Thursday, September 10, 2009

Going Bananas!

Here in Guatemala bananas are everywhere and they are dirt cheap too. You can't even step toot into the market without seeing a stall of mostly or complete black 'naners. The people here can't even eat them fast enough - they have to bring them to the market to sell even though they're rotten!

Random fact. Did you know that a banana tree must be cultivated for approximately 7 years before it produces fruit? And that it only produces once in it's lifetime. Now don't you think it's a shame all of those bananas are going to waste?

I don't know about you guys, but I have a strangely particular palate (and nose) when it comes to eating them. I absolutely despise bananas that are overripe. If it has even one spot of brown on the peel, I cannot go there. Yuck! I can hardly even talk about it without gagging. Actually, I prefer bananas that still look a little green. And Don't even think that you can trick me and slice one up on my cereal or in my smoothie because I can smell an overripe banana from 3 rooms away. In my opinion the only thing that they are good for is baking banana bread, and even then I don't want to be the one to touch them!

Ben on the other hand loves bananas, not matter how you slice them up. Unlike me who has a window of time (usually 1-2 days after we buy them green) for consumption, he will continue to eat them until the fruit flies have gather around the fruit basket for several days. Ralph! And when he can no longer take them, rather than throwing the nasty things out, he pops them in the freezer so that every time I open up the door, out fall a couple of black frozen ones. It's like he's saying "hint, hint, I'm hungry for banana bread!"

Check out these 2 interesting articles with creative uses for bananas that I have recently read on Apartment Therapy. Being that bananas are so abundant around here, both are on my to-do list.

7 Ways to Reuse a Banana Peel


To be honest, the only things we’ve ever thought banana peels were good for were to fill the compost and to make people fall. Then we came across these genius ways to reuse the slippery guys…

1. Help Your Garden Grow: Bananas are naturally high in potassium and encourages plant growth. Use banana peel or puree entire banana and bury with soil.

2. Shoe Polish: Use the peel to make your kicks nice and shiny.

3. Stop the Itch: Rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite helps itch relief.

4. Pain Reliever: The oil in a banana peel will help relieve the pain from burns and scratches.

5. Wart Removal: Tape a piece of banana peel on a wart, continue until it’s.

6. Make Houseplants Gleam: Just like peels can shine shoes, they can also be used to make the leaves of plants shine.

7. Removing Splinters: Similar to wart removal, tape a piece of the peel over the splinter. The enzymes will help dislodge the splinter and heal the wound.

(Image: Flickr user butler.corey licensed for use under Creative Commons)

How To Make Creamy Ice Cream with Just One Ingredient!


Yes, that's right; you heard us. Creamy, soft-serve style ice cream with just one ingredient — and no ice cream maker needed! What is this one magic ingredient that can be whipped into perfectly rich and silky ice cream, with no additional dairy, sweeteners, or ingredients needed whatsoever?


If you guessed BANANA, congratulations! You're right!

What? You didn't know that bananas can make some of the best ice cream? Well, I didn't either until last week, when my sister called me up and mentioned that she's been freezing bananas and then pureeing them into ice cream.

"That's the sort of thing you discover," she sighed, "when all your friends are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-allergic, and you're on a sugar-free diet." I'd deal with a list of dietary restrictions twice as long, though, if it meant discovering more treats like this one.

It turns out that frozen bananas are good for more than just dipping in chocolate. If you freeze a banana until solid, then whiz it up in a blender or food processor, it gets creamy and a little gooey, just like good custard ice cream. I was surprised at this bit of kitchen wizardry; I assumed that a blended banana would be flaky or icy. But no — it makes creamy, rich ice cream.

Some bananas, depending on their ripeness, have a bit of that green aftertaste. My sister has been experimenting with adding in another ingredient or two, like a tablespoon of peanut butter and another of honey. Delicious!

Have you ever tried frozen-banana ice cream? Try it! It's an easy way to stay cool and use up over-ripe bananas at the same time.

(Images: Faith Durand)

Thanks Apartment Therapy for helping to eliminate my banana waste!


Ryan said...

How funny is it that I just finished throwing out 3 overripe bananas when I noticed several fruit flies hovering about in my kitchen?! I guess a dislike for brown, mushy bananas runs in the family!

Melanie Finotti said...

Great tips - I just happen to have a couple "overly ripe" bananas I can freeze tonight for ice cream tomorrow night!! Yum!

Uncle, Aunt, cousins in IL said...

My banana bread, using 5 frozen overipe bananas, just came out of the oven this may still be warm too bad Ben isn't here. Bekah is taking it with her when she travels to IN for a softball tournament. Freezing them in a ziploc bag and than mashing them after thawed eliminates much of the touching too!! I like my bananas just like you, Krista!

Krista & Ben said...

Great idea about the peeling before freezing Beth! So simple, why didn't I think of that? As for that warm banana bread, save me a piece! Even though the mushy bananas gross me out, I still like the end result....especially with chocolate chips!