You probably think that at some point, I’m going to say to use old bananas to make banana bread. That’s what everyone says: “Those bananas are going bad. Oh well, I’ll just make banana bread.”
Well, I’m not going to tell you that. Don’t get me wrong; I like banana bread, it’s just that this blog is about using up food to reduce waste, not making more food that needs to be eaten.
Banana bread uses one-and-a-half bananas, but it makes a large loaf of delicious but also calorie-dense bread, and that’s fine every now and then (plus, most baked goods freeze well). But I simply cannot eat enough banana bread to use up all the brown bananas I used to have in my house.
So I’m not going to give you recipes like peanut butter banana cookies, banana oatmeal cupcakes, banana bread pancakes, banana ice cream, banana cake, banana yeast bread, chocolate banana cream pie, or banana waffles.
Granted, if you let your bananas get soft enough, baking is all they’ll be good for. What you want is ways to use a lot of bananas (without getting stuck with a plate full of treats you don’t need) so that if you see a five-banana bunch getting brown spots on your counter, you know what to do before they turn black.
One trick I discovered for when I don’t want a plain, raw banana: cooked bananas. If you’ve never had a cooked banana, you’re missing out.
First, I tried pan fried cinnamon bananas. You just melt butter, honey, and cinnamon in a pan, add banana slices, and fry them up. (See recipe below.) Eat them as they are or put them on ice cream or pancakes.
Bananas foster – a popular dish in New Orleans – is a similar concept, except that after you take the bananas out you add rum to the sauce left in the pan and set it on fire, and then when the flames die out, you pour the sauce on top of the bananas. I’d like to try this, but I don’t drink, so I’m not sure what I would do with the rest of the rum.
The pan fried bananas were delicious and my girls liked them, so then I tried deep fried bananas.
I first had these at a Brazilian restaurant and went nuts over them. My mom makes them with pancake batter, which is much easier than making your own batter: just slice them up, dip them in, and deep fry until they turn brown and crispy.
We ate them plain, but they’d be good with ice cream. If you have leftover pancake batter afterwards, fry it up without then banana and roll in powdered sugar to make deep-fried fritters. Delicious!
There’s not much you can do with the leftover vegetable oil, I’m afraid.