Going Bananas with Fruit Smoothies!

Now that warmer weather is starting, bananas seem to get overripe before you’ve had time to eat them and who actually likes to eat squishy bananas? Let’s face it, the flavor is still OK but the texture is really off-putting… so how can you use up those overripe bananas to make something delicious, so they won’t be wasted?

(Now I’m not talking about the revolting ones that are black inside as well as outside, just the ones that have gone rather squashy and soft inside).

There are loads of great recipes using ripe bananas. One of the quickest and simplest things you can use them for is to make fruit smoothies. They make delicious, nutritious and healthy snacks or breakfast drinks.

In summer time you have loads of fruits to choose from to add to your bananas. When fruit is in season it’s riper, tastier and cheaper, too, so look around and find out the best fruits for the time of year. Nowadays when fruit is flown in from the other side of the world it can be hard to tell what is in season. However, when you see bargain boxes of a particular fruit, that is a good clue.

At the beginning of summer strawberries, melon, peaches and apricots come in, later on other berries, and apples and pears in the fall. Tropical fruit like mangos and pineapples are often available year round and make good additions, too. All these fruits, and plenty more I haven’t mentioned, add a variety of flavors to the banana base of the smoothie and a blast of fresh vitamins in the bargain.

In a food processor or blender put the following ingredients:

2 very ripe bananas
1-2 cups of ripe fruit from the list above (peel and take out any stones or pits first)

1 cup of plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup of milk

Whizz it all up and taste for sweetness. If all the fruit was ripe, you probably won’t need to add any sugar.  But if it tastes tart, add a tablespoon of honey or sugar to bring out the flavor of the fruit and whizz it again. In summer, pour drinks into two or three tall glasses over ice cubes and slurp through a straw.

In winter time when you are less likely to find really ripe fruit besides the bananas, add an extra banana instead and ½  teaspoon of cinnamon for a warming version of a smoothie. Or, to be truly decadent,  add a teaspoon or two of hot chocolate or cocoa!

As well as being delicious, this smoothie is a powerhouse of goodness for you  – vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants from the fresh fruit, calcium and vitamins from the milk and yogurt. All make you healthier and stronger!

Next time I’ll give you a recipe for banana bread that is another great way of using those ripe bananas and goes really well alongside a tall glass of fruit smoothie!

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