This month we are looking at Bananas. There seems to be so many around at the moment and what better fruit to put in a blender with some milk to make a milkshake or smoothie as part of your 5 a day? With so many recipes to choose from, as usual, I went for easy ones, but also some my grandchildren like so very child friendly?

Unfortunately, I am allergic to fresh Bananas so have to avoid them, but I can still use powdered flavouring without any affect for some reason. You can add Bananas to trifle or ice-cream to make a quick dessert, or just peel one whole and decorate with chocolate and cream. Why not try the Banana loaf recipe below which is not only easy to do but is very moist?
Buen Apetito

Banana Loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup butter
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1⁄3 cups mashed very overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 9 x 5 loaf tin. In large bowl, combine flour, soda and salt. In separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into centre of loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.

Banana and Toffee Pancakes

Basic Recipe for Pancakes
1 egg
300ml milk
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Cooking oil or butter

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the egg. Whisk or stir well whilst adding the milk a little at a time. Mix until there are no lumps. The mixture can be stored in a fridge for up to six hours. Heat a small amount of oil in a suitable pan, ensuring it covers the entire pan. Pour some of the mixture into the pan and quickly move it around so it spreads evenly. Once one side is cooked toss the pancake and cook the other. To tell if the pancake is cooked, look for small bubbles forming on the side. Repeat until all the mixture is used. Serve with lemon and sugar, jam, maple syrup, honey, chocolate spread or your favourite topping.
250g butter toffee
3 tbsp milk
6-8 ripe ripe bananas sliced (one per person)

Make the batter as above and then leave to stand for half an hour. Put the broken toffee and the milk in a heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over a low heat until the toffee has melted and the sauce is smooth. Fry the pancakes and stack up them and keep them warm while you cook the rest. Place slices of banana down the middle of the pancake and pour over generous amounts of toffee sauce. Fold over each side of the pancake into the middle. Stack up or lay out on a plate and serve with more sauce.

Banana Muffins

1 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup margarine
2 eggs
4 bananas
1⁄3 cup water
11⁄3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mix your sugar, margarine, eggs, banana & water in bowl. Add flour, baking soda, salt & baking powder in the same bowl & mix together. Mix in chocolate chips by hand in desired. Set oven at 350°F. Prepare muffin cases in a trays & bake for 25 minutes.

Banana Fritters

Oil (for deep frying, olive oil is typically used)
1 cup cornflour (also called masa harina)
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 tblsp butter, melted
1 egg
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 tblsp white rum
2 tblsp milk
4 firm ripe bananas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tblsp dark brown sugar

Heat oil to 375°F in a deep fryer. Mix cornflour and sugar in a bowl. Add butter, egg, salt, rum, and milk, stirring until it forms a thick batter. Peel bananas and cut into quarters. Mix cinnamon with brown sugar. Sprinkle half the cinnamon/ brown sugar mixture on the banana quarters. Roll banana quarters in the batter and drop carefully into the hot oil, a few at a time. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once, until golden brown. Drain fried bananas on paper towels and dust with remaining cinnamon/brown sugar mixture. Continue until all banana quarters are fried and dusted. Serve warm.

Stovetop Banana Pudding

2 eggs
1½ cups of milk
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp vanilla essence
¾ cup of flour
6 bananas
1 pkt of cookies or biscuits (any) broken up
1 pinch ground nutmeg
I pinch cinnamon

In a large pan, combine eggs, milk, salt and vanilla. Mix in flour and stir mixture over heat until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in bananas and cookies. Place in dish, add nutmeg and cinnamon and serve.