IN SEASON: BANANAS Served warm or cold, for breakfast or pudding, bananas are universally popular
GO BANANAS OVER THIS FEEL-GOOD FRUIT THAT WORKS AS WELL IN A BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE AS IT DOES IN A DECADENT PUDDING
The world’s most popular fruit, there are now almost 1000 varieties of banana – from bubblegum pink ones with fuzzy skins, to green and white striped bananas which have orange pulp. The most common banana sold in New Zealand is the Cavendish, with its sunny yellow skin and pale, creamy flesh, but the smaller sweeter ‘sugar banana’ is often used in Asian dishes.
A natural mood enhancer, bananas help your body produce the happiness hormone serotonin, and are also a great source of fibre and potassium.
Unfortunately, with popularity comes waste – and bananas are among the top 10 foods New Zealanders most frequently throw away; we bin around 3.2 tonnes annually.
To avoid this waste, freeze overripe bananas for use in smoothies and shakes. Their natural sweetness and high moisture content also makes them a useful addition in baking.
While refrigeration does turn the peel dark brown or even black, it won’t affect the fruit inside. To make bananas last longer, wrap the stems tightly in plastic wrap – it will give them an extra three to five days.
Bananas and their peel also make great fertilizer – you can compost them, bury them whole, or cut them in small pieces to place around your plants; roses and citrus trees particularly love them.