Growing up in West Africa, Bananas were a huge part of our everyday diet. We kept a large stalk of bananas in the covered area between our house and kitchen. those bananas we removed, or picked off, quickly ripened enough for us to eat them. Bananas rarely ripen on the tree. They have to be picked to ripen.
Buying bananas in the USA is a little different. Here we buy them by the hand, and they often ripen so fast it is hard to know how many to buy for your family. Often it is impossible to eat them before they become too ripe. If you have small children a large banana might be way more than one child can or should eat, and you are likely to have a lot of waste. Follow the tip below and purchase smaller ones. Costco prices their bananas (both regular and organic) by the bunch, so when purchasing them there, we count the bananas to get the most bananas for our buck. Those who are watching calories or carbohydrates should note that there are about 100 calories in what is considered a “medium” banana ( about 7 inches unpeeled) and more than 25 carbohydrates. Most bananas sold here in America, are quite a bit larger than that. The larger the banana the greater the caloric and carbohydrate count, and also the cost per serving. That should not keep us from eating bananas.
Bananas are some of the most wonderful foods on the planet, rich in Potassium and other healing nutrients, they can control blood sugar, soothe morning sickness, keep alertness high during an exam, lower body temperature and cool a fever, reduce constipation, and even act as a prebiotic and produce nutrients to aid digestion. They are among the first recommended solid foods for babies and are part of the BRAT diet for those suffering from stomach flu or other intestinal difficulties.
The peels, when added to soil around rose bushes will feed and protect your roses from disease, you can even use the inside of the peels to polish your shoes.
It is good to know that there are no GMO bananas, though hundreds of years ago, there was some hybridization of seedy yet tasty fruit, with bland and seed free fruit, to deliver the delicious bananas we know today.
Here are five ways to keep your bananas from ripening too fast.
1. Purchase bananas that have green tips and tops.
2. Store them in the refrigerator. It will darken the peel, but the fruit will stay fresh days longer than sitting on the counter.
3. Cover the stem end of each banana with plastic wrap. I don’t know why this works so well, but I’ve tested it, and they last several days longer.
4. When buying fresh bananas, always store them away from any other fruit you might have sitting out, especially any ripe bananas you might already have.
5. Keep your newly purchased bananas in a thin produce bag – the VERY lightweight bags from the produce section of the supermarket will allow the fruit to breathe, but will help keep it from ripening too fast.
If your bananas do get too ripe before you have a chance to eat them, peel and store in zipper bags in the freezer, until you can use them to make smoothies or some baked goodies.
Try these cookie recipes for using your too ripe bananas. Both have no added flour or sugar.