My roommates and I have very different taste, but we share a mutual love for bananas. Once a week somebody orders a bag of them from the grocery program we have on campus. By paying 20 dining dollars, you can purchase six ingredients (i.e. rice, oranges, zucchini, etc.) from the main dining hall. Although we generally appreciate the fact that we receive about eight bananas when the order form indicates “6 in a bunch”, we often are left with a few bananas turning a dark color by the middle of the week. I happen to love really ripe bananas, but my roommates just don’t believe it when I say that they’re still good to eat when the outer coating gets black.
In honor of our dilemma, I decided to post five tips on what to do with bananas before and after they turn that unaesthetic color:
- Have too many bananas? Use them as cooking substitutes! According to the Kitchn, you can use a ripe banana for an egg while baking (that’s a great way to reduce fat and cholesterol, too). Livestrong.com also notes that “Substituting 1 cup of mashed banana for 1 cup of oil [when baking] produces a similarly moist, dense product”.
- Freeze your bananas before they get too ripe. It’s the simplest thing you can do with actually any produce item you’re afraid may get overripe. You either remove the peel and store them whole or sliced in a freezer bag, or just throw them in there with the peel on. NOTE: The peel will turn dark brown if you choose to keep it on in the freezer, but the banana on the inside is still in perfect shape. To defrost just run the banana under water until the peel starts to soften up, or submerge it in a small bowl of water. Frozen bananas are a great treat during hot weather- almost as good as ice cream- and are a great excuse to make chocolate-covered bananas.
- Mash up your bananas and store them in an ice-cube tray. This odd trick is once again easily applicable to a number of fruits. When you need pureed banana- say to make banana bread, pudding or cake- just pop them out of the freezer and defrost.
- On the same topic of breads, pudding and cake… use black bananas to bake! The softest of bananas with black outer coatings are actually ideal to bake because they’re easy to mash up. For inspiration, here’s a great banana bread recipe from Joy of Baking’s food blog.
- Finally, the classic solution for using blackened bananas is to make a good bowl of oatmeal. While I find that greener and yellow bananas are too thick and sweet to complement the savory taste of oats, riper bananas are a great mix-in, especially if you add some brown sugar and cinnamon.
Have any other ideas of what to do with black bananas, or tips on how to use bananas when you have too many? Share by posting a comment (link above)!