By Khanyisile Msebenzi
Every few weeks I walk into the grocery store and load up on fruits and veggies because I really do want to eat more healthy. I want to be the girl that reaches for nuts and raisins instead of chocolate. Or the girl that reaches for a banana instead of wine gums.
Now I really do love bananas but I always seem to run out of time to eat them! Every few weeks I get that familiar smell of sweet banana that is overripe, and I don’t particularly enjoy eating overripe bananas yet I prefer my bananas to be ripe. Now you can see the slippery slope there, as I wait for my bananas to ripen the next day they are overripe, especially if it’s a bunch of bananas.
It irks me each time I throw out my overripe bananas because it really is a waste, but the same time I don’t feel good giving them away to the security guards at my complex gate simply because I don’t like giving away food that I wouldn’t eat.
So I looked into what I can do with my overripe bananas, and here are 5 things to do with overripe bananas that you may want to try too:
- Using overripe bananas in my smoothie has been the best thing to my smoothie life. Since I started trying to eat one raw meal a day, I prefer a smoothie to a salad, adding an overripe banana makes the flavour of the smoothie sweeter and more rounder. I actually previously stayed away from smoothies with banana from fastfood outlets because I didn’t like tasting the not-so-ripe banana. An overripe banana makes for an amazing and filling smoothie.
2. Banana facial mask, there are many different recipes on how to make facial masks with banana, you can choose according to your needs. The one thing they all have in common is that the banana must be ripe. I tried the mask for dry skin because the banana fruit has so many health benefits for skin, including moisturising effect, anti-ageing effects, and anti inflammatory properties due to them being rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, B-Vitamins, Lectin, Amino Acids and Zinc! My skin felt smooth and moisturized after my skin exfoliating banana DIY mask. Here is a simple yet effective recipe: 1 banana + 1 spoon of honey + 1 spoon of lemon juice + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
3. I used the cool peels of the banana to reduce puffy eyes after I went to bed crying after watching Queen Sugar, I woke up with puffy eyes. I didn’t have cucumber in the fridge so I tried a banana peel. It worked like a charm, although I felt I had to really press the peels to my eyes, which had me worried I would aggravate my already puffy eyes, but it worked. I would still choose cucumber though, smells and feels better.
4. To ensure that my caloric intake is not compromised, I made banana muffins for my treat instead of indulging in cakes from Woolies. I didn’t use any fats or butters in making the muffins and I replaced sugar with xylitol and I have my perfect guilt-free sweet treat. I Googled the recipe, there are plenty of recipes to make low calorie banana muffins or cake. I don’t like baking, nor do I like cooking but I will definitely be making this treat over and over. I am thinking in future I could add other sweet fruits like berries to the banana, and make banana and berry muffins, yum!
5. The last way I am using my overripe bananas is to make banana toast spread. I am a vegetarian working towards being a vegan but I am struggling to cut out cheese and milk. As a lazy cook, sandwiches are my quick fix, when I’m not in the mood for peanut butter, I go for cheese. I tried a banana spread and I am sold, it was delicious, just the right kind of sweet and tasted good whether cool or warm. But I only like it on toast not on fresh bread. I just mash banana and apply, but you could add other things like a syrup of your choice or cinnamon or vanilla extract, the preference will be yours.
I am currently exploring with making banana peel compost. I will report how that goes in due course. I am trying to get a small veggie garden going, I need to at least get spinach from my own garden.