When a banana turns really brown, is it no longer good to eat? How do you tell the difference between very, very ripe and rotten?
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Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
A rotten banana will not smell good. But dark brown bananas are fine, and in fact are riper and sweeter -- which makes them good for baking muffins and banana bread.
Just took a very ripe banana and some danon lite coconut pineapple yogurt, scoop of protein powder and 4 ice cubes--OMG yummy way to use VERY ripe bananas.
When bananas get mushy and brown, you should freeze them if you do not plan on using them soon. Frozen bananas will stay for a while (my wife and I have used ones that were frozen for weeks, provided there isn't freezer burn). They can then be defrosted and used for baking, while maintaining most of their flavor.
Brown bananas? They are still good to eat (as long as they smell ok and are nor mouldy or something).
Suggestions? bake banana bread... the riper the bananas, the better since they will be sweeter and add more "banana"-ness to the final product.
Or... nuke them on the microwave for a couple of seconds, add a ball of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.
I recently had a few REALLY ripe bananas, but they still smelled like bananas, so I peeled them and froze them. Last weekend my whole family was under the weather so for a sustaining, nourishing "lunch" I combined the frozen bananas with one whole cut up mango, the juice of a lime and some Greek honey yogurt. The resulting smoothies were delicious. I think that combination would make great frozen yogurt too.
I agree that freezing brown bananas is a great way to go. Using them sliced and frozen with ice cream is wonderful. As easy dessert.
Alton Brown has a terrific recipe for Banana Ice Cream, using frozen, ultra-ripe bananas. It was delicious! I must warn you that the ingredients are a little suspect, as he uses Karo Syrup, but my husband and I both adored the results, and we are not really banana-freaks.