Banana Avocado Dip

We were hosting a banana-themed dinner party recently, and I was in search of an appetizer. (What, doesn’t everyone host banana-themed parties? No? Well, that does explain some of the looks I got at the grocery store checkout line!)

For the meal itself, we were contributing an Indian plantain curry and banana-stuffed french toast. However, I’d recently acquired some banana chips, and I was sure that with the right banana-based dip, they would be a big hit.

Martha, of course, had the answer. A banana-avocado dip. (Of course, she assumes that one would make one’s own plantain chips. Naturally. Because who doesn’t have a deep-fry thermometer? And obviously everyone loves that great, post-fry feeling of oil all over everything.)

Right, so I had the chips already. What complex, insane thing could Martha make me do for the dip?

Ripe avocado + ripe banana + fresh juice of a lemon + dash of salt. Mash everything together and serve.

It sounds weird, but I kid you not, this dip (which I literally made as guests were arriving) was a huge hit. Kids would love it. Tastes kind of like something that’s bad for you. Sweet, light, and perfect with the chips.

ps. Oh and hey look, it’s vegan, too. How about that!

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Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

For when you want to eat an entire giant bowl of ice cream in one sitting but aren’t looking for that “oh crap, I just ate an entire giant bowl of ice cream in one sitting” feeling.

(For the record: No, it doesn’t taste like ice cream. It tastes like banana. But it also tastes frozen and creamy and sweet, so it kind of does taste like ice cream.)

Ingredients:

  • Multiple frozen bananas (and one un-frozen one too, if you have it)
  • Soy milk (optional)
  • Peanut butter or honey

With an immersion blender chopper thingie or a food processor, cream a frozen banana or two. For added creaminess, add an un-frozen banana or a few splashes of soy milk. For added yumminess, add a tablespoon or so of peanut butter and honey. Blend until it looks like soft serve. Put into bowl. Add random toppings if you want, or just proceed to television, turn on sappy movie, and indulge.

Childhood Snack Evolves into Sushi Delight!

As a kid, one of the more bizarre but delicious snacks I favored was a banana cut up and spread with peanut butter. There was something wonderful about the combination of the salty gooeyness of the peanut butter combined with the sweet fruitiness of the banana.

As a grad student often working from a tight budget, I’ve rediscovered this tasty snack, loving it not only for its flavor combo, but also for the protein and potassium punch it packs. (Apologies to anti-alliterationists.)

Eel sushi, however, was never really in the picture. Until, of course, New York City gave the combo some thought.

One of the things I love best about cuisines in larger cities– and in NYC especially –is the irreverence that chefs bring to their food. Pine needle in your cucumber? Sure! Lavender in your mashed potatoes? Why not! Someone somewhere, it seems, is always having a flavor epiphany.

And at the restaurant Ginger, someone had it about eel. This East Village restaurant recently delivered take-out sushi to a friend’s apartment, so I can’t wax poetic about their location or their interior (though I can direct you to a blog that has). I can, however, tell you about the one roll that I can’t stop talking about.

The Golden roll, as I believe it’s called, features cooked eel and banana wrapped in the typical rice and seaweed, topped with a little dab of peanut butter. Just as the banana balanced the peanut butter in my childhood snack, the eel comes into this combination with a rich and smoky flavor that unites the two other ingredients.

It sounds bizarre, I know, but the result is something amazing. (There is, of course, the “Aaron Burr” effect, but it’s nothing that a glass of your favorite sake or champagne can’t wash down.)

Ginger

109 1st Ave
(between 6th St & 7th St)
New York, NY 10003

(212) 260-6223