fine to eat just as they are. But if you still want to dress up your bananas a bit, we have some ideas.
Green banana chips
When unripe, bananas have a starchier flavour, more like a potato. And just like a potato, you can use them to make chips and crisps. All you need to do is peel your bananas, cut them up into slices and either fry them in oil or bake them in the oven. If you're baking, make sure your slices are nice and thin to get them crisp. You can season them with salt and serve as a side, or eat them by themselves.
Coconut banana ice cream
Peel four perfectly ripe bananas, cut them into chunks, and lay them out on a flat tray. Freeze them for about an hour and then put them into a blender or a food processer. Add about three tablespoons of coconut milk and blend until creamy. If you want more coconut flavour, add some coconut flakes, or get wild and add some chocolate chips or berries.
Once you have your homemade banana ice cream, why not go all out and turn it into a banana split? Just take another perfectly ripe banana, peel it and cut it evenly down the centre. Put the split banana into a bowl, and top it with a scoop of your coconut banana ice cream. Throw some whipped cream on, plus a few sprinkles and some chocolate sauce, and top with a nice red cherry for the perfect celebration of all things banana.