Healthy Eating, Healthy Wallet

You say banana, I say buhnanuh

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits. They are packed with good things for your body and easily portable. You can eat the whole thing, then toss the peel in the compost pile. Win-win.

The only problem is they don’t have a long shelf life. You come home with a large bunch of these tasty tropical treats and, in a week or so, they go from firm and yellow to brown and squishy.

“My mother always used to say, “The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.” ― Betty White

But this doesn’t mean you’re condemned to eating them all right away. Putting them in the fridge can net you a few days (even if the outside turns colors, the inside should be fine). And if they do go soft? Well, they are still great in recipes (sometimes food turns out better with over ripe bananas).

I don’t grocery shop more than once a month. We used to have fresh bananas for the first couple of weeks and then we’d just wait until the following month to get more. But everyone in the family really likes them and there were sometimes issues with sharing (“MOM! #3 ate all the bananas AGAIN!”) Apparently, a dwindling supply breeds hunger in small children.

One day I happened to read an article about freezing bananas (which I had no idea you could do). The next month I picked up a couple extra bundles to try it out. I peeled, sliced, and placed them on freezer paper, making sure to leave a little space between each one. Then, I popped them in the freezer. The next day I took them out and put them in a freezer bag. Since they are individually frozen, they shake out easily instead of freezing in one big lump. Voila! Bananas that last until the next shopping trip!

Not long ago, I saw discounted bags of bananas while shopping. The store had taken all the ones which were no longer pretty and put them in small bags, marking them as half off the usual price. I filled my basket, came home, and froze bag after bag of sliced bananas. They were a little soft and brown, but that’s ok; they froze just fine. I will definitely be checking for this on future trips.

I don’t recommend trying to eat defrosted slices as is; they are a bit slimy for a fruit salad. But they are perfect for yogurt, pancakes, breads, oatmeal, smoothies; basically any time you would cook or mix bananas in something else. Have fun experimenting!

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