We buy bananas nearly every week, and last week they were on sale for 29 cents per pound, so I bought a really big bunch. Unfortunately, it seems that despite our best efforts to eat them up quickly, we always end up with at least one overripe, unappealing banana.
Most thrifty people know that overripe bananas can be frozen. Just peel, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. The challenge is figuring out what to do with all those frozen bananas rattling around in the back of your freezer. Banana bread, of course, is always an option, and it seems that everyone has a favorite banana bread recipe. Today I’ll share mine with you, because it is, hands down, the best I’ve ever eaten.
Heather’s Favorite Banana Nut Bread
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk (I sub plain, skim milk when I’m lazy, and it always turns out great!)
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 cups white sugar (I’ve also used brown sugar, and it too is delicious)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2) Blend together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and bananas.
3) Sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix!
4) Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
This bread is awesome! But what if you’ve already made so much banana bread that the very sight of it makes you feel sick?
Here are some other options:
Sour cream banana cake is a moist, dense cake, which is nice for breakfast. You can find the recipe here.
Monkey tails: Cut bananas in half. Insert a popsicle stick in the flat end and freeze on wax paper. When frozen, dip in melted chocolate, and roll in nuts, coconut or colored sprinkles.
Smoothies: Freeze banana chunks on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Store frozen chunks in a Ziploc bag in your freezer. Blend 3-4 chunks with a cup of yogurt (any flavor-we like strawberry) and 1/4 cup milk. You can experiment with orange juice or other juices instead of milk.
Other recipe ideas are:
-Banana ice cream
The possibilities appear to be endless!
Bananas also have many lawn and garden uses:
-Dried, mulched banana peels are especially beneficial for roses and ferns.
-Overripe bananas are a welcome addition to compost piles, because of their high potassium and phosphorus content (just make sure to bury them deeply so an animal doesn’t eat them.)
-Butterflies and birds are attracted to overripe bananas. Punch a few holes in them and put them on a raised platform (above head level) in your backyard. Enjoy watching your beautiful new visitors!