Paleo chocolate banana milkshake

choc-banana-milkshake
I love milkshakes, but dairy ones give me a bloated stomach, so this one is made on coconut milk. Chocolate and banana are a great combination and with few extra ingredients it’s a winner.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 tsp cocoa or cocao powder
4 dates or 1 tsp honey
a pinch of cinnamon

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and wiz to mix.

Serves 1.

Getting started growing Bananas in Queensland

bananas3-new

Unfortunately due to an overwhelming demand since Cyclone Yasi, there is a six month waiting list for banana plants! So I’m going to have to put my banana growing plans on hold. Here’s some of the information I discovered while conducting research.

Bananas require full sunlight for most of the day. They do best is a sheltered area where the roots will not become flooded. The best time to plant is from September to mid-December.

They require a large amount of plant nutrients to grow and fruit. (800 grams of lime, 240 gram of urea, 30 grams of super

Residential growers in south Queensland require a permit to grow a maximum of 10 plants. Permits are free of charge and made to Biosecurity (currently part of the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries).

The only permitted varieties are:

  • Blue Java – Silvery wax bloom, white flesh, dessert and cooking
  • Bluggoe (plantain or cooking banana) – angular fruit
  • Kluai Namwa Khom (Dwarf Ducasse) – fragrant sweet flavour, dessert and cooking, very vigorous. Referred to as sugar banana.
  • Goldfinger – tangy tasting, doesn’t turn brown when cut
  • Ladyfinger – drought hardy, long shelf life, dessert type, sweet creamy flesh
  • Pissang Ceylan -pinkish midribs on leaves, agreeably sweet acid

There is currently only ONE supplier in Queensland – Blue Sky Backyard Bananas – each plant costs $30 each including postage.

Further information

Agrilink produce a Tropical banana information kit as a series of PDFs. The kit provides information on all aspects of growing tropical bananas in Queensland.

Jerry Coleby-Williams has written a Fact Sheet: Growing Bananas for the ABC Gardening website.

Carob smoothie

This is my current favourite smoothie. Carob doesn’t taste like chocolate, so don’t think of it as a substitute because it has its own merits. During the war, people would eat carob pods as a way of surviving the food shortages. The bushy tree grows to about 18m high. They are low maintenance and tolerate drought conditions.

The carob and aloe vera in this smoothie are fantastic for inflammation. Use cocoa if you want.

1 tsp carob or cocoa
1 banana
½ cup of almond milk, rice milk or milk
1 tbsp aloe vera (optional)
1 tsp honey (optional)
dash of cinnamon (optional)

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.

Serves 1.

Bananas in coconut milk

Growing bananas in Queensland unfortunately requires a permit. Home growers are allowed up to ten plants, which sounds like plenty to me. We  probably won’t ever grow any in our backyard, which is a shame as I always find it hard to pick the optimal time to eat a banana. Lady Fingers are easy – Maggie recommends waiting until they are half black and then devouring them. The shops usually only stock Cavendish and sometimes Ladies. I’m yet to try all these other varieties: Blue Java, Bluggoe (plantain or cooking banana), Ducasse, Goldfinger, Kluai Namwa Khom (Dwarf Ducasse), Pisang Ceylan and Red Dacca. I feel like I’m missing out….. anyone tried these?

small tin of coconut milk
2 tbsps sugar
2 bananas, chopped

  1. Put the coconut milk, sugar and ¼ cup of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. When the sugar has dissolved, add the bananas.
  3. Gently cook until the bananas are soft.
  4. Serve half the mixture in a bowl, either warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2.

Written for DK‘s A Worldly Epicurean’s delight in short A.W.E.D Thai Event