The banana is the most popular fruit in America. It was surpassed the apple and orange, the starfuit and kiwi- the humble banana has been claimed the king of the hill; mainly because they’re handy, nutritionally sound, and so darn versatile!
I always have bananas in the house. At about $0.54/lb, how could you resist them? They’re the tasty and the bright yellow beacon of the produce aisle. I always take a few pounds home. The only issue with bananas is what I call the banana standoff. Everyone wants one of the last bananas, but thinks they’ve already had too many out of the bunch- its a dance of politeness that always ends with a few overripe bananas. A lot of people just throw out the extra brown bananas, and that’s an awful waste. overripe bananas have plenty of excellent uses; banana bread, banana ice cream, banana splits, and banana cream pies. I mean, those are just a few ideas- there are hundreds of amazing ones out there; but my personal favorite is banana jam.
Now, this really isn’t a condiment you typically find in the dennys jelly corral. in fact, I’ve never seen it in stores- but it is one of the best jams I’ve ever had. It really reminds me of Gerber Baby food- but in a good way. It has that same slightly-tangy-but-obviously-banana flavor, and its a pale but warm golden color. its great on toast or in crepes, spooned warm over ice cream, or chilled on rice pudding, and perfect for PB&J.
One word of warning, however- unless you’re good at canning, refrigerate this and use it within a month. It is spoilable without proper canning, despite all the sugar and acids.
Banana and Rum Jam: Makes 2 jars
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp dark rum
– boil 1/2c water and sugar in small pot until sugar dissolves. Mash bananas with lime juice, vanilla and salt, then stir into syrup.
-Simmer 20m, adding rum during last 5m of simmer.
-Let jam cool, and spoon into canning jars, process for canning, or chill in refrigerator, using within 30 days.
I use this on everything; toast, waffles, pancakes, crepes, ice cream, peanut butter sammiches, yogurt, oatmeal, as a glaze on ham, or thrown into vanilla ice cream and milk for a really excellent banana shake- you can spoon it into phyllo dough and bake for banana turnovers!