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Video:Tips for Cooking With Bananas

with Jesse Rosado

Cooking with bananas can produce delicious desserts and sweet treats, if you know what you're doing. Here are some tips on cooking with bananas.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Cooking With Bananas

Hi folks, this is Jesse Rosado for About.com, and today, we're going to be talking about how to cook with bananas.

Tips for Picking Out Bananas When Cooking With Bananas

First thing we're going to talk about is picking out our bananas. Bananas are traditionally shipped to the stores green or unripe, so you have to do a little bit of planning to make sure you have the correct about of ripeness for the project you're working on.

This here is an example of perfect ripeness. There a nice, deep yellow color, has some black spots on it but there's definitely not much bruising here.

This one right here is an example of an overripe banana. They don't look very pretty, they have dark outside skin, kind of soft to the touch and mushy. The best way to use a banana like this if you happen to have some around is to use them up in banana bread, or in pancakes, or in puddings, things like that.

Tips for Ripening and Prepping a Banana When Cooking With Bananas

If you happen to find yourself stuck with green bananas and you need them in a hurry, one way that you can speed up the ripening process is to put them in a paper bag like this one, rolling up the top and leaving them overnight on top of the refrigerator, or on top of the kitchen counter.

To prep the banana, the first thing you've got to do is peel it. The way I like to do this is just take off one piece there, and actually use that peel -- I'm gonna use the peel to cut the banana right in its own skin.

Tips for Slicing When Cooking With Bananas

Next, we're going to slice the banana. The first thing I do to slice the banana -- there's a little black spot right here on the end -- I always take that off. Next, there's a couple of different ways to slice banana. A lot of people just like really nice fancy banana rings, kind of like those right there. Some folks like to have a nice rustic chop. Even more for more decorative desserts or something, you can cut them long ways.

If you have your bananas prepped up ahead of time like this for whatever reason, and they're going to have a lot of time with a lot of air exposure, one good way to keep them from oxidizing or turning brown is to sprinkle a little citrus juice over the top.

Ideas for Flavor Combinations When Cooking With Bananas

Bananas taste great with a lot of different things. A couple of different banana flavor combinations are: bananas with fresh berries, bananas with chocolate, bananas with cinnamon.

On the savory side of things, bananas are often used in Caribbean cuisine. They use regular bananas, or a variation of it called a plantain. They usually fry or boil them, and then pair them with fatty meats such as pork.

There's many different ways to cook with bananas. You could do banana bread, you could fry them up in oil and butter for a crunchy snack, or you could put them in pancakes, or a very popular dessert -- you could fry them with butter and brown sugar and make a nice bananas foster.

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