Fruit of the Week: Banana pt. 4

Selection and Storage:
– Choose bananas based on when you want to use them; greener ones should last for more days, while yellow and brown-spotted bananas should be eaten in a few days
– Ready to eat bananas should be bright yellow, and have a rich fruity fragrance
– Ripe fruit peels off easily
– Ripened, fresh bananas are nutritionally enriched and sweeter in taste than the raw green ones
– Avoid mushy or damaged bananas
– Bananas are non-seasonal and so are available fresh year-round
– Exported bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country
– These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening
– The vivid yellow color people normally associate with bananas is caused by the artificial ripening process
– The peel of ripe bananas quickly blackens inside a home refrigerator, although the fruit inside remains unaffected
– Unripe bananas can not be held inside home refrigerators because they suffer from the cold
– Ripe bananas can be held for a few days at home
– If bananas are too green, they can be put in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to speed up the ripening process

Quick and Easy Baked Bananas with Coconut

Quick and Easy Baked Bananas with Coconut
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
4 firm bananas
1 to 2 tablespoons melted butter
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Peel bananas and place in a well greased baking dish.
3. Brush generously with butter and sprinkle lightly with salt.
4. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over bananas, then drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with coconut.
5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until bananas are tender.
6. Serve drizzled with syrup or a dessert sauce.
7. Enjoy!

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