9 Ways to Use Over Ripe Bananas

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FFood waste is an important topic that’s near and dear to our hearts. This year, was all about striving to build a better, healthier lifestyle and a more efficient kitchen, which includes reducing how much of our purchased food gets tossed into the trash or compost. As we are living in the time of COVID-19, we should be even more concious about our food choices as well.

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits consumed by people around the world and they are often lingering around the kitchen. It’s not uncommon to end up with no less than three overly ripe bananas sitting on the counter at the end of each week. Here are some tips on how to freeze your leftover fruit you might face if you don’t have time to cook/bake with it:

  • Toss bananas into the freezer, peel and all, and reserve for another day. These are perfect for baking with later.

  • Slice bananas into 1”-thick pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer to a ziptop baggie and store in the freezer. Use in smoothies as needed.

  • Mash 2-3 bananas (or however many your favorite banana bread recipe calls for) and place them in a ziptop baggie. Store packets in the freezer and make sure they’re labeled. Keep until you have time to make banana bread.

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Here are some other interesting ways to make the most of your leftover bananas:

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Banana Quick Bread and Muffins: The darker and uglier the banana, the more flavourful the muffin you’ll end up making. Perfect for tucking into the lunchbox or serving to friends with a cup of coffee, our foolproof recipe for perfect banana bread is one you won’t want to miss.

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Banana Smoothies: When bananas are just too ripe and mushy for to consume on their own, add them to smoothies instead. They’re full of flavor and bring a coveted, creamy component to your favourite blended drinks. Our Banana Berry Breakfast Smoothie is a great recipe to try!

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Banana Oatmeal: Add a large dollop of mashed bananas to your morning oatmeal, stirring it into the cereal before serving.

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Banana Pancakes: Mash 1 to 2 bananas and add them to your favorite pancake recipe – no ingredient alterations required.

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Banana Nice Cream: Freeze banana slices until you have a decent amount (1/3 of a blender full), then blend them to create the best vegan ice cream you’ll ever make.

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Banana Beauty: You might be surprised to learn that overripe bananas can also find their way into your beauty regime, but that’s exactly what happened when we created our DIY avocado face masks. For oily skin, combine ripe banana, avocado and egg yolk to make a soothing all-natural skin brightener.

Banana Foster: Another great recipe for bananas that are perhaps a little too ripe for your taste to eat on their own is Banana Foster. This comes together easily with common kitchen ingredients and is super delicious! Serve with vanilla ice cream or on top of a simple vanilla or gingerbread cake.

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Banana Pops: This a great DIY project for you and the kids while every one is on lock down. Peel and cut bananas in half. Insert popsicle sticks and cover in plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Then remove from the freezer and dip into melted chocolate adding sprinkles, chopped nuts or dried coconut to suit your taste. Enjoy!


Chickpea Quesadillas

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It’s “Taco Tuesday” and you will not be disappointed with this veggie-friendly quesadilla. Neatly stuff a mess of cumin seasoned smashed chickpeas into a flour tortilla and sprinkle with a mix of cheese and scallions, and you will have so much gooey goodness made with you, the health conscious and family budget friendly and absolute foodie, in mind.

Enjoy!

MAKES 4

INGREDIENTS:

2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 large (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

2 cups cojita cheese, crumbled

1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

3 medium scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced

For Serving:

Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, Mexican hot sauce

DIRECTIONS:

Add half of the chickpeas to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until broken down but not puréed. (Alternatively, place in a large bowl and mash with a fork.) Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan (at least 10 inches) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, stir to coat with the oil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the whole and mashed chickpeas, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl combine the cheeses and set aside.

To assemble the quesadillas: Place the tortillas on a work surface. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese. Divide the chickpea mixture among the tortillas, spreading into an even layer but leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top of the chickpeas, then top each with scallions. To fold the quesadillas, fold the top of the tortilla down over the filling to the center. Holding that piece down and working clockwise, continue folding the rest of the tortilla towards the middle until the filling is completely covered (you will have about 5 folds). Carefully flip the quesadilla over and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Add the quesadillas (as many as will fit in a single layer), folded-side down. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat as needed until all the quesadillas are cooked.

Reheating: If not serving immediately, let cool completely and wrap each quesadilla tightly in aluminum foil. Refrigerate or freeze in resealable plastic bags. Reheat uncovered in a 325°F regular or toaster oven until warmed through, about 15 minutes if refrigerated, or about 25 minutes if frozen. Microwaving is not recommended, as the quesadillas will be soggy.

COOK’S NOTES:

Storage: The foil-wrapped quesadillas can be stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.