Help! I bought too many bananas!
It seems there are always more brown bananas then yellow bananas on the kitchen counter. What to do? Oh, what to do? You probably don’t want to go on a banana-only diet!
As bananas pass the yellow-ripe stage, they develop brown “freckles” on their skin. They are still good to eat, and these riper bananas are sweeter because their internal starch is in the process of converting to sugar. A black banana has converted all its internal starch to sugar and is as sweet as it will get, before spoiling.
Bananas are a great source of potassium – good for your heart and blood pressure, and easy on the digestion. A fully ripe banana has TNF (tumor necrosis factor) which may be effective in fighting abnormal cells in the body. The more dark brown spots on the skin, the higher the TNF content. More dark brown spots also indicate the presence of more antioxidants that can help boost the immune system.
These freckled, sweeter bananas are great for banana bread, smoothies and shakes. The fruit inside may be soft and mushy but as long as its not dark brown or black it’s useable. Freezing bananas will slow down the ripening process, and you can use these frozen bananas in recipes, too.
A banana that is moldy or smells rotten is beyond use. One or two brown spots on the fruit itself can simply be cut away, but if there are a lot of brown spots, don’t plan on using it for anything. When you buy bananas, avoid fruit with cuts or severe damage to the skin.
Peel it like the monkeys do!
Here’s an easy way to peel a banana: Instead of struggling to peel starting from the stem end, just pinch the other end. It will split apart, and all you have to do is peel and repeat. The stem makes a perfect “handle” for holding the fruit while you eat. Those pesky “strings” tend to stay attached to the peel this way, too. Check out the video:
Here’s what to do with your over-ripe bananas
- These mini brown-banana muffins are healthier than regular banana bread, and quick to make with your food processor!
- This banana cake takes on a sweet, tropical turn with coconut and orange marmalade.
- Choose either walnuts or pecans to use in this classic glazed banana nut bread.
- Marry ripe bananas and carrots, add healthy whole wheat, flaxseed and a Greek yogurt glaze for these healthy muffins.
- Seeds are healthy. You get four different kinds of seeds in this banana loaf.
- Up your fiber intake with this prune-based banana bread:
- Here’s an energy-laden smoothie: BananAde!
- When zucchini is plentiful, why not combine it with bananas and some healthy oils for a blended bread.
- Would you have ever thought of this? Slow-cooked baked beans get an unusual addition: ripe bananas!
- Yum! Honey, pecans, and ripe bananas. How sweet is this?
- Skip the oil or shortening used in traditional banana bread and use healthier applesauce instead:
- Do you love Red Velvet cupcakes? This version adds a richness courtesy of ripe bananas.
- Looking for something different on a hot summer day? Break out the Chocolate Banana Creamsicles!
- Got a cookie monster at your house? How about satisfying him or her with a Banana-Bread and Almond-Butter Cocoa Sandwich cookie?
- Bananas, raisins and oatmeal. Does that sound like breakfast? Or lunch? Or dessert?
And here’s a Bonus!
- If you’ve got a food processor, you’re only minutes away from a delicious banana ice cream!
Featured photo credit: Jason Gillman via mrg.bz