Top Banana

Josephine Baker in a banana skirt, Paris Folies

Several days ago I was doing a search on “salad without lettuce”, because frankly, I’m sick of lettuce. (There are lots of interesting ideas out there on “salad without lettuce”, and I’ve enjoyed the same for lunch two days running.) In the course of this search, I happened upon a blog called “Vegan Crunk.” What I could see of the blurb on Google said  “Today was my monthly raw food cleanse, and I ate a ton of salads without crunching down on a single piece of …”

It is remarkable, to say the least, that I clicked the link. But I did and I’m glad I did. Though I am not now, nor will ever be a vegan, I’m always looking for interesting ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my life, and this site had about six things I wanted to try on the first page.

Today, I tried one. I was skeptical, but it seemed simple enough, and I had the ingredients: bananas. Yes, just bananas. Bianca Phillips, the blogger, topped hers with a carob syrup. (Made from carob powder, agave and water, which I think is a rookie mistake. Chocolate is good for you– and good quality chocolate does not have milk solids in it. Agave, despite its unearned reputation is one of the most disgustingly refined sweeteners available. If you want chocolate syrup– go for it. Just make sure it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it.) The blogger’s comment on her banana dish was that it was “mind-blowing.”

So I tried it. This morning I chopped two bananas into sections about two inches long and put them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Tonight I got them out and put them (at my husband’s suggestion) into the blender. The blender, kids, does  not work for this. Got out the food processor and dumped in the half-mashed frozen bananas and let it whirl.

The result is astounding. It’s like a very delicate banana pudding combined with a kind of soft serve ice cream. Except it doesn’t have that nasty grainy texture found in so many soft-serves. The texture is more like that of hand-dipped ice cream that’s been stirred until it’s half-melted, soft and silky. It really is sublime. I drizzled a bit of chocolate syrup on mine– but it would be fine without too. Or maybe with a raspberry coulis or a salted caramel sauce. The possibilities are staggering.

Also, since next Tuesday I am going without sugar for the week, it is a way to satisfy my sweet tooth without giving in the evil white manna. And it’s a way to never have to throw out an overripe banana again. (Or even have an overripe banana.) And a way to capitalize on bananas on sale– two funny little urban groceries in the area have days (one Tuesday, one Thursday) where they feature bananas for 25 cents a pound. And bananas are good for you, providing  fiber, vitamins and minerals (including potassium, lacking in many American diets) without cholesterol or fat. It’s said that regularly including bananas in your diet reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. What’s not to love?

Two bananas made about two-thirds of a cup of pureed icy bananas. (I have to come up with a name for this– maybe “Banana Bliss,” or “Banana Dreams” or “Yes We Have No Bananas”  Suggestions are welcome.) This incredible simple dessert is so delicious  that you could serve it at the end of a dinner party. Yes, really that good– no one would ever guess it was just frozen bananas.

Today’s Target 73. Steps 3921

Breakfast: yogurt with granola.  Lunch: No Lettuce salad (half an avocado, two hard-boiled eggs, half a red bell pepper, half a yellow bell pepper, 5 mushrooms, and a tablespoon of “Simply Dressed” bleu cheese dressing. Afternoon snack: a S’more. (I think that might be the last one.) Dinner: tortilla with scrambled eggs and a piece of bacon, half a cup of tater tots.  Two bananas with a teaspoon of chocolate syrup. 

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