Sunday, 11 December 2011

The sacrilege of food waste and an easy recipe to use up left-over bananas

Light and moist banana loaf cake
One of my pet hates is food waste. According to the BBC, figures released in November suggest that the average UK family wastes £680-worth of food every year – shocking really.

I suspect a lot of this is down to ‘use by’ dates and people being too careful about eating something that’s a day or too past its best. In truth, most foods will be edible for even weeks past their ‘use by’ dates, but some people aren’t willing to take the risk, and I must admit I'm sometimes culpable of this.

Sometimes, when it comes to meat for example, out-of-date food really isn’t safe and it’s not worth worrying about that. I used to feel really guilty about throwing away food, but I remember reading a Paul McKenna weight-loss book in which he said we won’t stop starvation in Africa alone by not throwing away leftovers.

But whenever I can, I'll freeze or use up what’s in the fridge instead of throwing it away, mainly because I can’t afford to waste food.

One thing that’s always lying around at the end of the week in our house is a handful of over-ripe bananas. These are perfect for a yummy banana loaf so there’s no excuse for binning them. This recipe is really simple, not like when TV chefs show you ‘leftover’ recipes using ingredients that you just would not have lying around.
Perfect with a cup of tea!
It's a recipe I created myself using basic ingredients which you will probably already have in your cupboards.
It takes about ten minutes to prepare, less if you have a mixer, and it lasts for about a week once baked, getting more intense in flavour over the days.

Remember, don’t throw away black bananas - use them in this easy, moist cake which goes perfectly with a cup of tea for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

6oz margarine or butter, softened 
6oz sugar (half caster, half muscovado)
6oz self-raising flour
2 medium, free-range eggs
2 large or 3 small over-ripe bananas, mashed
drop of vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180c and line a medium loaf tin with baking sheet.
2. Beat the butter and sugars until light and coffee-coloured.
3. Slowly add the eggs to the mixture, then mix in the self-raising flour.
4. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and mix gently, taking care not to over-mix.
5. Scoop the cake batter into the tin, dust with a little brown sugar.
6. Bake for about an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.  
7. Leave to cool then remove from tin and wrap in foil. Doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah. I don't bake or cook really, but I'm going to have a go at this. Simon.