• Jana

Confessions of a banana hoarder plus some of our favorite banana recipes.

I have been trying to not get caught up in the hoarding mentality that has taken over our country, since the onset of the Coronavirus, but I admit that it's not easy. Every time I set foot in a store, be it Target, Ralphs, Bristol Farms or Trader Joes, I immediately head to the aisles that store the flour and toilet paper. You would think, like a Skinner Rat, who is shocked enough times, that I would give up, when all I'm ever met with is defeat (empty shelves). But that never seems to stop me from trying again and again and again. With bananas, on the other hand, I have experienced a more intermittent reward pattern, which B.F. Skinner also studied in rats. That is much more addictive, because when you actually score that desired object (in my case, the bananas), even sporadically, it keeps you motivated to keep going back, despite the fact that the majority of times you (or in Skinner"s experiments, the rat) doesn't ever get rewarded with the treat. So, to make a long and complicated story short, I have now become a banana hoarder. When I actually find bananas, I get so excited that I buy them all up. Well, not all of them, because we are not apes (at least not yet) and therefore cannot consume that many bananas. Also I do still have somewhat of a conscience left, so I try to leave some for the other hoarders that are standing 6 feet away from me, waiting to grab their fair share. We may not be apes at my home, but we may as well be, with as many bananas as we consume. My kids eat them for snacks, which I certainly cannot discourage because they are both filling and nutritious. We use them for our daily smoothies, which too are nutritious and filling. And finally, we love baking banana bread, so we need them for that as well. Taken together, that brings us to a very high banana quotient for our home. I currently have all 3 levels of ripeness of bananas in my fruit bowl, which is perfect. I have ones that are starting to get brown speckles, which will be perfect for our next batch of banana bread. I also have a lot that are perfectly yellow, which are great for snacking and smoothies. Finally, I nabbed about 12 really green bananas the other night at Ralphs, which serve their purpose as "bananas in the queue" to be used next week. I am looking at my banana bowl now and I am feeling very satisfied.

Thirty Bananas in varying stages of ripeness - perfection!

These are the ingredients for one of our favorite smoothies, the Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Banana Smoothie. You'll need almond milk (I prefer unsweetened if I can get it, because it cuts down on the overall sugar), two bananas, greek yogurt (whatever brand you like or can find), unsweetened cocoa powder, peanut butter powder (you can leave this out if you have peanut allergies, or substitute for a tablespoon or two of another nut butter, such as almond or cashew) and ice. Put it all in the blender and you'll have a delicious and nutritious smoothie the kids love and honestly tastes more like an ice cream shake.

These are the ingredients for another one of our favorite smoothies, the Mixed Berry and Banana Smoothie This one is very much like the smoothie above, but instead of the cocoa and peanut butter powders, you substitute frozen berries. It comes out a really pretty shade of purple/pink, which kids love. It is refreshing, filled with vitamins and delicious.

This is my go-to banana bread recipe. It is easy and so delicious. We make it all the time. I usually double the recipe and then sometimes I'll serve one loaf and freeze the other. It also makes a nice hostess gift if you're going to a party, or you just want to drop a loaf off to a neighbor or friend to let them know you love them. I always add a cup of chopped walnuts to the recipe (1/2 cup if you're not doubling it), but that's optional. Here is the link to the recipe: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email

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