From Yellow to Spotted to Black: What to Do With Bananas at Every Stage

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a big sack of organic bananas for the bargain price of $1.99. Usually I limit myself to a single bunch, but the deal was too good to pass by.

For the record, if I’m gonna eat a banana au naturale, it needs to be barely ripe. Once it starts to turn, the snack phase is over and the banana’s destiny lies elsewhere. (It gives me the willies to watch someone eat a black, speckled banana!)

Fortunately, there are a zillion ways to use bananas, so grab those bargains when you can and get cooking.

Bright Yellow, Firm with a Few Spots

Banana Milk: This nut-free dairy milk alternative is a natural with breakfast cereal. Blend one banana with a cup of water, add a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Use immediately.

On the Grill: Create an instant banana split — without the ice cream. Hold an unpeeled banana in the curve of your hand and slice lengthwise, stop before you cut through the bottom side of the peel. Gently pull the banana open and stuff with chocolate chips, marshmallows and nuts. Wrap in foil and grill over medium heat for ten minutes.

Main Course Recipes: Get adventurous; explore the savory side of bananas with Asian-inspired meals like Chicken Banana Sambal and tropical Coconut Banana Curry.

Deep Yellow and Freckly All Over

Baked Goods: As a banana ripens, its sugar content goes up and the soft sweet fruit is at its prime for baking. Banana bread is always an option, but don’t stop there. Use naturally ripe fruit for muffins, cookies and pancakes and cut back on the refined sugar.

 In a Pinch: Out of eggs? Go vegan and substitute one mashed banana for each egg in a baking recipe.

Slice and Freeze: Slice extra bananas into 1/4  inch thick medallions and freeze for smoothies or make one ingredient banana ice cream.

More Black Than Yellow

Banana Syrup: If your bananas have really passed their prime, turn them into syrup and use on waffles, yogurt or ice cream. Cook 1 cup mashed bananas over medium heat for 10 minutes, turn to low and simmer for about an hour until the liquid evaporates. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Store in fridge.

Dog Biscuits: Fido could use a little potassium and fiber in his diet, too!. Your pup will love these easy to make grain-free treats.

Banana Tips

Green bananas will ripen faster if you put them in a brown paper bag with an apple.

To slow the evolution of the banana from yellow to black, wrap the stems tightly with cling wrap – this will give you three to five extra days. Or, toss ‘em in the fridge; the skins will turn dark, but the banana won’t ripen any further.

Did you know? There are more songs written about bananas then any other fruit! Karen

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