The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 28, 2012

Bananas

FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Karen Freeman

TARBORO — I love bananas. They are good for you but I love them for the taste not the health benefits. Also, almost everyone I know loves bacon. How could you not? So, combining bacon and bananas just seems like a natural to me. I was right. They are great together! I really hope you try some of these recipes. They are easy but so delicious. Each one has either bacon, bananas or both.

The first one recipe is a bacon and banana appetizer. It’s bacon wrapped bananas and it’s great. It’s also easy. You will have to buy the Hawaiian teriyaki but it’s not too hard to find and it will be worth it.

The second recipe needs a mini-muffin pan. You can use a regular muffin pan but don’t fill it completely. These are also about the same ingredients that I use in my tomato pie. So, you could use a regular frozen pie shell and bake this as a pie.

The third recipe is bacon-parmesan appetizers.  They are easy and delicious. I use Duke’s mayo because I don’t want this to be sweet. It’s up to personal taste. If you use most of the other brands of mayo, it will have a sweet flavor.

The fourth dish is pretty weird. It’s bacon and banana cookies. If you have bacon and bananas, you will have the other ingredients on hand already. Even as odd as it sounds to make cookies with bacon and bananas, it’s actually very good. Give it a try.



Banana - Bacon Appetizers



1/3 cup Hawaiian teriyaki sauce

1 tbsp. honey

2 or 3 bananas

About 10 slices bacon, cut in half



Combine teriyaki sauce and honey. Cut peeled bananas in 1 inch pieces and marinate in sauce, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Drain, reserving marinade, and wrap each banana in 1/2 slice bacon. Fasten with toothpick.

Lay on rack in shallow baking pan and brush with marinade. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, turning to cook bacon on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 20 appetizers.



Bacon Tomato Mini Appetizers



1 (10 oz.) can refrigerated flaky biscuits

5-6 slices bacon

1 tomato

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 oz. (1/2 cup) Swiss cheese

1 tsp. dried basil leaves



Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate each biscuit into 2 or 3 layers each. Lay each biscuit layer over the top of a mini-muffin cup that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Using the mini tart shaper or your fingers, press each biscuit into cup. Chop the bacon and sprinkle several bacon pieces into each cup. Coarsely chop the tomato with a food chopper and add several pieces to each cup. (If tomato is very juicy, drain on paper towel first.) Finely chop onion with food chopper and mix with mayonnaise, cheese and basil.

Using a small stainless steel scoop, mound a small amount of cheese mixture on top of tomato in cups. Sprinkle a few more bacon pieces on top of the cheese and bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 20-30 appetizers. Serve warm but can be reheated in microwave.



Bacon-Parmesan appetizers



2/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

Garlic salt

1 bunch diced green onions

1 cup cooked and chopped bacon

1 pkg. mini rye bread rounds or sliced French rolls



Combine Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, bacon, green onions and garlic salt to taste. Spread on sliced bread or bruschetta. Broil until brown. Serve immediately.



Bacon Banana Cookies



2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups of sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4 bananas mashed (about 1 1/3 cups)

1/2 lb bacon, cooked crisp, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, and then stir in the mashed bananas, beating well after each addition. Fold in the bacon.

Stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the remaining cinnamon. Set aside.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons into a prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon-sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned.

Allow the cookies cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Cookies will keep for 5 to 7 days. Yields 30



Did You Know?



Health Benefits of Bananas



Bananas consist mainly of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and fiber, which

makes them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy

Reducing Depression: Bananas contain tryptophan, an aminoacid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood.

Anemia: Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function

Constipation and Diarrhea: Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the

most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain

pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the

digestive tract.

Eyesight Protection: Research published in the Archives of Ophthalmology has proven that adults consuming at least 3 servings of fruit per day have a reduced risk (by 36%) of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older

adults, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

Healthy Bones: Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound that nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria

produce enzymes that increase our digestive ability and protect us from unhealthy bacteria infections. Thanks to fructooligosaccharides, probiotic bacteria can increase both in number and functionality, increasing our body’s ability to absorb calcium. In addition, green bananas contain indigestible short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are very nutrient to the cells that make up the mucosa of the stomach. These cells, when healthy, absorb calcium much more efficiently.

Blood Pressure: Bananas are extremely high in potassium (about 4673mg), yet very low in sodium (1mg), thus having a perfect ratio for preventing high blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Mosquito Bites: Many people report that rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite is very effective in reducing itching and swelling.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. They contain vitamins B6 and B12 they contain, as well as potassium and magnesium: these substances help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

http://bananasweb.com/health-benefits-of-bananas