Cook in progress: Bananas

BY DI ARTS STAFF | MARCH 9, 2009 7:27 AM

Only one fruit is amazing enough to drive Gwen Stefani to include it in one of her many hits. The awesome power behind the tropical yellow goodness known as bananas — yes, B-A-N-A-N-A-S — created terms that can refer to someone or something going crazy, being angry, and most recently being extremely cool. But what kind of bizarre concoctions can you make with the fruit before it turns rotten and brown? Besides simply eating the fruit in the typical peel and enjoy method, what can one do with bananas before they go bananas on you?

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1) Caramelized Bananas — This simple trick makes the banana eating experience much more enjoyable. Peel and slice a banana down the middle vertically. Place the two halves on a baking sheet and cover the open side of the banana with sugar. Put the bananas into the oven on broil and let them cook until the sugar has browned and become somewhat hard. A delicious take on bananas is now ready to enjoy.

2) Add bananas to everything else — Bananas are a great source for potassium, so adding them to some of your favorite treats will benefit the body. Bananas are best in cereal and ice cream. Adding bananas to cookies, pancakes, muffins, and other baked foods is great as well.

3) Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches — If all the meat is gone in the fridge, substitute a banana. These sandwiches are best when you toast the bread first, then add a generous portion of peanut butter. Slice a peeled banana from top to bottom and place on the bread, put together, and you will have a hearty meal or snack.

4) Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Shake — An easy treat on a hot day. Put two or three bananas in a blender, then add a cup of low-fat yogurt (or, if that is too thick, just add some two percent or whole milk), two tablespoons of cocoa powder, half tablespoon of cinnamon, and blend until liquefied but slightly chunky.

— by Dan Watson

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