Need a mushy banana, STAT?

For banana bread in a pinch, I've got your back.

Hi there,

Hope you’re well and well-fed! I’m coming off an incredibly busy, but fulfilling week; Quentin and I officially landed in Brooklyn after our winter-y stint in Texas and are loving being back in our old stomping grounds. We’re still very much mid-moving mayhem, but getting the kitchen in order ASAP was top priority because I had two virtual cooking classes to teach: one for a lovely private corporate group where we cooked a cozy soup and garlic bread combo, and the other with Abigail for our meal prep-focused class. The class was a blast for both of us, and early reviews from students are in and they’re bringing me so much joy. (“This class was amazing! I have never been great at time management/multitasking while cooking so I never could have imagined getting this many delicious meals together,”…”Loved it. Can’t wait for more”…”We cooked so much delicious food in such a short time! So fun, productive, and very worth it”).

I’m hosting another meal prep class on April 28th and would love to see you there! You know all my work is aimed at helping you get comfy in your kitchen. Cooking class is my favorite way to do it because it’s most direct and immediate—I get to respond to your questions on the spot and I absolutely love that! (Also, pssst, my private class rates are ten times more expensive than these public classes…you know I love a deal and I bet you do too!). In my next class, we’ll celebrate making it halfway through the week and get you set up with some delicious food to help you sail through the rest of it. Use code WEDNESDAY for a 10% discount. Tickets sold quickly for the last one, so…

Grab your spot!

In yesterday’s class, Abigail walked us through the steps for a delicious tahini chocolate chip banana bread. Cooking through her recipe reminded of the times I’ve put banana bread/muffins/overnight oats on my personal cheffing clients’ menus, only to unpack their grocery deliveries to—apologies in advance for the unintentional innuendo peppered throughout today’s newsletter—rock-hard bananas.


In recalling my banana conundrum, I wondered if it’s a problem you’ve come across as well…

Because banana bread’s branding is strong: have overripe bananas? Don’t throw them away, bake banana bread! Sometimes a hankering for banana bread/muffins/overnight oats/etc. hits, but because you failed to consider a potential future in which you’d be craving banana bread on your last trip to the grocery store you don’t have the aforementioned overripe bananas. Happens to the best of us and to me rather frequently. But there’s a solution! To soften your bananas in a snap…

Here’s how:

From left to right, a banana story: a green-ish banana, a peeled firm banana ready for the freezer, and that same banana post thaw, ready to be mashed
  1. Peel your firm banana(s). Place in a sealable container, close it up, and pop it in the freezer. Set a timer for one hour.

  2. When your timer chimes, remove the banana from the freezer and either:

    • Microwave it on high in 15 second increments, flipping the banana until it’s no longer frozen. Or…

    • Let it come to room temp on its own. This is obviously much slower, but if you don’t have a microwave or are not quite as pressed for time, this method works fine as well.

  3. Freezing and thawing a banana breaks down its structure so you can easily mash it with a fork and proceed with your recipe of choice. You may want to up the sugar content in your recipe by a tablespoon-or-two since an underripe banana is a bit less sweet. I turned my single mashed banana into a couple servings of overnight oats for breakfast tomorrow. You’re welcome, future me

  4. Here’s the quick little non-recipe recipe for two servings of my simple banana overnight oats: 1 mashed banana, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup rolled oats, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and 2-3 Tbsp chia seeds. Whisky-whisk, pop in the fridge for at least a couple hours but preferably overnight, and enjoy drizzled with a little maple syrup or honey and a dash of cinnamon the next day. That’s it!


I’m curious, do you have any go-to banana recipes? I’ve riffed on this recipe a number of times and Abigail’s recipe from class will certainly make it into my rotation. More generally, how are you holding up in the kitchen lately? Any major barriers you’re encountering that I can help you with? Or maybe you’re doing great and have had a major kitchen win in the last couple weeks—I’d love to hear about that too! You can respond directly to this email or tag/DM me on Instagram.

Alright, that’s it from me this week.

With love and a *tip* of my chef’s hat,

Erica

P.S. A little reminder—if you want more meal prep-specific tips and an expertly curated menu on Fridays, I offer an upgrade for $1/week that’ll get you access to that, a monthly Q&A with me, and exclusive discount codes for my cooking classes and e-books. Deals, deals, deals!

Upgrade here

Want more? I’m so flattered! You can also follow me on Instagram, come cook with me in class, or check out my blog where you can find my tip-laden e-book collection.