Going bananas!

It seems so often that poor, lonely bananas are deemed the fate of banana bread. Poor banana bread – always the afterthought of the leftover, uneaten bananas. So, what do you do when you have a banana bread craving? Wait until your bananas go bad? And, what if you have bad bananas, but you don’t want banana bread right now? I’ve got a few answer for you! :)

Holding onto bad, brown bananas : Just because they’ve gone brown and speckly, but you’re not in the mood to bake, does it mean you should toss them! On the contrary! They actually freeze very well. Simply leave them in their skins and place them in a freezer bag and stick in the freezer. When you’ve accumulated three bananas, either bake up a batch of your favorite Aunt’s recipe or keep them in there for a last-minute company gathering.

Stuck with yellow bananas : If you want banana bread today, but the stare down of the yellow bananas doesn’t seem to increase their ripening time, try this little tip! While you’re pre-heating your oven for the bread, simply place the appropriate number of bananas for the recipe on a cookie sheet and place in the oven! The only reason we wait until bananas are brown for recipes isn’t to “use them up,” although that is a great reason. It’s because their sugars have broken down and the bananas are so sweet. So, by heating them in the oven for 20 minutes or so, you’re helping to speed along the sugaring process! This won’t work for green bananas–in fact, just don’t buy those at all. The bananas need to have already had some help from Mother Nature and be a nice shade of yellow!

Company coming? To dress up a simple banana bread recipe, try toasting some walnuts or macademia nuts in the 350º oven for 5 minutes on a cookie sheet, chopping, and stirring in the batter. A little cinnamon and nutmeg will also help change up the flavor. For extra beauty when serving, add some powdered sugar on the top and a few sliced strawberries.

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