Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Using the bananas

I put some of the bananas in the freezer to use for banana bread or banana muffins but I wanted to do something different for a change too.  I made banana fritters which are the best when you use over ripe bananas.

Start with 5 or 6 over ripe bananas.  The kind that are dotted with brown spots like this.  They could actually be a little more ripe. That’s when they are the sweetest.

Food and kitchen 2015 132Mash them with about 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Brown sugar is good but any will do.  I don’t put any sugar at all in mine.  Don’t mash them completely.  You want chunks of bananas left.

Food and kitchen 2015 081Add about a cup of plain flour and a pinch of salt.  Some people put a teaspoon of baking powder in to make them fluffy but I like mine better without it.

Food and kitchen 2015 083Mix just until the flour is incorporated.  Do not mix until it is smooth.  You want it to remain chunky and thick like a pudding to be the right consistency.  Put a little oil in a frying pan and heat until it’s just ready to start smoking.  Put about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup into the pan for each fritter.

Food and kitchen 2015 084Do not turn these until the one side is golden brown.  These are not pancakes and you will not see bubbles to indicate they are ready to turn.  Just lift up an edge to peek until that side is done.  Then flip to cook the other side.

Food and kitchen 2015 085This batch made 10 but it really depends on the size of the bananas and how much you use for each fritter.  I ate one and put the rest in the freezer.  These freeze really well.  It’s a nice alternative to always making banana bread don’t you think?

Food and kitchen 2015 086These did absorb quite a bit of oil in the cooking.  Some people put syrup or jelly or powdered sugar on these.  I don’t because I think they are sweet enough without any extra help.  I gave a neighbor a couple from the freezer and he came back begging for more.  Geeze, I can’t share good food with neighbors because then they EXPECT me to cook more.  I’m going to print this post and give it to him.


8 comments on “Using the bananas

  1. Sarca
    January 27, 2015

    These look delish!

    • Na Na
      January 27, 2015

      Yes, they are.

  2. MsNaUnd
    January 26, 2015

    Recipe sounds really tasty and a great way to use bananas. But….. this is just the kind of food which you need NOT to eat when you are at risk for diabetes (which is your case, I think you once wrote ?).
    Bananas are naturally sugary and make your sugar level in your blood rise quickly. That rise is made steeper and quicker by the fact that the bananas are fried. When suffering from diabetes or a pre-diabetic condion, a sharp and speedy increase of the sugar level in your blood is what you need to avoid. Banana bread and banana muffins are a heathier option.
    Please don’t take me wrong. I don’t mean to boss you around. Could you possibly take this comment as if it was the advice of a concerned granddaughter ? If I am wrong and you don’t have any problem with your sugar level in your blood, could you nevertheless approve this comment for those reading your blog and who do have diabetes or are insuline-resistant ?

    • Na Na
      January 26, 2015

      Yes, I take your advice in the way it is intended. You are very sweet to be concerned. Thank you. Yes I’ll approve this comment.

      Please keep in mind that my blog is a “frugal living” blog, not a diabetes management blog. The fact that I’m a diabetic is secondary to the intent of this blog to show readers how I manage to live with very little income in the poorest part of our city in spite of my health concerns. Anyone seeking advice about diabetes management should see their own health care provider or go to the American Diabetes Website.

      Yes, I’m aware how all fruits affect my sugar. Diabetics do need some fruit in their diets or it wouldn’t be a “balanced” diet. Also, I’m on a diuretic which requires a potassium supplement to replace the potassium loss. Instead of taking another pill, bananas are a natural alternative. In a normal diabetic diet we can eat 1/2 a banana (15 carbs). I made 10 fritters from 5 bananas with no added sugar. In other words, one fritter has about half a banana in it. I would not eat more than one and I would not eat one everyday. That would get boring. Some fat is required for a balanced diet as well. On the days when I do eat one of these fritters it would count as a fat, a fruit, and a bread in my daily plan. See? I do watch my diet.

      • MsNaUnd
        January 29, 2015

        I get your point. However, I wasn’t arguing about eating a banana, but about the fact that it is being fried in the recipe (and that a fried banana makes the level of sugar in your blood raise very sharply – far more than eating a banana mixed with jogurt or in a banana bread). Indeed more information is available on sites about diabetes that explain why a sharp increase in sugar levels needs to be avoided. Fat is not the concern. (See for instance :
        The reason I made this comment is the concern about your own health and also that pre-diabetic conditions are very common by poor people – people the most likely to be interested in reading a blog about frugal living. And your blog happens to be plenty of very healthy recipes to eat well on a low budget.

        • Na Na
          February 5, 2015

          Sorry to take so long to take care of comments. I had a cold for a couple of days and didn’t feel up to typing a lot. Yes, diabetes is a disease of poverty. I’ve been poor my whole life. I’ve seen first hand the problems poverty causes. However, for our discussion, sometimes even the poor need a little indulgence. Instead of heading to the nearest donut shop to buy a ready made fritter loaded with a ton of high fructose corn syrup and very little fruit, I made my own healthy version. Instead of heading to the nearest fast food place to grab some highly processed fat laden desert. I cooked at home. My fritters used probably 2 tablespoons of lard to cook them. Lard that I made myself without any of the chemicals found in processed oils.

          Some fat in our diet is good for us. I learned to cook from my Grandma Mama. When I learned to cook we were still going by the WW2 ration guidelines. It’s only after WW2 was over that convenience foods and highly processed foods started making everyone fat.

          I’ve been using old recipes I remember as a way to be frugal and get healthier at the same time.

  3. Nikki E.
    January 25, 2015

    These look really good. I usually only buy a few bananas at a time when I’m in the mood (my husband doesn’t eat them) but maybe I’ll buy a few extra to try this.

    • Na Na
      January 25, 2015

      Since they can be easily frozen it would be good as a snack for one.

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