Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana - Banana, Blueberry & Ricotta

Today, I decided to have toasted sandwiches for breakfast. I must admit I tend to consider bananas as more of a breakfast/morning food than an afternoon food. Lately, I have been trying to eat a little more healthily, so ricotta cheese has been featuring heavily in my breakfast routine, usually with tomato on wholemeal toast.

This toastie features my morning ricotta cheese, the last of my bananas and a few left over blueberries. The combination of these three ingredients was pleasant. The blueberries gave a little sweetness, and the ricotta brought everything together. The taste may be a bit bland, so you may want to add a little bit of honey to sweeten things up, especially if your blueberries are on the sour side.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Banana - Banana With Cinnamon Coconut

Today’s toastie was a return to basic flavours. I love banana and coconut. These two flavours find themselves in a myriad of recipes ranging from baked banana and coconut loaves, to simply placing chunks of banana on a skewer and rolling them in coconut.

I must be honest; my tastebuds are still in holiday mode, the first thing they though of when pairing banana and coconut was adding a little bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. Yum!

This is one tasty toasted sandwich. It is sweet, warm and gooey. It is definitely one of the better banana toasties featured this month.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Impromptu Toastie – Strawberry & Nutella

Bringing Nutella into my house is dangerous. I can quite literally stand in the kitchen with a spoon and eat the entire jar straight from the jar. In an attempt to reduce the likelihood of an epic Nutella binge, I have decided to make at least one more toastie using this heavenly gooey substance.

I did not have to go far in order to find inspiration for a Nutella toastie. The Nuttella website itself offers a few ideas for eating Nutella, one of which is ‘Nutella Strawberry Wraps.’ This is a simple recipe, spread Nutella on bread, cover with strawberries and make into cute looking wraps. How could I not take this idea and stick it in a toastie maker? It is easy to guess what this toastie tasted like, warm Nutella and strawberries. For those who have not tried Nutella, think of warm strawberries dipped into a chocolate fondue.

Like many sweet toasties, you do not really notice the bread. It provides a little bit of crunch but no real flavour. This is a pleasant toastie and is well worth making, however, I still prefer to eat my Nutella straight from the jar.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Banana - Banana, Nutella & Marshmallow

Despite my naivety regarding the combination of peanut butter and banana, I have heard of combining Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut spread) and banana. Today I am going to take the old banana and Nutella sandwich one-step further and add marshmallows.

To be honest, this toastie was a bit of a let down. I could not taste the marshmallow at all. They had melted into sugar syrup and made their way to the outside of the toastie and all over the grill plates. What a mess! For those reading along in countries where marshmallow spread is readily available, I would be curious to know if it works better than adding real marshmallows.

As many, a foodie would know chocolate and banana is a classic combination, whether it is in cakes, muffins or ice cream. This combination goes equally in a toastie. Banana and Nutella is a winner.

If you find yourself in need a carbohydrate hit, you cannot go past Nutella and banana toasted sandwiched made with white bread.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Banana - Bacon, Banana & Peanut Butter (Elvis Sandwich)

According to Wikipedia, the bacon, banana and peanut butter sandwich was a favourite of the late Elvis Presley. This grilled sandwich is not to be confused with a Fool’s Gold Loaf, which is a combination of bacon, peanut butter and jam packed into a warm hollowed-out loaf of bread.

I must admit my tastebuds were not looking forward to this experiment. The concept of combining peanut butter and banana is foreign to my pallet and not easy to imagine. In an attempt to subdue my reservations about this combination, I performed a web search for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. It appears that this combination is quite common and well regarded amongst banana sandwich eaters. Is it weird that I have never heard of this before?

Anyway, back to the Elvis Sandwich. I received some seriously weird looks from my colleagues for this one. For some reason no one wanted to try some. To be honest, this toasted sandwich did not taste like much at all. All of the flavours mingled together. If I had to choose a flavour to say what it tasted like, it would be peanut butter.

Overall, it was a curious experiment. It was well worth doing just to see the look on people’s faces, but not worth repeating because of taste.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Banana - Banana & Honey

Banana and honey, is such a simple combination. To be honest, if the honey hand not fallen out of the pantry this morning, today’s toastie would have been a bit more complicated. Perhaps the pantry elves were trying to tell me something.

Like many things in life, it is good to go back and revisit the basics. This year, I am going to take some time to re-educate myself on simple flavour combinations that appear time and time again.

When you google banana recipes you are guaranteed to find at least one that uses honey. I can see why, it is yummy and perfect for a day when you do not what to eat or make something complicated.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Theme: Bananas

When I was a wee lass, bananas were a cheap snack food. These days, they are an expensive luxury. Thanks to changing weather patterns, the Australian banana plantations have taken a battering over the last couple of years. Bananas went from $2 per kilo to well over $12 per kilo. This spelled the end for home made banana cake, banana muffins and my personal favourite the banana sandwich.

The price of bananas has started to drop. A good banana will set you back around $6-7 per kilo, however the majority of bananas you see available are second grade. Despite being a couple of dollars per kilo cheaper, people are just not interested in a bruised banana. They are still too expensive for a banana cake!

On the weekend, I spotted some unripe bananas with only a few bruises for $2 per kilo. I jumped at the chance to for a banana sandwich and a breakfast of mashed banana on toast. To my surprise, these bananas have ripened beautifully. I though I celebrate my good banana luck, by dedicating this month to banana inspired toasted sandwiches!


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