Join Me in the Kitchen with Vicki McGraw 11-11-19

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Contributing Writer Vicki McGraw
Contributing Writer Vicki McGraw, Elegant Edibles Catering

Ok, here is a crazy question for you…How do you like your bananas? I, for one, want my banana barely yellow- you know, not green, but definitely not dark yellow, or heaven forbid, with any brown spots on it! I don’t like them to be too mushy, either, I like them firm but not hard. Bet you’ve never put this much thought into a banana before, have you? Bananas are a very healthy food, full of potassium, self-contained in their very own packaging, and quite versatile, too. They are not simply a quick snack or topping for your breakfast cereal!

If you are anything like me, you don’t want to waste food, but don’t always have the time to use everything up before it goes bad. I tend to buy bananas most every time I buy groceries. My husband and I like them a lot, but we don’t always finish the bunch before they start to get (in my opinion) over-ripe, so when I feel they are past their prime, I simply put them in the freezer. This is a great idea, provided you eventually take them out of the freezer and use them! I recently cleaned and organized my freezers, both at home and at work, and discovered (please don’t judge me!)…27 frozen bananas! Yikes! I guess I hadn’t made banana bread (or anything else requiring bananas) in quite a while. At this point I felt compelled to make use of this stockpile of what I lovingly refer to as “dead bananas” and make banana bread…11 loaves of banana bread to be exact!

Bananas can provide a quick boost of energy post workout, or when that mid-afternoon slump hits. They are a great “long car ride” snack, because they aren’t crumbly or real sticky. Because they have their own “wrapper”, they can go from counter to lunch box or brief case without hesitation, (and usually will survive said lunchbox experience without too much damage). And now for your crazy, little known fact of the day…Most of us know that monkeys really like bananas, but have you ever seen a monkey open a banana? They don’t break the peel open from the stem end, as most of us (sometimes) struggle to do. They open it from the blossom end…try it yourself, it is actually much easier!

Banana bread, banana muffins, banana smoothies, banana cream pie…all you need are a few “dead bananas”, and voila! You can have a tasty treat and not be wasteful.

Bananas & Cream Protein Bites

¼ C nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew)

¼ C coconut flour

1 small banana, mashed

½ t vanilla

2 T crushed peanuts (if desired)

2 T fine shred coconut (plus additional to roll balls in)

Mix all ingredients well (this can be done in a food processor or by hand). Scoop into walnut sized balls and roll in additional coconut.

Keep refrigerated.

These are gluten free and protein packed!

To read more of Vicki McGraw’s commentaries on good cooking, fine recipes and perfect party treats, visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on Join Me in the Kitchen’s own page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.