CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Bananas Are Ripe For Cake

Just about everyone likes a good banana. But when the skin of that yellow fruit that has its roots in the tropics and is a good source of potassium starts to turn brown, all bets are off for a lot of people. A lot of brown bananas get thrown away just because of their looks. Probably just as many overripe ones are tossed in banana bread, one of my favorites.

bananacakePersonally, I don’t mind brown bananas. And as a matter of fact, bananas that have started to turn brown are better for you than yellow or green ones. That’s unless you’re a diabetic.

You see, when bananas turn brown, the resistant starch has almost completely transformed into simple sugars. This can make your blood sugar spike much more quickly than if you eat a yellow or green banana. A ripe banana can contain almost 91 percent sugar. Diabetics should stick with unripe bananas.

On the plus side, a brown banana has a higher level of antioxidants than yellow or green, unripe bananas. It’s also easier to digest for people with digestive ailments, including irritable bowel and functional abdominal bloating.

One way to get around throwing out brown bananas is to use the in banana bread, like I do. Here are a couple of other recipes in which you can make use of ripe bananas.

The cake recipe is one Therese tried the other day. It was very tasty. The second came from former co-worker and friend Candace Decker, who originally hails from western North Dakota but now calls Ohio her home.

We haven’t tried Candace’s recipe yet, but it won’t be too far down the road when we do, since there are about a half-dozen ripe bananas in our freezer, which is a good place to keep them if you can’t use them immediately.

Banana Snack Cake
1 cup butter
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 cup ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
6-ounce bag chocolate chips
Chopped nuts
Mix all of the ingredients and place in a 9-by-13-inch greased cake pan. Top mixture with nuts. Cook in a 350-degree preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

Banana Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
3 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 egg
1¼ cup skim milk
¾ cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk other ingredients. Add together. Mix in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin tin. Bake uncovered 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

One thought on “CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Bananas Are Ripe For Cake”

  • Ann Bailey January 22, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Another good recipe, Jeff. I love reading (and making) your recipes. I made the lasagna recipe you posted last week for one of the families whose children were in the bus/train accident. I sampled a spoonful of the sauce and it was delicious. Ellen and I are going to make the lasagna for our family soon.


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