Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Squishy Banana Conundrum Solved!

Kyle wanted tacos last night and he wanted to help in the kitchen. I took a break from my freezer diving activities to accomodate him. Since, seven year olds aren't the most efficient kitchen helpers, we kept things simple.

For the taco filling we diced some onions, grated some carrots and sauteed them both until the onions were limp. We added in some tvp, water, crushed tomato and taco seasoning (recipe courtesy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette) and let this all simmer while I tried my hand at making something resembling a tortilla.

I used my favorite crepe recipe as a jumping off point because all the tortilla recipes I found said you had to let the batter rest a few hours. I substituted cornmeal for 1/2 the flour but discovered after pouring my first one out that I needed some kind of binder to hold the wanna-be tortilla together. I added in 1/4 cup flaxseed meal and this solved the problem nicely.

We rounded out the meal with Spanish rice. Kyle was tickled and I even was able to sneek in some garlic scapes from the freezer.

Yesterday after school I was presented with the squishy banana conundrum yet again. For those of you without kids, this occurs when your child brings home a throroughly beat up banana he/she no longer wishes to eat. I try not to send bananas in for precisely this reason. But yesterday I had a stroke of genius and solved the banana conundrum once and for all. Gather round moms and dads, this one will make your day.

I announced that the banana in question was perfect for banana pudding. I had my son peel the squishy banana into a bowl with high sides and smash it the rest of the way with a fork. We added a tablespoon of carob powder and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup (you don't really need to add this but it adds "oo.." value from a kids perspective). Once my son mixed these in, we added 6 dark chocolate chips (I don't know how we arrived at 6 chips, I just didn't want to give him a lot and when I offered 6 he agreed). Viola, banana pudding!

Its definitely a hit because its been made three times since yesterday. How's that for a simple desert?


Ruthie said...

Katie ~

Yummm banana pudding sounds good. I bet it would be even better cold. :0)

Here is my tortilla recipe:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
glop-o-oil (optional)
enough water to make everything stick together as a stiff, uniform ball

Mix all ingredients well, roll ball around a bit until smooth. Break off handful sized chunks and roll into smaller ball. Roll out with rolling pin. Put on hot ungreased skillet. Flip after apprx 1 minute, then flip again when bubbles raise tortilla off skillet.

They're delicious but unfortunately take forever due to the roll-out step.

Katie said...

Thanks Ruthie! That sounds so simple. I'll give it a try next time since Kyle was hooked on the whole taco experience.

Chile said...

Here is my fat-free tortilla recipe, Katie.

Chile's Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
3 c whole wheat pastry flour (or King Arthur brand 100% Whole White Wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c warm water

Mix dry ingredients.
Stir in water.
Knead for a couple of minutes on a floured surface until dough is smooth.
Place in a greased bowl and cover.
Let sit 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Cut dough into a dozen pieces and roll into balls.
Start heating a large cast iron skillet or griddle over high heat.
Roll one ball at a time out on a floured surface into a thin round tortilla.
When the skillet is very hot, carefully lay the first tortilla on it.
Cook until the edges start to dry.
Flip it over and cook on the other side briefly. There should be brown flecks on both sides, but it should not be brown all over.
Remove, place on a plate, and cover with a clean dish towel.
Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Note: I have found that if you leave too much flour on the tortilla, it ends up burning in the skillet and smoking up the kitchen pretty bad. I use a mushroom brush (very soft bristles) to gently brush all the flour off the surfaces of the raw tortilla before placing in the skillet. It takes an extra bit of time but it’s worth it.
Regarding bananas, I would just toss 'em in the freezer whole. When you have enough to make banana bread, let them thaw almost completely (in a bowl - they'll leak). Then cut off the stem end and squeeze out the banana, keeping all the juice too.

Or, buy one of these silly things. 'Course then you have to make sure to buy bananas shaped exactly right to fit in the guard. ;-)

Katie said...

I freeze tons of squishy bananas (they make the best banana bread, smoothies, etc) but I was looking for a way to get the kids to actually eat the bananas they took with their lunch.

Thanks for the tortilla recipe.

Chile said...

Sure makes sense, Katie. Glad I didn't suggest banana chutney. ;-)

Hm, something's teasing the edges of my memory. Oh yeah, my sweetie said his coworker brings his bananas to work encased in that hard insulating foam for pipes - it's hollow in the middle. Would that work for your kids? Or would they lose it as fast as the mittens?

Anonymous said...

Love the instant banana pudding idea!

I can't eat normal flour tortillas anymore due to gluten, but I've discovered I love soft corn tortillas better, anyway. The texture of them is great.

Katie said...


They'd probably lose them but that's a great idea!