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Bananas: The good, the brown, and the squishy!




a collection of slightly bruised and browned cartoon bananas on a light blue background

As one of the most iconic pieces of produce, the humble banana is a familiar friend to most. Yet this sweet yellow fruit is often forgotten in our homes and left to ripen into a brown mush. So, today’s post is an ode to bananas, why they deserve our love, some common misconceptions, and what to do if your bananas get too ripe for your taste before you have the chance to eat them.


Say it with me: banana bruises are safe to eat!


If the peel is still intact and there’s no mold in sight, that bruised banana is still nutrient rich, fiber filled, and safe for snacking! The flavor and texture of the damaged area will change a bit and if that’s not your thing, I totally understand. Let’s not neglect the banana though when it still has such a bright future ahead. For your bruised, super spotted, and ripe past your preference bananas, we have ideas!

a slightly brown cartoon banana


How to use brown bananas


  • Freeze it: Remember to peel your bananas first, then place sliced or whole into a freezer safe container. Frozen bananas can be mixed with your favorite fruits and flavors to create a creamy smoothie or blended by themselves with a touch of milk to create a thick and dreamy frozen dessert. Don’t be alarmed when your frozen bananas turn brown, it’s completely normal!

  • Mash it: While an overripe banana may not look appealing, your brown bananas are at peak sweetness! At this point they’re easy to mash and bake into bread, muffins, cookies, pancakes, and more. The sky’s the limit!

  • Substitute it: If you have any vegan friends or family, you may have already experienced the wonders of bananas as an egg substitute in baked goods. Whether you’re out of eggs or want to experiment with different styles of baking, the internet is full of great ideas!

  • Slice it·: Layer in a banana pudding, or place slices into pancakes while they’re cooking to create my favorite kind of pancakes. Today’s recipe is a love letter to sliced and frozen bananas.


Frozen Banana Bark


Ingredients

  • ~2 ripe bananas (just use what you have on hand)

  • ¼ cup peanut butter (can be replaced with any nut or seed butter you prefer)

  • ½ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar (I prefer dark chocolate as the bananas provide so much sweetness

  • (optional) 1 tbsp. coconut oil

  • (optional) flaky salt, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or any other topping you enjoy


Instructions

1.      Slice and place a layer of bananas on a lined baking sheet, clustered close together.

2.      Scoop peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl and heat, stopping to stir occasionally until it gets nice and drippy.

3.      Spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the bananas and freeze for 10 minutes or until solid enough to spread the next layer.

4.      While the first layer freezes, heat chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. The coconut oil is not required, but it will help your chocolate to keep a smooth texture. Be sure to heat and stir in short intervals so as not to scorch the chocolate. A double boiler can also be used here if you prefer.

5.      Layer the melted chocolate over your frozen bananas and peanut butter. If you’d like to add other toppings, sprinkle them on top while the chocolate is still melty. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes or until all layers are fully frozen.

6.      Slice banana bark into single serving pieces and store in freezer. Enjoy when a sweet tooth strikes.


For more information on storing bananas, check out our food storage database.


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