Banana’s! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! (is that song in your head yet?)
Today’s post is about banana’s and a truly wonderful Banana Oatmeal Cake you can make with any overripe ones you have lying around.
But today’s post isnt about what i’ve grown in the garden or what i’ve swapped with another grower (growing Bananas in freezing Bacchus Marsh?! HAHAHA you must be kidding me!). Today’s post is about waste. And its a topic pretty dear to my heart and one you will find I will visit fairly frequently in this blog.
Yesterday, in my fair country, it was announced that 5000 Qantas workers will lose their jobs. This is following the closure and loss of jobs at two other major employers here, and seems to be indicitive of the general slowing down of our economy.
Now i’m thinking, if more and more people are going out of work then we might need to learn what our parents and grandparents knew inside out to try and tighten those purse strings: Waste Not, Want Not.
Because according to Food Wise, Australian’s throw out $8billion dollars of edible food a year. It makes me so sad and so frustrated. And to be frank, for many people it probably can’t continue. If people are out of work then we need to learn these skills of being frugal and learning how to feed our family for less. And boy it can be done, and it can be enjoyed as well (if you’re a dork like me)
So here are my tips on what to do in your home to scale down the level of food waste you may experience:
1. Get a compost bin or worm farm! If you can’t manage to turn all your fruit and veg into something yum then give it to the wormies and let it go back into your garden once its broken down.
2. If you know you’re just not going to get to use it, why not donate any food you have to a local community food bank? There will be people in need in your community who could really do with it!
3. Join your local community food swap (or start one up if one doesnt exist!) That way those zucchinis will end up being turned into something yum rather than going in your compost bin. And you’ll get something great in return and you’ll watch your grocery bills go down.
4. Invest in a bit of meal planning – this way you won’t have a crisper full of droopy veg at the end of the week
5. And finally, just don’t throw it out! Set aside an hour and bake a cake with it (like I did today), make a chutney out of it, whip up a simple stirfry or curry out of it and have some weekly lunches or dinners already prepared!
Ok hang tight, I’ve got a crook knee so it might take me a while, but I’m finally getting down off my soapbox. Lets get down to business.
Emma’s Banana Oat Crumble Cake
This recipe is from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion and it was a hit with my family and workmates so thought i’d better share
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 free range eggs
1 cup ripe mashed banana (2-3 bananas usually get used up)
few drops vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with a few drops of vinegar added to it)
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
60g unsalted butter
1/2 cup plain flour
2-3 tbls rolled oats
Use a small amount of butter to grease a 22cm springform cake tin. Cut a piece of baking paper to pit the bottom of the tin (Note – this cake also works well in a loaf tin). Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
To make oatmeal crumble mix your sugar and spices with baking powder in a bowl. Crumble in your butter and mix together with your flour and rolled oats. By the end of this crumbling process you should have small pea size bits of crumble topping. Set aside.
For the cake, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer til light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time and then add mashed banana and vanilla. Sift flour and bicarb soda, salt and cinnamon and add to mixture, alternating with your buttermilk.
Spoon cake mixture into prepared tin and top with crumble mixture.
Bake for 1 hour or until a fine skewer insterted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 30 mins before eating.