Apple Bananas are a small, sweet banana, with an apple after taste. Thus the name, apple bananas. The flavor that is far different from the typical sweet tropical banana that you will find on fruit stands in Belize.
Over 95 million metric tons of bananas are grown each year. Although Central America and the Caribbean are best known here for their bananas, they only produce 35% of the bananas consumed in the world. India is actually the world's largest banana producer. My favorite variety of banana is the Apple Banana.
Trent, Christina and Lauren call these "monkey bananas", because they are smaller than regular bananas. As Lauren says, "they are small and easy for a monkey to hold".
The flesh of the apple banana is firmer and creamier, where the other varieties tend to be soft and starchy. The fruit size tends to be smaller and makes a perfect snack for small children and monkey's.
Bananas are probably one of, if not the most popular of fruits. Available year round, we take for granted the versatility and usefulness of bananas, an integral part of modern life. Bananas are often the first solid food fed to babies, especially here in Belize, mashed into a paste and fed to hungry infants being weaned from their mother's milk. We eat them whole as a snack; in our cereal; make it into bread; on top of ice cream; and countless other ways. They are so popular, it's said that much of the profits of grocery stores stems from this one item, out of the thousands of products sold in modern supermarkets. Entire boatloads of special containers are shipped continuously from Central and South America to the United States, where bananas are then carefully ripened and delivered for sale.
Other than eating apple bananas, what can you do with an apple banana? Here is a great recipe for all my customers.
APPLE BANANA CUPCAKES
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup ripe apple bananas, mashed
2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded Directions
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and buttermilk. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and shredded apples. Fill each muffin cup half full.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.