I've been craving Jamaican banana fritters and feeling homesick since the release of all the short stories in the "I am an Island Girl Series." Writing Duppy Business and Chinese Skip and taking trips down memory lane from my childhood has brought back happy memories of my mom or dad making banana fritters for breakfast. The "I am an Island Girl series" has led me to thinking of my favorite childhood foods, so much so that I've decided to share my absolute favorites with you. Topping the list is the Jamaican banana fritters.
First things first, let's put it out there. Yes, I am biased and no, it's not up for debate. This breakfast item has been my favorite all my life, and it will probably never change. In fact, it may have recently gotten worse, since my son loves it as well. It has given me more of an excuse to cook it. Not that I needed an excuse in the first place. Usually, I eat healthy and follow a meal prep lifestyle, but Jamaican banana fritters are one of my not so guilty pleasures.
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Ok, so why do I think Jamaican banana fritters are the best Jamaican breakfast. Well, they're easy to make, they taste amazing and they don't require a lot of ingredients or effort. These delicious treats seem more like dessert, but are a perfect way to start the morning, with something just a little sweet.
Truly, Jamaican banana fritters are almost effortless to make and are finished in very little time. I also love that they are the perfect solution to the life question, what do I do when my bananas start to turn brown? What do I do with the overripe bananas spelling up my house or refrigerator? You make Banana Fritters! I literally will avoid eating bananas and hide them from my family, so that they can turn brown and get sweeter, because then I’ll be able to make fritters out of them. Some of you, especially my non-Jamaican or Caribbean friends are probably asking a few questions:
What is a fritter?
A fritter is a pastry made when any kind of vegetable or fruit is added to a batter and made by frying. Growing up, I remember having apple and plantain fritters, but banana fritters were always my favorite. The star ingredient in banana fritters is, drum roll please, the banana, and pro tip, the riper the banana/s the better.
How easy are Banana Fritters to make?
Well, first of all, you only need 5 ingredients. Yes, you heard me right 5, and I’m pretty sure if you cook or bake, at all, you have these 5 items on hand in your kitchen now. Let’s see if I’m right, all purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and like I mentioned before, the star, bananas.
Remember, it’s even better if you use bananas that are overripe and have started to turn brown. How brown? In my opinion, the browner the better. They can be used just as long as they haven’t started to “go bad”. You can tell they’ve gone bad because they will have a rank odor and usually seep juices. How do I know? Well, let’s just say I went too far once trying to see how long I could wait to use some bananas. Luckily, they were in a Ziploc bag in a container in the refrigerator and were easily disposed. Which brings me to a pro tip:
*Pro tip: Once your bananas have started to turn brown, store them in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. It will slow down the ripening process, giving you more time to use them before they go bad.
Ok, so I hope you’ve collected those five items. In addition to those five items you will need oil for frying and a sauce pan.
If you haven’t, here's a reminder of what you need:
2 bananas (preferably well ripened)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla or vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
6 tablespoons of flour
Oil for frying (approximately one cup)
Now, for the recipe:
1. Peel the bananas (2) and place them in a large mixing bowl.
2. Use a fork to crush the bananas (it won’t take much effort since they’re ripe).
3. Add ½ tsp of cinnamon to the crushed bananas and stir.
4. Add ½ tsp of vanilla to the bananas and cinnamon. Then stir to combine.
5. Add 2 tbsps of sugar to the mixture and stir to combine. Crush any lumps of sugar. (If your banana is well ripened, you can decrease the amount of sugar to 1 tbsp).
6. Add 6 tbsps of flour and mix well to combine.