Bananas are so commonplace in most kitchens, we barely give them a second thought. But these sweet, inexpensive, and year-round fruit packs a nutritional punch.
They are rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates and natural sugar. They are also a powerhouse of potassium. An average size banana provides 100 percent of the daily requirement for potassium
All bananas are picked while they are still green because if they ripen on the stem they lose both their taste and texture. After they are picked, the sugar content increases from 2 percent to 20 percent, hence their glorious sweetness.
To Store a Banana
When you bring bananas home, discard the plastic produce bag and store them at room temperature. The best way to prevent bruising is to suspend them on a hook so the air can circulate freely.
If you want to delay ripening, store bananas in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. The skin will turn brown but the banana inside will remain firm at this temperature.
To speed ripening, put the bananas in a brown paper bag. They will produce ethylene gas, which hastens the ripening process. If you add a ripe tomato or an apple to the bag, the bananas will ripen even faster.
Most frequently, bananas are simply peeled and eaten as is, but they can be frozen and eaten as a frozen treat. They also make terrific smoothies when mixed with fruit juice and a little yogurt.
Slightly under-ripe bananas can be fried quickly in hot butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and flavored with a touch of a fruit juice or dark Jamaican rum. Over-ripe bananas are good in quick breads.