Selection and Storage
Bananas that are bought in grocery stores are harvested when GREEN. This is why you will find a variety of colors in your market. Green bananas must ripen to a yellow shade before eating. The darker the yellow, the sweeter the taste.
I prefer bananas that are bright yellow, firm and smooth skinned without any blemishes on the skin surface. The best bananas are those that have ripened on the tree, but you'll have to grow them yourself or twist a neighbors arm for some fresh-off-the-tree varieties. When I lived in Honolulu, I had 5 trees in my back yard and the bananas were the BEST.
Be ever so careful in transporting your bananas from the store. They are very susceptible to bruising and nicks. Bag them separately and find a safe place in your car for the trip home.
Room Temperature Only
Never put green bananas in the refrigerator. Doing so will stop the ripening process and they will not turn yellow. But you can put ripened yellow bananas in the refrigerator to keep them from ripening further. Just note that the exterior peel will get progressively blacker as the days go by, but the flesh inside will be perfectly fine. For the best flavor, bring them back to room temperature before eating. At our house bananas never last that long, so I leave my at room temperature only.
Fast Forward Ripening
To get green bananas to turn yellow faster, place them in a large paper bag with an apple.
Too Many Bananas?
If you've got bananas that are getting too ripe, simply peel them and wrap in a plastic wrap, place in a freezer container or bag and freeze. Now you have bananas ready for any recipe. Frozen bananas are great in smoothies too!
Go Bananas, A Vegan Frozen Treat
Frozen sweets are always wanted at our house! But frozen things seem rather expensive for just a few bites... and who knows what's really in them! So after considering the ingredients of a frozen fruit bar, I decided to experiment with a banana, some chocolate and nuts. The result is an inexpensive frozen low-calorie vegan taste treat. Yum, yum, yum!
Yield: 24 frozen Go Bananas
12 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half
2 cups Wildwood Soy Milk Creamer
14 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/4 cup organic white sugar
2 teaspoons Kahlua, optional
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups macadamia nuts, finely chopped
large sauce pan or double boiler
bowl for melting chocolate
measuring cups and spoons
24 craft sticks
cookie sheet or cutting board
24 wax paper sheets
Peel the bananas.
Cut the bananas in half and ram a craft stick into the cut bottom leaving about an inch or inch and a half exposed for the handle.
Halved Bananas With Craft Stick Handles
Place the stick bananas into the freezer and freeze overnight.
In a Cuisinart Food Processor fitted with the knife blade, add the nuts of your choice and pulse a few times till the desired texture is achieved.
Pour the nuts into a bowl and set aside.
The Chocolate Coating
In a double boiler or using a sauce pan with a bowl over the top, fill the pan with water and place the bowl or pan over the top.
Add the soy creamer and sugar and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
Add the chocolate morsels whisk into the simmering creamer.
Turn the heat to low and after the chocolate begins to melt, turn the heat off.
Continue whisking till the mixture is smooth, creamy and shinny.
Melted Chocolate Morsels in Soy Creamer
Coat the Bananas
Remove the frozen bananas from the freezer.
Using a small ladle, hold the stick end and pour the melted chocolate over one frozen banana.
Follow with a dusting of the nuts and lay the chocolate-nut laden delicacy back onto the tray.
Repeat till all twenty-four bananas are coated.
My Set-Up for Coating the Frozen Bananas
If you have left over chocolate or nuts, repeat the process till all the ingredients are used... this means a few will be thicker than others, but nothing will be wasted. If you have a kitchen helper, they may choose to lick the bowls clean and eat the leftover nuts.
Place the chocolate-nut coated bananas back into the freezer for 30 minutes.
Go Bananas Ready For Another Freeze
The Final Wrap
Remove the finished frozen bananas from the freezer and wrap them in one sheet of waxed paper. I found these sheets at Costco and Smart and Final stores. I wrapped with with the stick-end open for a party presentation, but for regular freezer storage I wrap them like a burrito with the entire Go Banana encased in the waxed paper.
Wax Paper Wrapped Go Banana
Store the wrapped frozen bananas in an air-tight container and enjoy whenever you desire a sweet treat with low-calories! Go Bananas!
Go Bananas Party Presentation
For a special party treat, you might want to fasten the wrappers with a sticker that goes with your party theme.