By Debra Worth, Contributing Writer
One of the ways I save money on our food budget is setting aside some money to get items that are discounted during my weekly shopping trip, for either immediate or later use. This week I had just the right amount to buy all the discounted bananas. I came home with 17 pounds of very ripe organic bananas.
Bananas are one of those things that tend to grace the discount rack often so I buy a lot of them. Over the summer I froze them to make banana pops, mock ice cream, and smoothies but I wanted something a more appropriate for the colder weather.
How about a nicely spiced banana butter?
I love fruit butters with all of their warm spices and slight twang from vinegar. Banana butter is incredibly easy to make and unlike plum or apple butter it is very quickly prepped. Add the fact that for those of us who do not have fruit trees it’s much cheaper, and I’d say it’s a winner. I believe this will be a staple in our freezer from now on.
- 30 bananas
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 T cinnamon
- ½ t nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
- ½ t cloves, preferably freshly ground
- 1 ½ cups honey
- ½ cup Molasses
- ¼ t salt
Put the bananas in the food processor and process until smooth or put them in the pot and blend them with a stick blender. Simmer the mixture for a few hours (it took me 3) until it is reduced by half. Stir often to keep it from burning.
Add the spices and vinegar and let it cook a little longer over low heat to let the flavors meld and reduce the raw cinnamon flavor.
Add the sweeteners.
Pour into containers, leaving some head space for expansion and freeze. Thaw when ready to use.
Yields approximately 10 cups.
Of course there are some other wonderful things great for fall you can do with bananas, such as banana bread. Why not try this gluten free, naturally sweetened, soaked banana bread? It is simply delicious!
GF Soaked Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups brown rice flour, preferably freshly ground
- 1 cup warm buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. sucanat
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1 t cinnamon
- ¼ t salt
- 1 t baking powder
- ¼ cup coconut oil, liquid
- coconut oil or butter
Mix the warm buttermilk and rice flour. Cover and let it sit overnight.
Use the butter or coconut oil to butter a bread pan.
Stir the banana and flour mixtures together and pour into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 for 50-60 min or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool a bit before cutting. It is a bit crumbly until cool because it has no gluten.
Other Banana Ideas
If you still have bananas left over why not try the following:
Freeze them for Baking
There is no need to peel them and put them into zip-lock bags. Simply put the unpeeled bananas in the freezer.
Let the bananas thaw in a bowl. When you need them just open one end of the peel and the banana slips out.
If you need to thaw them quickly put them in a baggie under running hot water.
I love dehydrated banana chips. Homemade ones aren’t the crunchy butter-colored ones you get at the store, but they are so good. They are delightfully chewy and a bit brown. I loved it as a kid when our Grandpa John would bring us a bag of them. I could eat them by the handful!
Unfortunately, my oven doesn’t get to low enough of a temperature to dehydrate so I didn’t make them this time, but next time I’m going to borrow a dehydrator.
Cut the bananas thinly. If you want you can sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from turning quite as brown. Dehydrate at 130 until the outside is a little hard and the middle is chewy. The time this takes varies greatly with how thinly you slice them.
Freeze them for banana pops
Cut them in half and insert a popsicle stick into the cut end. Freeze on trays and then store in freezer bags. This makes a great summer snack.
Freeze them for smoothies or mock ice cream
Cut or chop the bananas, freeze on a sheet pan then put them into a zip-lock bag. Use them in a smoothie or blend them in the food processor for mock ice cream. Add a bit of cocoa powder for chocolate ice cream.
What is your favorite thing to when you find bananas on the discount rack?
Debra is first and foremost a daughter of the King of kings. She and her husband live in Wichita, KS where they raise their two kids, a fantastic toddler boy and precious baby girl. Debra is a full time homemaker whose ministry begins with her family. She spends her days being a helpmeet to her husband, loving on, teaching and nursing her two kiddos, cooking healthy food, keeping home, crafting, and then chronicling the insuing excitement on her blog Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes.