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Quick and creative ways to use up bananas

Creative banaba uses

If you’ve ever watched the bananas in your fruit bowl overripen by the day, promising yourself you’ll make banana bread, until you finally give in and toss them in the compost, then this is the post for you. Read on for five quick, delicious and (mostly) healthy ways to use up your bananas. The best part? None of them resemble banana bread!

1. Chop into oatmeal Soft bananas make the perfect natural sweetener for a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Immediately after adding the oats to the boiling water, throw in thinly sliced banana - it’s as easy as that. Beware that bananas hold their heat, so allow the mixture to cool for at least five minutes after cooking.

2. Puree and freeze for banana “ice cream” Chop and freeze chunks of banana ready for the next time an ice cream craving hits. Then whizz the frozen chunks in the food processor, add a swirl of peanut butter or a sprinkling of chopped nuts, et voila! You have yourself deliciously smooth soft-serve packed with nutrients.

3. Whip into a healthy instant pudding This no-bake dessert provides a flourishing finish for any dinner party. Pulse 8 dates and 2 ripe avocados in a food processor. Then add 4 bananas, 1 cup of yogurt, ⅔ cup of cocoa powder, ¼ cup of honey, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Process to a lump-free, creamy consistency. Spoon the mixture into a container and leave it to chill for an hour in the fridge. Garnish with shaved chocolate. Serves 4. Who knew old bananas could inspire something so fancy?

4. Blend into a smoothie Banana adds delightful sweetness and texture to any smoothie. Blend the following for a single serving of a slightly naughty but oh-so-nice chocolate-banana smoothie: 1 banana (frozen or fresh), 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, ⅓ cup of water and a small handful of chocolate chips. As good for breakfast as it is for dessert.

5. Stuff with chocolate and bake

For a mouth watering gooey dessert, slit an unpeeled banana down the middle, slide small chocolate candies inside, wrap in foil, pressing the edges to make a parcel, and bake for 25 minutes at 400F. Serve the piping hot banana with a refreshing scoop of vanilla ice cream. This quick dessert is ideal for topping off summer barbecues, too - simply cook the foil package on the barbecue embers for around 15 minutes.

So now there’s no excuse! Do your fruit bowl a favor - rescue those languishing bananas and whip up a bowl or cup of nutritious deliciousness.

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