Here are five tips for using bananas.
1. Buy them in bulk and freeze them. My local supermarket puts out large bags of overripe bananas for $.99 about twice a week. I then slice them into a gallon-size Ziplock bag. When you’re ready to use it for oatmeal, place a small handful of slices in a bowl and microwave for about 30-45 seconds while you’re waiting for your milk/water to boil. Then, mash it up! (Additionally, you can use these for smoothies and banana soft serve!)
2. No (almond) milk? No problem! I hate oatmeal made in water, so if I’m out of almond/soy/coconut milk, I make sure to add bananas. It’s still not as good as oatmeal cooked in almond milk, but it definitely helps give the oatmeal a creamy, flavorful texture.
3. If your fresh bananas are not ripe enough yet, peel it and stick it in the microwave. This is known as CCK’s melted banana trick.
4. If you want to sweeten your oatmeal but you don’t want it to taste like bananas, you have to plan carefully. Notice how my banana-sweetened oatmeal recipes contain other strong flavors: Thin Mints Oatmeal uses chocolate and powerful peppermint extract, Almond Joy Oatmeal uses intense almond extract, and Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal uses a heavy dose of lemon juice. You can’t sweeten–for example– Coconut Cream Pie Oatmeal with banana and expect not to taste it. Using less banana (about half or just a third) will sometimes help keep the banana flavor at bay.
5. Bananas are incredibly filling. This makes it a great addition to a ordinarily measly bowl of porridge! However, I sometimes find a whole banana to be TOO much (I prefer having several small meals spaced out every few hours), so I frequently use half a banana (or even just a third!) to make it a little lighter. With the other half, I slice them into my freezer bag. 🙂