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December 16, 2014
Going Bananas for Sweet Dessert Treats
By Janet Tharpe
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but bananas were always what kept us kids coming back for more! Mom would buy them by the bunches to keep us in the yellow. In fact, I never saw a brown banana until I was an adult... because us kids would gobble them up as soon as she brought them home!
Well, it seems that I'm not alone in my fruit fancying. "I've got two favorite ingredients, bananas and peanut butter," says home cook Lorie Roach. And she deftly combines those two faves in her stand-out recipe for Roasted Banana Scones with Peanut Butter Glaze. (Insert moment of reverential silence.) What a terrific recipe this is! Light and flavorful, these little dears are everything you'd ever want in a scone. And did I mention the sweet peanut butter glaze? Oh, my. "It's a delicious breakfast recipe," admits Lorie. In fact, they're so good that we also love to serve them as an unusual twist on dinnertime dessert.
Perhaps more traditional, at least to those of us growing up in southern kitchens, is good old banana pudding. What I can't get over, though, is how very much can be done to punch up the simple, classic dish! Becky Campbell's Rich-N-Creamy take on banana pudding had tongues wagging at a recent birthday party we hosted for one of the folks on the Kitchen Crew. We've been getting questions about the recipe ever since! "I [originally] got this recipe from a co-worker and have made it many, many times," says Becky. "Everyone just raves about it."
We had exactly the same result at our shindig! Not only did the southern birthday boy give the pudding a thumbs-up, but so did every single party guest. The secret is in the generous addition of sweetened condensed milk! It adds a non-traditional depth of richness that made for a downright addictive dessert. A must-try for any puddin' fan.
Just like my own mama's banana bread, Audra LeNormand of Liberty, TX found her favorite banana recipe by looking to her family. "My Aunt Maxine gave me this recipe," she says of her decadent banana cake. "It is so good and moist." The from-scratch cake gets a healthy infusion of homemade banana syrup before being piled high with layers of fresh banana slices. Can you say de-lish?
"The recipe is over 100 years old," explains Audra. I've so cherished [my aunt] giving it to me. She only made it on special occasions and everyone looked forward to it." This cake makes for a truly impressive presentation and is delicious served with a freshly whipped batch of cream... or all by itself!
Whether you prefer your fruit in the raw or baked into one of these decadent sweet treats, don't forget to leave a spot for 'em at your family table. As sweet as they are nutritious, bananas may just be our secret weapon to a deliciously healthy future!