I found bananas for 39 cents per pound! I don’t know about the rest of you but for my part of the world this is a deal. I buy them at Kroger every chance I get. I can’t stand green bananas so it works out well for me when Kroger bags up their ripe bananas…only 39 cents per pound. This includes organic bananas as well as the ones I normally would pay 59 cents a pound for now. Most of the time we don’t have a problem eating them up before they are too far gone…..but, sometimes we have a few extras.
What do you do with your ripe bananas? I have a few ideas for you….the main thing to remember with bananas is that they freeze well to use later. You don’t have to use them right away. They will be mushy when they thaw out…but if you are cooking with them or making smoothies it doesn’t really matter does it?
Using the picture above as a reference…..the ones on the left are perfect for just about anything, they are ripe. The ones on the Right are perfect for baking! I know, you are probably thinking “this girl is crazy!”. I’m not. If you want the best banana flavors in your breads, muffins, cookies, etc…then use the ones on the right. Now…if they start to grow mold…please throw them out! Till then you can put them in the freezer at any time to use later on.
1. Banana Popsicles: Peel banana, cut in half for little hands (not lengthwise) and place in plastic wrap….freeze well, eat frozen! The kids love them. They taste like ice cream but have a much higher nutritional value.
2. Banana Pudding: This is a given…simple, quick and oohhhh so good! Just mix up vanilla pudding, layer 1st-vanilla wafers, 2nd-bananas, 3rd-pudding….as many times as you want to make as much as you want. You can top it off with more vanilla wafers and serve. Or (my favorite) beat egg whites with a little sugar to make a meringue. If you use a meringue on top make sure you are using an oven safe dish…place meringue on top, create pretty peaks and pop in the oven till the meringue is just golden. Beautiful! (Personally, I think it taste better too!)
3. Toast & Bananas: Mush them up with some peanut butter and place on toast for breakfast….we did this yesterday. Yummy!
4. Fruit Smoothies…of course. 🙂 Just throw in some banana, frozen or not, your favorite fruits..(strawberry, blueberry..etc.), some ice, yogurt and or orange juice. Blend Well and Enjoy! I like to throw in a couple of almonds too..really, it’s just a matter of trying out different mixers..you might be surprised at what you can come up with.
5. Banana Milk Shake: One ripe banana, a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream, a little milk and a tad of vanilla flavoring…(a little cinnamon is good too if you like it.) What a treat!
6. Banana Bread or Muffins: Who doesn’t like fresh bread? I made Banana Bread last night and it was wonderful. Recipe is coming. When using bananas for baking there is no need to peel before freezing. Just toss in the freezer with peel on. When you get ready to use…thaw and squeeze out mushy goodness. 🙂
7. Cereal Topping: I like to slice the bananas and add them to my cereal. No matter what kind of cereal you like…this adds a little more flavor and it’s healthier for you.
8. Chocolate Covered Bananas: Oh, yeah! This is similar to banana popsicles. Before freezing..cut lengthwise and place popsicle stick in the middle…put back together and freeze. Now cover in melted chocolate…refreeze and Enjoy! You can also cut your bananas in pieces, cover with chocolate and freeze. Break apart pieces when frozen. This makes good finger size snacks for little ones.
9. Dried Banana Chips: This is one of my favorites and it keeps well. You don’t have to have a dehydrator to do this either. They are nice, but I don’t have one. 🙂 Slice bananas into small pieces and place on wire rack making sure they don’t touch. Cook on low…really low, about 150 degrees….for 8-10 hours. It helps to leave the oven door cracked open slightly to promote air circulation.
10. Baked or Fried Bananas: To bake…coat in melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with brown sugar & cinnamon. If you like coconut….it makes a nice crispy outside. Just roll in coconut before baking. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Ovens differ on times so you might check it at about 15 minutes and go from there. 🙂 To Fry…coat them with flour and a little cinnamon, fry till golden….drizzle with honey and eat. Very Good!
Bananas are an economical, healthy and delicious food. So the next time they get past your “ideal” eating stage Don’t Throw Them Out! Try a few of these ideas instead. Even if they are a mushy and over-ripe they work well in breads, smoothies, etc. So don’t be afraid to grab those bananas you see on sale. Your kids (and your spouse) will love you for it! 🙂