Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Banana
Bananas grown in Central and South America are available all year round (one of the many reasons we love them so much), but this weeks seasonal ingredient is dedicated to the windward banana, grown only on the Windward Islands in the Caribbean. They're in season from February through to May and put your usual banana to shame. Their unique growing conditions make them sweeter and more succulent, with a much greater depth of flavour than your usual banana.
Where to find them? Sainsburys, Asda, Whole Foods and Waitrose all supply windward bananas, and I'm sure local grocers and health stores would also have them available. And if their sweet flavour isn't reason enough to get your hands on some, they supply a significant amount of potassium and vitamin B6, as well as vitamins A and C - perfect for your immune system and overall health. Their sugars are also a rich source of slow release energy, making them the perfect snack for pre and post workout.
Where to start? Bananas are versatile and delicious in so many different ways, but here are our favourite recipe ideas:
- Starting simple, bananas are great simply sliced down the middle, smeared in nut butter and topped with a sprinkle of seeds, the perfect mid-afternoon snack.
- They're also great grilled. Eat them as they are or try adding it to the top of porridge or pancakes.
- Why not put them in your porridge too? Mashed banana makes a delicious natural sweetener alongside oats and almond mylk. Top with nut butter and berries and you're set for the day!
- In fact you can also put them in your pancakes too. Mashed banana makes a delicious base for pancake batter, simply add eggs, almond meal and cinnamon. Try our recipe here!
- Is there anything bananas can't do? It's a well-known secret that frozen banana also makes delicious, creamy ice-cream. Simply slice and freeze your banana then add to a strong blender or food processor along with a drop of coconut milk and endless flavour options (cacao and peanut butter tops our list).
- And we haven't even got on to cake options yet. Our paleo banana bread is often described as 'addictive' and it doesn't have to stop there. Banana cake, bread, muffins.. they're all delicious. Try adding different flavour variations too.. chocolate banana bread, banana and cranberry muffins, walnut and fig banana cake.
- Let's not forget smoothies too. Banana (frozen or not) makes the perfect base for rich, creamy smoothies. Try adding berries for a fruity boost or almond mylk and peanut butter for something a little more naughty.
- Our favourite post-bbq dessert? Slit a banana lengthways, with the skin still on and stuff with chocolate (we use lindt 70% dark) then leave on the bbq for 5-10minutes. gooey, chocolatey and delicious.