Monday, March 15, 2010

Orange ya' glad I didn't say "banana?"

We recently joined a food co-op that has already been such a blessing to our family in multiple ways.

It does make me get a little creative in the food department at times when we get an abundance of one particular item.

Last week it was bananas. Even after giving lots of them away, we still had about 30-40 bananas to enjoy.

We love bananas around here. Eat them in oatmeal, on pancakes, in smoothies, in banana bread, and of course straight out of the peel.

Well, if you ever find yourself with a surplus of bananas even in a banana loving house, thought you might want some ideas.

After all, these conversations get a little old after a while:

"Mom, I'm hungry. What can I have for a snack?"
- "Bananas."
"Oh, thanks."

Or . . .
"Mom, may I have a . . ."
-- (I interrupt) "Banana? Yes, you may."
"Uh, oh, okay."

We started with the usual, eating them and using them in our typical fashion. Then we made a double batch of banana bread. Still 25 bananas to go . . .

We then froze bananas:

- Broken into chunks and placed in a freezer bag. These are great in smoothies and last for quite a while. I was actually running low before, and now I am well stocked.

- Frozen mashed bananas. Our banana bread recipe uses three bananas each, so we put three bananas in a freezer bag and mushed them to a pulp (kids love this, even when they don't really want to eat another banana). Once sufficiently pulverized, we label it and place it in the freezer for a time when we have regained our taste for bananas (might take us a whole two weeks) and we thaw and use it quickly in more fresh banana bread.

We ate bananas with peanut butter:
- Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are far better than PBJ, in my opinion. For variety, we rolled it up in a tortilla, too.

- I made a fruit dip with plain yogurt, peanut butter, and honey (pretty sure I got that idea over at Delightful Learning, but can't find the exact post). We had this with apples before, but it fits even better with bananas.

We made ridiculously unhealthy snacks:
- Frozen Banana pops. Place half peeled banana on skewer. Freeze for about an hour and then coat with melted chocolate (1 cup chocolate chips and 2 tbsp butter melted together) or chocolate peanut butter (1 cup chocolate chips and 4 tbsp. peanut butter melted together). You can also add sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut, etc.)

- Banana chocolate parfaits. These are quick and easy. Each person gets a bowl or dessert cup. Slice bananas into bowl. Spread a spoonful of whipped cream on and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Crumble an Oreo cookie on top and add another layer of each if desired. One layer was enough for us, and this was yummy!

And, now we have almost reached the end of our supply. A few more bananas for oatmeal tomorrow and we should be out!

Any other favorite banana recipes?

Need more Kitchen Tips? Head over to Tammy's Recipes.

Also check out more Works for Me Wednesday ideas.


Courtney said...

So funny. As I read your uses for bananas, all I saw was chocolate in each one and immediately thought of a yummy coconut/chocolate pudding. But then I realized you were writing about bananas! I make a lot of banana chocolate chip bread: just use whatever b-bread recipe you have and add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Obviously, I have a one-track mind.

6intow said...

Courtney, I agree, bananas go even better with chocolate. Coconut chocolate pudding sounds good, maybe we could put it on top of the bananas . . . ;)

michael said...

Don't forget to make banana splits, too, LOL!

Here is something I used to make when my kids were little, and they just loved it:

Take a banana and cut a rectangle out of one of the flat sides--keep the ends intact. You will have a 'boat' which is still the whole banana, but with a 'window' cut out.

Take a fork or spoon and put it through the opening and poke around until the banana is mashed up (you can leave it a little chunky).

Now, top with whipped cream, plus chocolate chips or nuts or whatever you like, then dig in! It's sort of like your parfait...only you eat it right out of the banana, LOL!

michael said...

BTW, "Michael" (the comment regarding the banana split) is really me, Mom2fur from My computer kicked so I am borrowing my husband's!

6intow said...

Mom2fur (aka Michael -- hate those computer issues! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em),

Thanks for the banana boat idea. That does sound yummy, and a more creative presentation, too.

Thank you,

Mandy said...

We like to make "fried bananas". Slice ripe bananas at an angle (make the slices pretty thick). Sprinkle the slices with cinnamon and nutmeg. Get a nonstick pan VERY hot. Fry the banana slices for a few seconds on each side until they are browned, crispy and caramalized. Heathly yet delish!

One Day at a Time. said...

You can freeze the bananas in their peels/ The peel will turn black, but the banana inside is perfect for mashed bananas for bread and such. Just pull out the amount you need, thaw, tear off the stem side and the banana just falls right out ready for very easy mashing. What's nice is you don't have to use a zip-lock bag. :)

6intow said...

Mandy, I love that idea, I will definitely have to give it a try. I love the way the bananas get caramelized in pancakes, so I am sure that would be amazing as well.

One Day, I never knew. We have a surplus of ziplocs, but I know they will run out someday. And, keeping more plastic off of my food sounds good anyway. Great tip, thanks!


Sabrina said...

Freeze the bananas peeled, then use an immersion blender to blend the frozen bananas into banana ice cream!! It's to die for, and only 1 ingredient :)