When Friends Give you Bananas…
My weekend-long adventure of biking over 100 miles for MS research yielded several revelations. First, I realized how lucky I am to live in an area that boasts so much natural beauty. During the ride, I covered more counties in Kentucky than I’ve explored since moving here four years ago. Biking through the bluegrass, watching the sunrise over rolling hills and enjoying two days of beautiful sunshine made me realize how truly lucky I am to be privy to such natural wonder. Second, I developed a deep appreciation for padded cycling shorts. I nearly fainted when I first caught a glimpse of myself in the tightest, most unflattering shorts I’d ever donned. After my minor meltdown, I made peace with the fact that these were designed to be purely functional, not runway worthy. I tried desperately to avoid mirrors at all costs for the duration of the race; but after I sat on that bike seat for 10+ hours over the course of two days, I was utterly grateful for the padded spandex, however unattractively they clung to my thighs.
And third, due to the thoughtful friends waiting at the finish line with filled coolers, I arrived home with 5+ pounds of super-ripe bananas. Hmmmmmm, what to do? I was born with the unique inability to throw food away, so I decided I would find an easy recipe to turn all these mushy bananas into several desserts to share with friends. I know what you are thinking – “Duh, Cara, banana bread!” but it’s summertime and I wanted something lighter.
After googling “healthy banana recipes,” I found this list from Cooking Light reminiscent of Bubba Gump’s options for shrimp. Apparently, banana recipes are infinite! Wiped out from my weekend ride, I scoured the recipes with three factors in mind: looks tasty + easy to make + few ingredients. I settled on the banana mousse recipe and bought a few pie crusts to pour it into.
Here’s the recipe I “Cara-fied” by adding estimating ingredients for taste and consistency and adding some honey, stevia and fat free whip for good measure.
|Contributor: Keep the Beat, Heart Healthy Recipes, NHLBI-Adapted by Cara, IntensifiedMakes 4 servings of mousse, or one pie; play around with doubling, tripling or quadrupling if you have a million pounds of ‘naners like I did!
2 Tbsp lowfat milk
4 tsp sugar (Note: I used honey and stevia to taste!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 medium banana, cut in quarters
1 C plain lowfat yogurt
8 slices (1/4 inch) banana
Place milk, sugar, vanilla and banana in food processor. Process for 15 seconds at high speed until smooth.
Pour mixture into small bowl and fold in yogurt. Pour into pie crusts if making pies, then chill.
Garnish each with banana slices, slivered almonds, cocoa or coconut just before serving!
Note: If making pies, they are best kept in the freezer to harden up. Simply remove and set at room temp for about 15-20 minutes before serving.