Buy a Banana Box!

When Pak n Save gives you bananas, you make banana lemonade pancakes.

My sister-in-law loves a good bargain as much as I do. I credit her for getting me onto the Pak n Save banana box. At my local PnS, they load a banana box with overripe bananas, priced at $9.99. It’s easily 10 kgs worth, so good value for money, no? Never spotted one at your grocery store? Ask in the produce department if they have salad bananas and get yourself onto a good thing.
There’s a range of bananas in the box—this isn’t a box of pristine just-turned-yellow fruit. Usually there are plenty that we can eat right away or over the next day or two.
Then there are the super freckled. Some with a few bruises. And it goes downhill from there: Mooshy ones, ones that are nearly black, and dread—the mouldy buggers. Chuck them straight away. Mould is no good and in fact can wreak internal health havoc so don’t eat mouldy fruit.

bananas

So overripe bananas are OK to eat? You bet. In fact, they boast higher vitamin C and antioxidant levels than less ripe ones.(1) 

Bananas have a multitude of good things in them: Fibre, antioxidants, vitamin B6 (for red blood cell formation, immune support and converting fat, protein and carbs into energy), potassium (necessary for heart and nervous system function), vitamin C (for immune system, detoxification,  and assisting brain function), manganese (for thyroid function, bone development and fertility), copper (blood cell production) and magnesium (for heart health).

Also, one of my favourite attributes of the humble banana is the sweetness it adds to baking and recipes, knocking out the need for sugar. 

So exactly what do I do with 10 kgs of bananas? I get down to [monkey] business.

Step one: Get into the box. Ditch any crushed, black, mouldy ones immediately. Put any edible ones into a pile for the fruit bowl or to use in recipes right away.

Step two: Peel and freeze the rest. Place them on baking trays in single layers and into the freezer. Once frozen, put into sealable freezer bags with the date written on. Ta-do, instant ingredient.

With Fresh Bananas:

Banana Pancakes

The kids go wild for this one. Find the recipe here.

Note: You can also use frozen bananas with these. I put them in a bowl to defrost, or speed up the process in the microwave. Make sure to drain the liquid before adding other ingredients.

Donna Hay’s One Bowl Banana Cake

Easy and a crowd pleaser. See the recipe here.

My modifications: I swap the sugar for 1 cup of coconut sugar and 1 cup of self rising flour, 1/2 cup of whole wheat.

With Frozen Bananas:

Smoothie ingredient.
Chuck a few in with whatever other fruit you have in the deep freeze or pantry, maybe a bit of spinach and coconut milk. Whiz and done. Easy snack for the kiddos, too.

Banana Milkshakes.
Frozen banana + milk + blender = healthy milkshake and instant dessert treat.

Banana Ice Cream.
Drumroll please. Feast your eyes on the Yo-Nanas machine, which may seem super gimmicky and a waste of shelf space, but actually, it’s awesome. You push frozen bananas through it and it turns them into creamy ice cream. One ingredient, minimal mess. 

Frozen Banana on a Stick.
Peel and cut bananas in half and skewer each with a wooden craft stick. Put on a tray lined with baking paper in the freezer for half an hour (or more). Remove and coat with Greek yogurt and sprinkle with 100s and 1000s. Refreeze for another half an hour or overnight. The kids love these.

(1)  International Food Research Journal

Image: Bananas, Photo by Renata Brant from Pexels