Wasting food is wasting money. In America, we can waste up to $48 BILLION a year, a shocking amount. We could feed our homeless with all of the food that we waste each year. How is it possible that Americans waste up to 40% of our food each year?
Some of it has nothing to do with individual families. Federal regulations and rules make it hard for supermarkets to send overripe produce and close to sell-by-date meat to local food kitchens. Their hands are tied.
Saving money is important for our family, and wasting food is just throwing our dollars away in the trash. If you wouldn’t toss out a dollar bill, you shouldn’t throw produce or leftovers out either. There are ways to use them up.
In an effort to practice ‘waste not, want not,’ our family tries to use up everything before it goes bad.
Bananas go bad quickly. Let’s be honest; we all know that this happens more than we can admit. If we purchase too many bananas, they will go bad before we can eat them up. I have a few ways that I love to use ripen bananas.
- Banana Muffins: I just posted my favorite recipe for banana muffins. The more ripen the bananas, the better the flavor! So, don’t shy away from using bananas you assume are too far gone.
- Homemade Banana Pudding: Heck with pudding from a box! Making homemade pudding is one of my favorite treats to give my kids. Overripe bananas are the perfect ingredient! My kids love to eat it layered with vanilla wafers or in a graham cracker pie crust. That is a cheap dessert!
- Banana Cookies: Do you see a theme with these ideas? You can tell we love our snacks and desserts. I love easy cookie recipes that only require ingredients I keep on hand. These cookies are perfect, and they are done quickly!
- Chocolate Banana Shakes: If you think you won’t be able to use up the bananas in time, take them out of the peels and freeze them. When you have a desire for a shake, all you need is a few ingredients – frozen bananas, peanut butter, milk, and cocoa powder. Put all of these ingredients into a blender, such as the Ninja. It is our favorite!
- Banana Jam: I am a canner at heart. I love to can anything and everything. One day, I discovered a recipe for banana jam. It isn’t a recipe I make frequently, because we have a whole cupboard full of jams and jellies. However, once in awhile, we get a craving for some banana jam. Plus, it is an oddity you won’t find in every kitchen. You could also try this recipe for strawberry banana jam if you don’t want just straight banana jam.
Do you have a favorite way to use up old bananas? I would love to hear! I’m always looking for new recipes!
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