Banana A-Peel

It is the one food kids love to eat, whether raw, cooked, frozen, or fried, and parents love to serve it.
Feb 06, 2013

Ages

3-5

Sweet enough to pass for dessert (although even more delicious in dessert), no one would ever guess that bananas also pack the sort of nutritional punch that tends to be associated with far less tastier fruits and vegetables. Your kids might not realize it, but bananas are chock-full of potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins, and are a good source of fiber, to boot. (They are also fat-, cholesterol-, and sodium-free, making them even more virtuous.) That — and the fact that they're available year-round and our kids will happily gobble them up — is enough to get most of us to buy a bunch.

 

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

What you need:

  • 3 bananas, mashed (use an old-fashioned potato masher!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1⁄2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin or line it with muffin cups.
  2. To the mashed bananas, add the egg and the melted butter and stir together.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Add the blueberries and stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin. (Batter should come almost to the top of each cup.) Bake on the center rack for 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  6. Let the muffins cool a few minutes in the pan, then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. Makes 12 muffins.

 

Banana Chocolate-Chip Bread Pudding

What you need:

  • 3⁄4 loaf (about 12 oz.) white bread
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut bread into 3⁄4-inch squares (crusts are fine). Place the cubes in a bowl and add the milk. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash up 3 bananas. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt to the banana mixture. Cut the fourth banana lengthwise and then into 1⁄2-inch slices. Set aside.
  3. Add the soaked cubes of bread and the milk to the banana mixture. Stir together. Stir in the chocolate chips and banana slices. Pour into a lightly greased 9" x 13" baking dish. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until edges are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Serves 8.

 

Banana Fruit Smoothie

What you need:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen berries and/or the flesh from 1 mango
  • 2 cups ice cubes (about 6 cubes)

What to do:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Makes 2 smoothies.

 

Tip:  Never store bananas in the refrigerator. To get bananas to ripen faster, leave them in direct sunlight for an hour or so. The best bananas for cooking are ones that are just a bit overripe.

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