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
Banana Oat Muffins
Berry Good Banana Split
Banana Berry Smoothie
Cinnamon Sauteed Bananas