Bananas. They are one of the most popular fruits in the U.S. which is pretty remarkable since they aren’t widely farmed anywhere in U.S. (except maybe Hawaii?) And why not?! They are full of Potasium, Manganese, Fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins C and B6. They come in a single serving size, great packaging, not messy, easy to eat on the go. And for most of us, one of the first solid foods we ever experienced as a baby.
We use bananas at our home all the time. They are a great snack by themselves and just about everyone has had one sliced into a bowl of cereal, but there’s a lot more you can do with your bananas, especially once they start to ripen or overripen.
Most people think the only thing you can really do with overripe bananas is make banana bread. Great idea! But there are so many other things you can do with them too! We usually by 2 bunches at a time and let one get good and ripe. Once the peel starts to get brown, more of the starches start to convert to sugar, and they become much sweeter. They may not be as pretty on the outside, but never judge a banana by its cover.
One of my favorite things to do with a bunch of overripe bananas is peel them all, then line them up on baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours. Once the bananas are good and frozen, transfer them to a gallon-size freezer bag and keep them stored in the freezer. Now you will have frozen bananas at your fingertips! So what can you do with frozen bananas?
Here are a few ideas…
- The next time you find yourself on the couch with a craving for something cool and sweet, rather than indulging in ice cream, try a frozen banana. It really satisfies that need for a sweet, cool treat! You could even go a little decadent and dip it in chocolate (melted chocolate chips, perhaps)
- Throw one in a smoothie. Frozen bananas add creaminess to smoothies that you just can’t get from fresh ones.
- Blend a couple in the blender (with a little soy or almond milk) to create a wonderful creamy ice cream-like treat.
- I discovered this use when I was going to bake muffins last week and I didn’t have any fresh, ripe bananas on hand. I tried thawing and mashing a frozen, ripe banana, and it worked out great! Thaw on a plate or in a bowl on the counter for a little while. Then mash ’em up and use as fat or egg replacer in baking. Please note, do not try this with anything that you do not wish to have a little banana-ish taste to.
- Slice and add to oatmeal. The frozen banana slices also help to cool your oatmeal down quickly so that you can start eating it sooner. It’s great for little guys (and girls) who can’t handle hot foods and always want to eat NOW! You can do this with any frozen fruit, really.
If you have any other uses for frozen bananas, please leave a comment and share them with the rest of us!
So the next time you’re at the store, pick up an extra bunch of bananas, freeze them when the get really ripe, and see what you can do!