Bananas are a quick go-to for healthy snacks. They have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium – making them a heart healthy choice; and they’re a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, and manganese. One medium banana supplies about 105 nutrient dense calories.
My family usually has no trouble eating bananas before they start turning brown, but sometimes the brown speckles start to appear and my kids then turn up their noses at them. They’re still just fine to eat, so I’ve found different ways to use them in meals and snacks. Here are five ideas to help use up those bananas:
1. Try a smoothie – Pair up bananas with strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, or other fruits and yogurt for a healthy breakfast or snack option. Strawberry – banana smoothies are a favorite of my family.
2. Make dessert– I found a recipe for caramelized bananas at Eating Well and my family loved them. I confess I didn’t have rum or orange juice, but I did have mango nectar and they turned out great. So if you’re in the mood for a dessert that has some nutritional redeeming value try this one.
3. Add to a snack – Get out your peanut butter and graham crackers. Add bananas and you have a fun, healthy, kid-friendly snack. Try three squares graham crackers spread with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, and top with 1/2 banana, sliced thin. Yum.
4. Freeze them – Find a freezer bag, peel and cut a couple bananas into chunks and toss in the freezer. These can be used for banana bread, muffins, or smoothies. This a much better option than tossing them in the garbage. If I’m short of time I’ll skip cutting them and just toss the whole banana in the freezer to use later.
5. Bake with them – Homemade banana muffins or banana bread are a favorite in our home. Find a favorite recipe and add mashed up bananas for added flavor. Here’s a recipe I have over at Not Quite Amish for the Best Banana Bread (my kids called it that and the name stuck).
Don’t give up on this healthy fruit just because of a few brown spots. There are many healthy and tasty ways to use bananas! What are you favorites?