Photo credits (left to right): Photo credits (top to bottom): Flickr: oatsy40
Cavendish (most common), Baby banana, Red banana, Manzanos (apple banana)
Bananas can vary in size and color, but are usually long with a curved shape. When ripe, they have a soft flesh covered by a yellow outer peel. Bananas usually taste sweet and are tender, making it easy to eat. When bananas are unripe, they are usually hard with a bitter flavor.
- Choose yellow bananas if you want to eat them right away.
- Choose slightly green (under ripe) bananas for longer shelf life. They will gradually ripen on your counter over the next couple of days.
- Store unripe bananas at room temperature for 2-7 days.
- Store ripe bananas in refrigerator for up to two weeks; skin may turn black.
- Bananas may also be peeled, wrapped in wax paper, and frozen for use in smoothies or muffins.
- Eat bananas out of your hand, cut in slices, or mash them.
- If you're not going to use the banana right away, dip the peeled fruit in lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
- Cook bananas by baking, sautéing, or grilling. For most cooked recipes, use a firm, ripe banana.
- Mashed bananas are great in cakes or muffins. If a recipe calls for mashing a banana, use bananas that are soft and have brown spots on the skin.
- Blend frozen bananas with a little vanilla extract, milk, and cinnamon for a healthy "ice cream".
Why It's Great
- Vitamin C keeps our immune system strong and helps our bodies heal quickly.
- Fiber helps with healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full. Eating enough fiber has been shown to keep our hearts healthy too.
- Potassium, a type of electrolyte, helps build muscle and keeps your heart healthy.
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies Strawberry Banana Pancakes