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‘Banana is most wasted food’

March 5, 2010

So says an article this week. It’s hardly a surprise that “fruit, salad and vegetables are the most wasted items in the weekly shopping basket with the banana in top place, closely followed by fresh milk”.

We need to start learning how to make the most of these items once they’re what we deem (but I guess rarely are) ‘off’. Or should that be relearning, because my gran’s generation is certainly pretty handy with older or stale foods. Bread and butter pudding, anyone?

Back to bananas – I like to eat them raw when they’re tinged green. If they’ve got a generous smattering of brown spots, they’re too ripe for me. So, I bake a cake with them. I’ve found a super nice recipe from Waitrose – give it a whirl.

Banana, Chocolate and Oatmeal Tea Bread


  • 1 Large egg
  • 75ml Vegetable oil
  • 125g Caster sugar
  • 3 Bananas, or 2 bananas and a handful dried banana chips
  • 30g Rolled oats
  • 150g Plain flour
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 40g Dark chocolate, finely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line a 1 litre (15cm x 7.5cm) loaf tin with buttered, non-stick baking parchment or silicone paper. Whisk the egg, oil and sugar together until thick. Slice 2 bananas finely and whisk into the mixture. Set aside 1 tbsp of the oats; fold in the remaining ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

2. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle the surface with the reserved oats.

3. Slice the remaining banana and arrange the pieces on top, or use the dried chips.

4. Bake for 40–50 minutes or until golden.

5. The cake is done when a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the tea bread to cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

It’s also delicious with some added chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts.

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