Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Goin' Bananas

Last week I was so thrilled with myself when I found this: 5 lbs of Bananas on the reduced produce rack! Yeah! And I got them all for $0.89. As an added bonus they were organic.  So at regular price which is $1.29 per lb. for organic or $0.69 per lb for conventional they would have cost me about $6.45 or $3.45 respectively. That is an 87% savings. This is a great way to save money. I usually check out all of the clearance and reduced racks when I make a trip to our local grocery store to see if I can find deals just like this one. I know these bananas are way too ripe for eating but they are perfect for Spinach and Fruit Smoothies and Banana Bread and they keep well in the freezer. Just put the whole bunch into the freezer and then pull out whatever you need when you are ready to use them. (They turn brown in the freezer but the inside is still perfectly good to use.) You can also peel them, cut them into chunks, and them freeze them on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen put them into a freezer bag. This way you can pull out whatever you need for your smoothie. 

I used three of my bananas to make some Banana Bread and threw the rest in the freezer for later. A couple of years ago when I was packing to move to Texas. I packed my Banana Bread recipe a little too early so I was forced to look for another one. After I found this recipe I was so glad I had packed my old one because this one is delicious:

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
2 & 1/3 Cups Mashed Ripe Banana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pan. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips or nuts if desired. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire cooling rack.  I usually bake mine in some little mini bread pans.  My kids love the little slices. This recipe makes about 5 mini loaves. You will have to adjust your bake time accordingly. We always put chocolate chips in ours too! I also like to use a mixture of part all-purpose and part whole wheat flour in this recipe to get more whole grains in.  This would be a great recipe to try the white flour alternative in.  I haven't tried this yet, so if you do leave us a comment and let us know how it works.

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