Let me tell you something about Little Dude…he eats a lot of bananas. I almost always buy bananas and apples. Gracia happily munches away on apples, while Little Dude chooses bananas. So, since he’s been here, we have a lot fewer bananas that make it to the browning stage. But still sometimes we get those bananas that are getting soft and darker in color. But in theory (of course theory is always easier than real life) a banana should never be wasted cuz there’s just too many awesome ways to use them up!

When your bananas are getting brown, you can easily freeze them. I freeze my bananas in 2 ways:

  1. Just put the whole banana, peel and all into the freezer. This is the lazy-woman’s way, but it’s also a good way if you want to use the banana for bread or muffins, just take it out and let it defrost, it should mash up very easily.
  2. The second way is to peel and cut up the bananas, then put them in an airtight bag in the freezer. These bananas are perfect for using while still frozen in smoothies, or you can defrost them and use them in baking too.

15 ways to use bananas!

  • Fruit salad

  • Layer yogurt, granola and bananas for a delicious parfait.
  • Banana splits!
  • Banana pancakes - These are so yummy, I actually prefer them to regular pancakes, and since they have bananas in them they’re even sweet enough to eat without syrup or honey if you want.
  • Banana cookies - These are totally AWESOME!! The recipe only calls for 2 ingredients, oats and bananas, plus any other goodies you might want to mix in. I’ve mixed in chocolate chips and cocoa powder. They’re healthy, quick and the kids LOVE them!
  • Make healthy jello (without any added sugar) and put bananas in it.

  • Frozen peanut butter bananas – When I eat these I feel so elegant and luxurious! Who knew using up bananas could make me feel so fancy? There’s lots of varying recipes out there, but I like to just cut the bananas into bit sized pieces, then put a smear of peanut butter on them, then dip them in melted chocolate. Freeze and eat! Or you can melt the peanut butter in with the chocolate, then dip the bananas in it.
  • Frozen Banana Split Bites – I’ve never tried these, but they look yummy!
  • Popsicles, this recipe looks yummy. When I have leftover smoothie (which almost always have bananas in them) I like to pour the smoothie into popsicle molds for later.
  • Baby food...although this idea is best for those who  have babies.

BONUS TIP: If you have a pastry blender, they work great for mashing up soft bananas.

Do you have any other ideas for using up bananas?

 

Amy
Linked at Frugally Sustainable.

 

1. Popcorn – Buy a big bag of popcorn kernels and pop them yourself in a heavy bottom pan. Popcorn’s full of fiber and you can make all kinds of flavors, sweet or savory.

2. Muffins – You know I love ‘em! When made with fruit, part whole wheat and less sugar, they can be pretty healthy. Check out some of my favorites here.

3. Fresh fruit can be frugal when bought on sale and in season. I buy apples and bananas almost every shopping trip. When the kids are hungry, but it’s not supper time yet, I let them choose one or the other, Gracia’s usually the apple eater, and Little Dude’s the banana man.

4. Veggie sticks – Carrot and celery sticks are almost always a good deal, but sometimes I splurge and get sugar snap peas, they’re my favorite!

5. Smoothies – Freeze fruit that won’t last much longer, like berries, peaches, mangoes and bananas then toss them in your blender with some milk or yogurt. I like to make my smoothies thick, like soft serve ice-cream. :P

What are your favorite frugal and healthy snacks?

Linked at Frugally Sustainable.

Amy

As I think about our future and I imagine our family living in Africa, among people with so much less than us. How will I be viewed if people see me throwing away leftovers, that I never got around to eating?  Of if I have to work at hiding the food we toss out? How embarrassing would it be for a family who barely has enough to eat, so see my food waste photos? Their problem is too little food and my problem is too much. Even if we never live in a third world country, God has always blessed us with more than enough food and allowing it to get wasted isn’t being a good steward of that gift. I wonder how much our grocery bill would go down if we didn’t waste any food, not even a scrap? I bet it’d be more than I realize. I’m on a mission, to waste less food! Even though I’ve talked about food waste before and ways to use it up, I’m starting a new series called Save the Scraps with ideas of how to use food that might otherwise get trashed. It might be leftover rice sitting in the fridge or the peelings from carrots or in this case, overripe strawberries…

Even when strawberries are starting to get mushy, you can still use them!

 

Of course you can just eat strawberries raw, but if you don’t eat them fast enough, they might start to get a little squishy and not look as appetizing. That doesn’t mean they need to be thrown out though! There’s plenty of ways to still use the strawberries!

 

  • Chocolate covered strawberries are simple, yet so elegant and the chocolate coating can disguise blemishes in the strawberries.
The homemade edible arrangement Cameron and Gracia made me!

A homemade edible arrangement Cameron made me a couple years ago...notice the chocolate covered strawberries!

 

  • Don’t have time to do anything with your strawberries right away? Freeze ‘em! Wash and cut them up, then lay flat on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once frozen remove from sheet and place in ziploc bag. Then put them back into the freezer until you want to use them.

Freezing Strawberries

  • Frozen strawberries work perfectly in smoothies!

Strawberry Smoothie

  • Many places donate food to our school, usually food that they can’t sell anymore. When we got tons and tons of strawberries, that were going bad, I tried my hand at freezer jam using some freezer pectin that I had gotten as a free sample, so my only cost was the sugar I added. I was amazed at how easy it was and even more amazed at how much better it tasted than store-bought. It just pops with fresh strawberry flavor!

Other ideas:

  • Strawberry pie,
  • Strawberry short cake,
  • Homemade strawberry ice cream or a strawberry sauce for topping ice cream,
  • Popsicles,
  • Frozen banana split bites

Got any more ideas to add to the list?

Linked at A Blossoming Life.

 

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