Banana Bonuses

Grandpa's Fruit Salad

Do you ever go through a cycle of loving bananas, getting lots of them, and then discovering, after a few days, that you just don’t feel like eating them any more?

My family will sometimes go on a streak of eating bananas every day for a full month, and then, without explanation, they just stop. The bananas sit there, in the fruit bowl, getting spottier and spottier, but nobody will touch them.

So, what can we do with the leftovers without wasting them? I have a few ideas that are pretty simple, but delicious!

fruit salad

fruit salad

First, fruit salad: My Grandpa always made the best fruit salad. He would start with sliced bananas and strawberries. The strawberries could be either fresh from the garden, thawed from the freezer or from a glass jar that had been canned in the summer when the garden bounty was at its height.

No matter what else went into the fruit salad, bananas and strawberries were always the base. Sometimes they were all that went in. Well, that and some sugar that made a sweet, syrupy juice.

When I make fruit salad, I usually add whatever fruit I have on hand to my base of bananas and strawberries – pineapple, apple, peeled orange slices, kiwi, grapes, cantaloupe, blueberries, honeydew melon, watermelon – the list is endless. All it needs, when everything is in the bowl, is a squirt of lemon or lime juice (it helps to keep the bananas from getting too brown) and sugar to taste.

Grandpa's Fruit Salad
Fresh fruit salad base that you can customize any way you like!
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  1. Bananas, sliced - preferably ripe to over-ripe
  2. Strawberries, sliced – frozen, fresh or canned
  3. White sugar, to taste
  4. 1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice
  5. Other fruit, in bite-sized pieces (pineapple, grapes, kiwi, blueberries, etc.)
  1. Chop up fruit into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Mix strawberries, bananas, sugar and juice well. Sugar will become liquidy.
  3. Add other sliced fruit to taste.
  4. Add more sugar, if desired.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  1. Serve on top of ice cream or top with whipped cream.

If I don’t feel like making a salad, or if I am woefully short on other fruit, I just throw the bananas into the freezer until I am ready to make Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. You can find my video tutorial for this recipe below.

The best part about freezing them is that the bananas don’t require any special packaging or preparation. Just throw them into the freezer as is. When you’re ready to use them, let them thaw in your sink until they’re mushy feeling, break open the top and squeeze them into a bowl. They will slide out along with some watery liquid. This is great because it adds extra moisture to your recipe, which is what you want! They are also very easy to mush up after being frozen. And, added bonus: I have never seen any get freezer burn. Who knew banana peels could be so versatile?

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Moist, chocolatey banana muffins.
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Dry Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ cups flour
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. ½ tsp salt
Wet Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ - 2 cups (or more) mashed bananas (4-5 over ripe bananas)
  2. ½ cup melted butter ***
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 ¼ cups chocolate chips
  1. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Beat egg, melted butter and mashed bananas together thoroughly.
  3. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened. (prevents tough muffins)
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin tin with paper muffin cups and add batter until each paper is approximately ¾ full.
  6. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until tops are firm to touch.
  1. *** Substitute: ¼ cup & 2 TBSP olive oil instead of butter, if you prefer. This works just as well and is often what I do when I run out of butter.
I hope this has inspired you to make use of your spotty, browning bananas instead of throwing them out. Let me know what other ideas you have for using your left-over bananas.

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