My wife and I love to eat bananas, and we normally have them in our house. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way and we don’t eat them before they start to get brown on the outside. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my bananas yellow, maybe even with a little tinge of green on the peel. Once they start getting brown, I don’t like to eat them plain. They get too soft, and the texture and flavor changes a little bit. But there are great things you can do with them. Here are my favorite:
- Banana bread (or muffins): My wife makes an awesome loaf of banana bread. Take some very ripe bananas, eggs, flour, brown sugar, walnuts, a wife’s loving touch, mix, and bake. Eat it warm with a little butter… Mmmmm.
- Health shakes (read – banana milkshakes): Take one overripe banana, a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream, a splash of milk, a teaspoon of artificial vanilla flavoring, and a pinch of cinnamon if you wish… Wow! I grew up drinking these. Sometimes I wouldn’t eat the bananas in the hopes my dad would make banana milkshakes!
- Fruit smoothies (read – health shakes): Take an overripe banana, some fresh strawberries or blueberries (frozen work just as well), add some ice, and blend. Optional ingredients include yogurt and/or orange juice. You have a healthy, refreshing, and delicious drink. These are awesome in the summertime!
- Cereal topping: I like bananas with my oatmeal, Cheerios or Corn Flakes. They round out an otherwise one-dimensional meal. For cereal you can use fresh bananas or overripe. Either way it makes your cereal healthier and taste better.
- Freeze them to make banana pops: This is a new one for me. My wife just introduced me to it, and I love it! Take very ripe bananas, peel them, slice them through the middle for easier handling (not lengthwise) , wrap them in plastic wrap, then freeze them. When you eat them they taste just like banana pop-cycles or ice cream! The best part is, even though they taste like ice cream, they are just as good for you as if you ate them fresh!
- Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches: Self explanatory. Spread liberal amounts of peanut butter over soft, white bread, slice bananas and place on top of said peanut butter, squeeze bread together, enjoy.
- Adult beverages: Take an overripe banana, some crushed ice, a little rum, some fun music, and a hot day, and you have a recipe for a good time.
- Chocolate Covered Bananas: Slice bananas in half lengthwise,put a stick in them, freeze them, cover them with melted semisweet chocolate (melted chocolate chips work great), refreeze, and enjoy! Another thing you can do (for the kids, of course!) is mush up overripe bananas into a cookie cutter and pour melted chocolate over it. Then freeze them and you have great snacks. OK, these are good for everyone.
- Baked or fried bananas: To bake bananas coat them in melted butter or margarine, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, and bake for about 20 minutes.You can coconut shreds if you like, they add a nice crispness. Tasty! To fry them coat them with some flour and a small amount of cinnamon, lightly fry in margarine or butter and drizzle with honey.
- Banana Chips: Banana chips are healthy and tasty. Slice them into small pieces and lay them on wire rack so that no part of them touches another banana. Bake very low (about 150) for about 8-10 hours. It helps to leave the oven door slightly open to promote air circulation. You can also use a dehydrator, but I don’t have one of these.
Bananas are a very nutritious and delicious fruit, but unfortunately, they have a short shelf life. The shelf life is even shorter in my household, because I like my bananas yellow. These tips can help you extend the life of bananas, and most of these are fun to make and eat. The next time your bananas get a little too ripe for your taste, have some fun and try one of these tips. With these tips, bananas should never be thrown out! Enjoy!