For some reason I always buy too many bananas. Then they get spotty and mushy, and I end up throwing them out. I try buying smaller bananas, fewer bananas, green bananas, yet they turn brown before we can eat all of them. So inevitably, they end up in a loaf of banana bread. Sometimes I throw in chocolate chips, walnuts, peanut butter, oats, turn them into muffins, cakes, etc. but after awhile, it all just tastes the same.
Fortunately, banana bread is not the only way to save old bananas from the trash can. I've researched 5 other uses for the ol' nanner. (Bananas freeze well whole and unpeeled, so if you don't have time to make anything now, pop them in the freezer to make later.)
Side note: Don't store bananas in the refrigerator, they will brown a lot faster.
**5 Best Uses For Old Bananas**
1. Smoothies. Cut up bananas, freeze and use them for smoothies. Ever wonder how smoothie shop smoothies are so thick, while yours end up watery? They use frozen fruit instead of fresh, and frozen bananas are particularly creamy.
2. Homemade Beauty Masks. Bananas have nourishing properties for the skin, Vitamins A and C which are considered to be powerful antioxidants. Mash a banana with 1/3 cup of oatmeal and apply to the face. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water for a skin-brightening mask.
3. Make banana pancakes. That lackadaisical Jack Johnson song has some merit. Mushy bananas taste best in pancakes when they are sweetest. Just throw them in the batter before flipping.
4. Frozen banana pops. Also a great study snack. Peel the banana, put a stick in it and dip it in chocolate. Sprinkle some crushed peanuts or sprinkles on it for a low-fat ice cream substitute.
5. Go Savory. Take a tip from Hispanic cultures and serve them with dinner. Slice the bananas, fry them, and serve them with refried beans and sour cream.
Alexia Detweiler is a freelance blogger in Lancaster, Pa. She's an advocate for eating and shopping locally.
—Alexia Detweiler for Small Kitchen College
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