Yes indeed. My lovely friend Rob, kindly gave us a box of beautiful green Bananas the other day. So very timely given the recent devastation of banana crops in far north Queensland. Not one to be greedy I gave away a number of bunches but still many more remained. Now, I must admit these bananas weren’t grown locally however; they were looking for a loving home and lucky for them they came to me.
While the bananas were firm and green I took the opportunity to whip up a beautiful Indonesian banana and coconut curry. Dried coconut, coconut milk and cream are just three of my staple pantry items. Having a fresh batch of red curry paste in the fridge and a plethora of vegetables in the garden meant that I was ready to go. (I haven’t set foot in a supermarket for over 3 weeks – yay me!).
Every fortnight Unk and my aunties Fay and Shirley come up for dessert. I love to make something different for them each time and because we still had a heap of bananas I thought I’d bake us some little chocolate and banana cakes. Now, if you want the recipe you’ll have to consult my girlfriend Nigella because this recipe came from her latest book “Feast”. They are B-E-A-utiful. Thanks girlfriend =)
I thought I’d better freeze some of the bananas for later use. As you can see in my picture below, it’s a fairly simple process. You can freeze bananas at any point of maturity.
Any bananas you freeze, either whole (peeled) or cut will need to be dipped in lemon, lime, grapefruit or Valencia orange juice to stop the bananas from turning brown. They can be stored in snap lock or freezer bags, ensuring that as much air as possible is expelled from the bag before placing into the freezer. Don’t forget to label the bags with the quantity and packing date. I find that most recipes call for two or three bananas so, I made up a few bags of each. Use frozen bananas within about 6 months.
Dry, green bananas can be peeled, cut and frozen for use in curries and other hot dishes.
Just ripe, still slightly green bananas can be peeled, cut in half and an icy pole stick inserted into the cut end. Dip in juice and place into a snap lock or freezer bag before placing into the freezer. Once frozen remove the bananas from the freezer, dip into melted chocolate and place on a tray. Put them back in the freezer until the chocolate is hard. Place them into new freezer bags until you need a cool sugar hit. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a blast freezer the result will be far superior.
Ripe bananas are excellent frozen for use in cakes and puddings. You can mash the banana with a little squirt of juice or leave them whole or sliced. They may be frozen whole in their skins but, frozen skins can be somewhat difficult to remove so I generally freeze them skinless.
Of course if I had a dehydrator I could have also made some lovely banana chips.
Indonesian Banana and Coconut Curry
Lightly toast some shredded coconut in a non-stick pan and set aside.
To the hot pan add a small slug of peanut oil, 1 sliced onion and 1 finely chopped clove of garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Once the onion is cooked add 1-2 teaspoons of red curry paste (or however much you like).
While the onions are cooking peel your green bananas and cut them into ½cm disks. Add them to the pan. Slice your carrots to the same thickness and pop them in, then cut your zucchini into pieces of the same size and add them also. You want to stagger the vegetables in that order so that the firmer vegetables have time to cook.
Add 1 cup of coconut cream or milk and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Simmer for about 5 min or until the vegetables are tender.
Serve on a bed of fluffy rice with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
Ooh lala! Enjoy!