Tag Archives: fruit

Frozen Bananas – icky, but oh so useful…

5 Feb

I’ve blogged about freezing bananas before. They are beyond icky and peeling them makes your thumbs go numb. So today, as I was switching between peeling frozen bananas, and running my hands under warm water to bring my thumbs back to life, I was also pondering a better system. It turns out you can freeze bananas already peeled. It works, it’s easy and they survive the freezer just fine. I tried this out the other day, in anticipation of this moment, and froze a peeled banana in a zip lock bag. Peachy keen jelly bean!  Low and behold today there was one (perfectly fine) less icky frozen banana to peel.

Having said all that, if you do continue to freeze them in their skins (I don’t know, because maybe you don’t want to use plastic because the banana already comes in a perfectly fine “freezer pouch” (it’s skin) and you are virtuous and lovely and want to save the dolphins, or something and you can bare the possibility of losing your thumbs in a frostbite like banana baking incident) then here is a tip for you too. I used to let them thaw before I peeled them; it was just gross. It was sloppy, messy and they were much harder to peel. It turns out that they peel easier straight out of the freezer and you can be quite rough with them which makes the process faster. Another idea: peeling frozen bananas works better if you peel chunks of their skin off SIDEWAYS, rather than the lengthways way you would if you were going to eat them.

So there you go; icky frozen bananas made just slightly less ickier.

Summer Fruit Blendies!

23 Dec

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It’s hot here. Like, I mean it is really hot. Summer has arrived and for me that means it’s Fruit Blendies (smoothie) time. The “Boost Juice” places that are around are so yum, there is no denying that – but do you know why? Its called sugar, people. 🙂 The one thing my dentist really tells me to avoid is those places. Sigh and sadface, Mr Dentist. But never fear, and alternative is here! Have a go at these two blendies. Less sugar than those places, and full on delicious anyway.

In both cases add all ingredients to a blender. Blend. Pour. Drink. Enjoy.

Recipe 1 – What you need:
1 mango
1/2 banana
1/2 lime (juice of)
Handful of berries (whatever you have)
2 mint leaves (I use more, but I like mint)
Handful of ice
1 cup of milk (can leave this out if you would rather dairy free.)

or/

Recipe 2 (Dairy Free) – What you need:
1/2 banana
1 orange (juice of)
2 strawberries
2 mint leaves
6 blueberries
Handful of watermelon chunks (remove seeds)
1/2 slice of pineapple or wedge of rock melon
Handful of ice

Yummo! Obviously these blendies can be made year round, but summer fruits actually being in season at the moment is too good an opportunity to miss! 🙂

There are heaps of idea for these drinks out there. If you have a tried and tested one, share it with us in the comments below. 🙂

Sam’s Double Choc Raspberry Brownie Cups

14 Oct

These are made with the usual Double Choc Brownie recipe I use, however, in this case I substitute the plain flour with self raising flour. (You can make the normal recipe, if you want more of a “cupcake” rounded look. They still taste great.) If you DO substitute the self raising flour, for whatever reason, they rise, and then collapse in the middle. I suspect they are torn between the will to rise, and their insanely rich density, and it all gets too much for them. Happy accident for us, because it makes the perfect little cup to fill with raspberry buttercream, and then pop a sweet little raspberry on top. If they don’t want to sink in the middle I find calling them horrid names while banging the tray on a chopping board (while they are still hot) helps. 🙂

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For me, in this case, the raspberry buttercream, and even more so the raspberry on top is, as they say on the Telly, the real “hero” here. For me, it cuts through the heaviness of the chocolate brownie.

What’s in the buttercream?

Based on the basic recipe in The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE

  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 240 grams pure icing sugar (You might need to adjust this and add more, depending on your raspberries. Keep it handy.)
  • a few raspberries, keep adding until you are happy with the taste/colour (I use frozen, because that’s what I usually have around.)

Beat the butter, until it is as white as possible. Sift the icing sugar. Push the raspberries through a sieve (I usually use both the juice and the pulp, because I like the raspberry seeds in the buttercream, but pushing it through the sieve breaks the fruit down.) Beat the icing sugar and the raspberry “puree” into the butter in two batches. Use a piping bag and nozzle to pipe into the brownies. (If you do not have a piping bag, Google how to make them out of a plastic bag, or greaseproof paper, it’s pretty easy.)

These brownies are full on rich, like for reals people. Rich as, bro. Enjoy!

A note, but not a lecture: When buying the choc chips and the cocoa powder, I strictly avoid the Nestlé brand. I initially came across the international boycott of this brand at my first University. They had a campus wide ban, and I was cranky because I couldn’t buy a certain chocolate bar I liked. It was an effective way of getting the message out there, and it certainly changed my view of things.
There is plenty of information about this boycott on the internet, and I’ll allow you to do your own research. 2 minutes of Googling and you’ll know enough to inform your choice.

Fabulous Fruit

9 Oct

I find it heaps easier to remember to eat fruit if it’s cut up and looking ridiculously stunning.

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Sure, I could present it in a beautiful white bowl, with some natural yogurt and honey in the background (YUM btw), but that’s not what this blog is about. It is about me, at 6am, making my lunch for work and thinking, “Gosh, that is just too easy (and delicious!) not to share!” That’s all.

What’s in it?

  • An orange (segmented)
  • A handful of blueberries
  • Half a punnet of strawberries (halved with their greens removed)
  • A few mint leaves from the garden thrown in at the last minute.

Just you try NOT (healthily) snacking on that all day, I dare ya! 🙂

Seasonal Note: While different varieties of oranges are available throughout the year (Navel in the warmer months and Valencia in the cooler), in Australia blueberries and strawberries are only in season in Summer. That’s December, January, February. Just something for us all to keep in mind. 😉

Apple Streusel Muffins

7 Oct

These are one of my favourite muffins, and they look and taste fancy, without a lot of work.

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Some notes on this recipe:

  • I have made these with tinned apple, and it was fine, but I have always used fresh green apples since, and you can really tell the difference. If I have them in the house, I use fresh.
  • I also often substitute some of the apple weight for berries (apples and fresh blueberries has been our latest fav combo).
  • Usually there is more streusel mix than you can use. I freeze the rest for next time. There is always a next time with these. 🙂

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I don’t claim to be making these recipes up. Simply enjoying the fruits (pun intended) of the labours of people who actually know what they are doing.

This is one from The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE.

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Seasonal Note: In Australia apples are in season in Autumn. That’s March, April, May, while blueberries are in season in Summer. That’s December, January, February. Just something for us all to keep in mind. 😉

Better Banana Bread than you can buy

7 Oct

One of the things I love about Banana Bread is that we, as a society, have come to a socially constructed agreement that we will all ignore the obvious fact that essentially it is cake. It is CAKE, people! 🙂 We shall ignore it, and continue to uphold the delicious assumption that Banana “Bread” is the ok-breakfast-afternoon-anytime cake, for which we SHALL NOT BE JUDGED too heavily for enjoying. 🙂 Enjoy.

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This is how I used to make banana bread:

1. Buy bananas
2. Leave them in my fruit bowl until they are no longer recognizable as bananas
3. Feel sad and/or guilty about it for a day or so, regretfully throw out the bananas, while pouting sadly at them
4. Go to the shops and buy banana bread. (It’s not as nice as your homemade woulda been, Sam, but at least it actually exists. Unlike your planned banana bread, Sam, that never happened because you are a wasteful fool, SAM!)

Funnily enough, this wasn’t working for me. I finally learned to listen to the “Mums” around me who were convinced that you could freeze blackened bananas (at step 2 or even 3 above), and they were of course right. Thanks Mums of the world! How do you guys know this stuff? 🙂

SO – this is how I NOW make banana bread, and like, *flicks hair* omg, it is so much better than store bought bread. 🙂

Banana Bread is one of my favourite “pretend healthy” things to make. One by one, I freeze the poor neglected fruit bowl rejected bananas until I have 4 ugly horrible gooey black (delicious) ‘nanas frozen and ready to go for when the cooking mood strikes.

Here is the recipe I use. It is from the October 2009 edition of Australian Good Food Magazine. I always skip the nuts (personal preference), but NOT the lemon. Trust me, the lemon MAKES this recipe. It says use four bananas, but I find three works better. Four (“normal” sized) bananas tends to make the mixture too wet, and its hard to get it to cook just right.

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Tip: There is no escaping the fact that it is really, really icky peeling thawed, frozen, blackened bananas. It’s just so gross. I try to go to my happy place while doing it. If you are grossed out too, I find it helps, if while peeling off their skin – you smile and think to yourself, “It is just a banana. Just a banana. Come on, harden up!” I don’t know why, but it helps me, anyway.

Seasonal Note: In Australia bananas are pretty much in season all year. So that’s good news for homemade, sustainable banana bread. 🙂

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