Article by Christelle Mekoh
As a child in Cameroon, one of the things I loved most about growing up was the variety of fruits I was able to get, depending on the season. Rainy season meant juicy mangoes and guavas. Some fruits were only available in certain parts of the country while others, like apples, came from abroad. And some were available all year long. One of these yearly staples was the Banana. Bananas were one of those fruits that I never got tired of eating, even if they were not my favourite.
Everywhere you went, you could find bananas. As a kid, I couldn’t imagine growing up without them. Now fast-forward to last month. I stumbled upon a CNN article about a new fungus called Panama disease, also known as the “Tropical Race 4 (TR4)”. I had never heard of it, have you? What struck me most was that bananas, as we know them, might go extinct if nothing is done to curtail the spread of the fungus and we will be stuck eating hybrids and GMOs.
Did you know that the banana plant is not a tree, but the world’s largest herb? Today, bananas are being produced in over 100 countries around the world.
The East and Central Africa regions have over fifty per cent of their permanent crop area under banana cultivation. That’s around half of the African total, with an annual production of 20.9 million tonnes valued at $ 4.3 billion. Bananas are an indispensable part of life in these regions providing up to one fifth of the total calorie consumption per capita. If TR4 were to spread into these regions, the effects would be unimaginable.
All that to say that if you are a banana lover, you should enjoy them while they last… and what better way to do it then by trying one of my favourite recipes: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1.5 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Here’s what you have to do:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix butter and sugar together in a small bowl.
- Mix mashed bananas, egg, and baking soda dissolved in water in a separate bowl.
- Mix all wet ingredients together – set aside.
- Combine flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, nuts and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture– stir until just combined.
- Fill muffin tins – cook muffins for 20 minutes at 375 degrees
You will LOVE them! Bon appétit!!!