When we shop for produce, there is sometimes a question of what goes into the fridge and what stays out! Below, I’ll give you some hints but:
What about bananas? Chiquita says “Never put banana, in the refrigerator!”
And, it’s an ambient fruit. And it ripens – and OVER RIPENS – so fast you almost can’t believe it!
So, like all rules, here’s a big exception: It’s best to store bananas on the counter; when they are starting to get brown spots, refrigerate (or freeze) them. The skins will blacken but inside, they’ll be firm and sweet! And if they get too ripe?
Here’s an alternative to banana bread or….something to scoop on top!
Make a mental note when you are in the produce department of your favorite grocery for a quick lesson – you will note items with hard skins and rinds are almost always in the “ambient” section – not the “chilled” section. Some stores have their chilled vegetables periodically sprayed with water to help keep them fresh. Here you will also find the items that are cut up for easy serving, and things that are naturally water-heavy like zucchini, cucumber, lettuces, mushrooms, etc.
In the “ambient” side you will find the whole melons, tomatoes, citrus, onions, potatoes, etc. which should not be chilled at all or, like melons, only when fully ripe and ready to eat. The rest (as well as ambient produce) will spoil quickly when not kept properly
So shop like a pro and do your sing a banana song!
Chocolate Banana Sorbet
- 2 ripe medium bananas
- 1 c apricot nectar or peach, mango or pineapple juice, divided
- 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 c low fat (2%) milk
- 1/2 c chopped nuts or additional chips (optional)
In blender or food processor, slice bananas. Add 3/4 cup of whichever juice you are using. Cover and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. You want this really smooth!
In small microwave safe bowl, add remaining juice, chocolate chips and sugar. Microwave on high (100%) for 30 seconds * stir. If necessary, microwave for additional 10 – 15 second intervals, stirring after each one, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Watch carefully that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
Add chocolate mixture to banana mixture; cover and blend until thoroughly combined (again scraping down sides as needed). Add milk and blend again until smooth. Pour mixture into an 8″ or 9″ square pan. Cover freeze for about 2 hours or until sorbet is firm around the edges but not completely frozen.
Remove from freezer. In large mixing bowl or food processor, spoon partially frozen mixture and beat until smooth but not melted. (If using nuts or additional chips, just stir them into the mixture now.) Return mixture to the same pan. Cover, freeze until firm, stirring several times before mixture freezes completely.
Before serving, let stand about 5 to 10 minutes until slightly softened but still frozen.