Ode to Bananas
Where oh where would I be without bananas?The perfect antidote to hunger-induced grumpiness. (Not that I'd know anything about that). Incredibly toss-into-bag-able. Nutritious and entertaining and tummy-filling for my little Nelle. Perfect for smoothies and cakes and sliced over granola.
I want so much to plant a banana tree. We have the climate for it, after all. And recently my friend Amanda gave me a bunch of her home-grown bananas (the ones pictured in this post!) and - well - they were amazing. I read recently that I could get something like 50-150 bananas a year ... oh, bliss.
And what to do with too many bananas? Use them in your favourite recipe! But here are my favourite ways to save them for later:
1. Store them in the fridge (under very particular conditions)
Don't just lob them in ... they'll go icky or hard. But if you buy an excessive amount of bananas because they're on sale or something, you can store some of the greenish ones for later. So you don't have 20 ripe bananas all at once.
Here's what you do:
Wrap your bunch of bananas in a thick tea towel. Put them in the door of the fridge, near the bottom - basically, the warmest part of the fridge. Ideally you would keep them at around 10 - 15C (50-60F). There you go! I learned this method from my favourite banana vendor at my favourite farmers markets ... and it really works!
2. Pop them into the freezer
I've read before that you should peel them and store them in baggies ... but really I just can't be bothered to do that. I just pop them in, as is, and then when I fancy a smoothie at some later date I just cut the peel off while they're still frozen. Easy peasy.
3. Dry them out
I love dried fruit, and bananas are no exception. But when drying something aromatically fruity, how to prevent a fruit fly infestation?
Here's what I do:
I dry fruit in the back window of my car. For example, if you're going to dry out some bananas - slice them thinly and lay them out on a cookie rack. Pop them into the back window of your car (or on the dash) and they'll be ready to store in a day or two. I love this method because it allows me to preserve my little fruits without having to think about them at all.
NOTE: do not do this if you're not keen on the smell of whatever it is you're drying, because when you drive around you will be trapped with the aroma. I think it actually smells nice - it's not like when you forget a banana peel under your seat or anything. That's pretty ick.
NOTE TWO: And don't forget to remove the rack from your car window before driving off! Some might consider flying bananas to be slightly dangerous ...