5 ways with black, overripe bananas

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OK, so we’re not bananas for overripe, black bananas.

 

The proof? You’ll find them lurking on most household kitchen benches, sometimes with little fruit flies buzzing around them.

Ugh. No one wants to touch them, let alone eat them- but you don’t want to throw them out, right? I mean underneath it all is a perfectly edible piece of fruit. Of course, popping a Freshkeeper sachet into the fruit bowl might have meant they were eaten before they got all black and yucky. But no use crying over an un-apeel-ing banana. (See what we just did there?)

 

You hate wasting food. So the challenge is to use those black overripe beauties up.

You could make a banana cake or banana bread or banana muffins or banana pancakes.

Or why don’t you…

Make a banana face mask (we say it works)!

Yes, we tried this one! And happy to report, all those DIY beauty gurus are right – it does really leave your face feeling soft and fresh – and, er, sweetly banana smelling!

For a super-moisturising face treatment, mash a ripe banana and apply it all over your face. Leave it on for 25 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. Voila! Smooth and supple skin! Or you could combine the mashed banana with something else in the pantry to make your own individual skin treatment.  Bustle magazine suggests mixing the banana with honey, turmeric, yogurt, lemon juice and even baking soda – apparently, these masks can work wonders for acne-prone skin.

Make a banana sugar body scrub!

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate – it’s essential for silky smooth body skin! It’s a shame to let those sugar enzymes released in an overripe banana go to waste so go ahead and mix yourself up a cost-efficient body scrub.

Get started with this simple recipe from Treehugger magazine – all the ingredients will be in your pantry!

Take 1 ripe banana, 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and a few drops of pure vanilla extract (could use essential oil) Smash with a fork into a chunky goop, then – in the shower – gently massage it all over your body. Rinse off and pat dry.  Now you’re beautiful and beach ready!

Make a  banana skin shoe shine!

The team here at Freshkeeper put this one to the test! And the results were pretty cool as you can see in the picture above!

Just strip off any stringy skin and use the inside of the banana peel to buff your shoes then wipe them down with a soft muslin cloth. Extra cool was that there were no stinky chemical fumes like you get with regular shoe polish, making it an economic and environmental win-win all round.

 

Make banana popsicles!

So easy, so good. Peel the banana, split it vertically down the middle and squeeze lemon juice over it. Then wrap it in tin foil and freeze. Pop one out any time you want something sweet, cold,  low-calorie and nutritious. Alternatively, chuck them into a blender with your other frozen fruit for a smoothie. Speaking of smoothies…

 

Make banana smoothies – for your plants!

Banana peels are rich in potassium which can strengthen plants and build up their resistance to disease. Soak the peels in water for a few days then use the nutrient-rich liquid to give your house plants a boost when you water them, says lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz For the garden, cut your banana peel into pieces and add directly to the surface of the ground or bury down to 10cm deep around the base of the plant (be careful not to upset the roots).

Other ways gardeners use banana peels include

  • Adding them to soil as worm food
  • Putting them under rose bushes to deter aphids
  • Using them to attract butterflies

 

By June-Ann Russell

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