Sometimes you might find that a couple of bananas that have lingered in the fruit bowl for a little too long and are past their prime. And while there’s a good chance a bit of mashed ‘nana was the first solid food you ate as a baby, you are probably less keen on mushy ones these days.
But, before you consign overripe bananas to the compost, why not give them a second lease on life – and yourself a tasty treat?
- Top tip: You can freeze peeled bananas for up to 4 months. Peel and chop them into chunks ready to blitz or freeze the whole fruit, peel and all (for up to 2 months)!
Here are 6 ways to use up those overripe ‘nanas:
Place 1-2 chopped ripe bananas (if you use frozen you’ll get a thicker drink – and won’t need to add ice!) in a blender with 1 cup of milk of your choice and add maple syrup, golden syrup, honey, date syrup, rice bran syrup or another sweetener of your choosing to taste. Blitz and enjoy!
- Cheeky chimp: Take a tip from our primate pals and peel from the bottom of the banana – this way those fibrous stringy bits stay in the peel and not on the sides of your ‘nana.
Sift together 260g plain flour, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarb soda and ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Add 150g brown sugar and 100g of walnuts (roughly chopped). Stir to combine. In another bowl, mash 3 large overripe bananas, then stir in 2 large eggs (lightly beaten), 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 100g unsalted butter (melted & cooled). Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined (don’t over-mix). Pour into a greased and floured loaf tin (or line with re-usable baking parchment) and bake for 1 hour in a 175°C pre-heated oven.
Sift 2 cups self-raising flour and ½ tsp bicarb soda into a bowl. Add 1 ½ cups water and mix to a smooth batter. Cut 4 bananas into three pieces and roll lightly in plain flour. Drop the banana pieces into the batter and drain off excess batter before carefully placing into a saucepan filled with ½ cup oil heated to about 180°C. Deep fry until golden brown. Remove, drain and serve hot with ice-cream or dust with cinnamon or nutmeg, sprinkle with nuts, drizzle with toffee sauce…
- Ripe, ripe baby: If there are fruits in your bowl you want to ripen faster (like an avo, tomato or pear), pop them in a brown paper bag (or one of those reusable calico bags) with a banana. The ethylene the banana gives off will help the other fruit ripen.
Banana vanilla soft serve with dark chocolate drizzle
To make the ice cream: Blitz 4 peeled frozen bananas, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 cup of milk (of your choice or water) until it becomes the consistency of soft-service ice-cream.
Top with a drizzle made by stirring together 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or other syrup of your choice), 1 tsp cacao powder and 1 tsp of water until the mix is smooth.
- Peelings, nothing more than peelings: Don’t just throw away those peels – they can be used to treat acne and wrinkles, whiten your teeth, reduce the appearance of scars and bruises, relieve itching skin, soothe a burn, remove a splinter or wart, treat migraine/headaches, condition your hair, tenderise your meat and even polish your silver, pot-plant leaves and shoes! And they are great in the garden to help control aphids, as rose food and tomato fertiliser.
Cardamom-scented banana Bundt cake
Mash 1 ½ cups of ripe bananas with 2 Tbsp lemon juice. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together 1 cup of unsalted butter (softened) with 2 cups sugar and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mix is smooth. At low speed, mix in 3 cups of plain flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1 tsp salt and the banana mix. Pour the batter into a generously buttered Bundt tin (or another cake tin of your choosing) and bake for about 1 hour (or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean) in a pre-heated 180°C oven.
- Fun fact; did you know that botanically a banana is a berry and it actually grows on a plant that is classified as a herb? And it is thought they were first cultivated in PNG in 8000 BC!
Make a summertime treat for your canine companion by adding chunks of banana and a handful of kibble to a medium size bowl. Top with water and freeze. Turn out of the bowl and let your furry friend lick through the ice to get to the ‘nana and tasty treats.
- Healthy, wealthy & wise: As bananas are high in potassium, if you have any medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart or kidney problems, check with your healthcare professional that these fruits can be included in your diet.