*I have decided that instead of trudging through my least favorite season here on this blog, attempting to adapt some of my recipes to summer cooking, I would just embrace the fact that Summer sucks and start a series of the same name. You can find the first recipe in this series (Strawberry Soup), here. All Summer I will be posting recipes to help beat the heat and make this awful season a little easier on all of us!*
Welcome to installment two of the “Summer Sucks” series! I was talking to my BFF this morning and telling her that I had 3 bunches of bananas to cut up and put in the freezer for later. She had no idea why I would do such a thing, so I explained to her that there are SO many things you can do with frozen bananas. She had never heard of a couple of the things I told her and seemed pretty excited about the prospect. I thought maybe you would be interested as well 🙂 This was also my inspiration for creating the “Summer Sucks” series. Recipes that will help all of us keep a little cooler in the kitchen & make things a little more bearable seemed like a good idea!
So get yourself a bunch of bananas. Or, in my case, 3 bunches of bananas (I got them for a really good price and knew I could use them). Peel them, cut off any really brown and/or mushy parts, and then slice them into 1/2 inch thick slices. That way you can eat them as they are out of the freezer and have a cold, tasty treat without making your teeth or mouth hurt from the extreme cold. In a perfect world, they would be arranged on some wax paper on a cookie sheet. In my world at this time I was out of wax paper. Sigh. So I improvised and used plastic wrap sprayed with a bit of cooking spray. You HAVE to spray or otherwise lightly lubricate the plastic wrap or the plastic will stick to the bananas and you’ll end up with tiny bits of plastic wrap on them that you can’t get off. Yuck!
Once you’ve arranged your bananas in rows on your covered cookie sheets, put them in the freezer until they are solid. For my deep freeze this takes about 2 hours. Once the slices are frozen solid your imagination is the limit! My kids love them straight from the freezer as a super healthy popsicle-type treat. Or you can melt some chocolate of your choice (dark, milk, white- they all work), dip your slices using a fork, put them back on the wax paper-lined pan, and return them to the freezer in a freezer safe container.
If you want a treat that is a little more decadent, make a sandwich out of two frozen banana slices, putting about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter in the middle, return them to the freezer until the peanut butter is firm, then dip them in chocolate & keep them in the freezer. SO GOOD!!
Smoothies are, of course, a perfect use for these little gems! If you use frozen bananas you don’t need to use ice cubes in your smoothies and they turn out a little richer and creamier.
And lastly (for this post anyway), you can make a fantastic soft-serve out of them! I’ve read several blog posts about “one ingredient banana ice cream” where you just puree frozen bananas. I tried it. It doesn’t work. At all. My problem is that I don’t have a food processor- I only have a blender (for now). Does NOT work in a blender!! But I added some milk and some vanilla yogurt (how much of each depends on what consistency you want your soft serve to be) and the kids LOVED it! Here is what you can get out of simple frozen bananas, a little milk, and a little yogurt…
It was every bit as creamy and delicious as it looks! So if you have a food processor, just toss your frozen bananas in and you have one ingredient ice cream. If not, add some milk & yogurt and you’ll have super creamy soft serve. I have a feeling I’ll be doing this alot this summer! And now that I think about it, this would be divine served as a topper for the aforementioned Strawberry Soup!
Hopefully these tips have given you some inspiration to help keep you and your little ones a bit cooler this summer. I’ll be back again with another way to cheat the heat & count down the weeks until Fall comes back this way. Only 13 weeks to go!