Fresh bananas taste incredibly well when they are eaten straight from the peel. This often makes us forget the fact that bananas can be used in so many other ways, especially when it comes to making some fine desserts. There are a number of dessert recipes where the banana is the hero. You can use bananas for making cakes, muffins, pies, bread, puddings and a bunch of other delightful desserts that can be conveniently and quickly prepared at home. If you master the art of making desserts with bananas, you would not need to bring home expensive desserts from the premium pastry shop every now and then. Making desserts with bananas can be particularly helpful for stay at home parents who have to repeatedly satisfy their children’s sugar cravings while making sure that the little ones are receiving proper nutrition.
For those of you who are not aware, bananas are a tropical fruit. There was a time when bananas were not as widely available in this country as they are today. Nowadays, the bananas that you see in the mass market stores are brought in from different parts of the world. Not all the bananas look or taste the same. There are quite a few different varieties of bananas out there and each one has its own unique flavour profile. The yellow Cavendish banana is the most popular choice for eating fresh from the peel and also for use in rustic homemade desserts. Other types of bananas include the burro, which is shorter in length compared to the yellow Cavendish. The burro has a creamy coloured flesh. The blue java is another type of banana that is preferred when making desserts. The blue java is basically a plump type banana that is packed with extra sweetness which makes it an ideal ingredient for desserts. You also have the baby banana, which is essentially a miniature version of the Cavendish. It measures no more than three inches in length.
Ripe and Unripe Bananas
Bananas can be bought and used in desserts at different stages of ripeness. It all depends on your personal preferences and the type of dessert that you are going to be using them for. It is worth noting that bananas that are green and unripe are not at all suitable for consumption or cooking. Yellow bananas with green patches on the tip on the other hand are just fine. Be sure to buy your bananas from a reliable vendor. Do not get tricked into buying unripe bananas, unless you have a few days to spare before making the dessert.
Avoid Using Mushy Bananas
It is never a good idea to use bananas that have softened a little too much on the inside. When bananas become too ripe, brown and black specks start appearing on the peel on the fruit. If you want to use these bananas, you can mash them before cooking them. Mashed bananas can be preserved and prevented from becoming brown by adding a few drops of lemon juice. A lot of people make the assumption that using mashed bananas for desserts is not going to make much of a difference. In reality, the quality of the banana used has a massive impact on the taste and texture of any dessert that is made using this fruit.
When you have bought a stock of bananas to make a particular dessert, you need to be careful about storing them at the right temperature. Keep the bananas away from the heat and store them at room temperature. If you want to slow down the ripening process, then simply refrigerate the bananas. Keeping ripe bananas in the refrigerator extends their shelf life by a few days. Do not be deterred by the sight of a browning peel. The flesh of the fruit is usually not affected by the cold. Once again, it is better to not refrigerate bananas and use them while they are still fresh and plump.
Bananas add a depth of flavour to your dessert. Most importantly, they provide textural balance when you really need one. The smooth and creamy texture of the banana turns an ordinary fruit salad into a delicious treat. Do not mash the bananas when you are using them in the fruit salad. Simply slice them up and coat them with condensed milk for an extra bit of creaminess. The smooth texture of bananas makes them a welcome addition to ice cream, yogurt, puddings and custards.
You could also enhance the sweetness of bananas by drying them up or candying them. Candied and dried bananas can be served as snacks. For more elaborate cooking, you can bake, boil, sauté and steam bananas to make you your own special sweet treat.