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Food

Go bananas for Fairtrade fortnight

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 12

Today marks the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, which aims to raise awareness of the Fairtrade label and get people buying more Fairtrade products. Put simply, the more of these we buy, the fairer the prices smallholder farmers receive for their produce.

Back in September, our editor Helena went to St Lucia to meet some of the farmers who produce the 646 million Fairtrade bananas we buy from Sainsbury's every year. The money made just from Fairtrade bananas, a whopping £3.7 million, is ploughed straight back into the St Lucian farming communities, helping to develop better schools, technology and living conditions.

So, the next time you're near the fruit and veg aisle, drop some Fairtrade bananas into your trolley and do your bit.

For something a bit different, bake a batch of these banana and coconut muffins. Share your favourite banana recipes in the comments box below.

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 4 small, ripe bananas (450g skin-on weight)
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper muffin cases.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon or nutmeg and a small pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and 50g of the coconut. Make a well in the middle.
  3. Peel and slice 3 of the bananas, put them in a small bowl and mash to a paste with a fork. Peel and thickly slice the other banana into 12 pieces, slightly on the diagonal.
  4. Lightly whisk together the milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract. Pour it into the well you made in the dry ingredients, add the mashed banana and stir together until just combined.
  5. Divide the mixture among the paper cases and put a piece of the sliced banana on top.
  6. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut and bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden brown – a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  7. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

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