Farm and Dairy recently listed nine tips for using bananas in cooking:

Buying bananas

Choose bananas that are firm. Avoid bananas that have bruises. Bananas should be green near the tip and stem.

The best bananas for eating and salads

Bananas with yellow peels are best for fresh eating from the peel and for cutting up in salads.

The best bananas for baking and cooking

Use ripe bananas (will have speckled peels) for baking, smoothies and other recipes.

Banana bread

Banana bread recipes call for ripe bananas, but the blacker the peel, the richer the banana flavor will be in the baked bread.

Slow down ripening

If your bananas are ripening too quickly, put bananas in the refrigerator. This will cause the peels to turn black, but the fruit inside will be fine.

Bananas can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Speed up ripening

Always store bananas at room temperature. Don’t leave in bags from the grocery store.

If you buy green bananas but need them ripened quickly, place them in a brown paper bag. Place the bag in a warm, dry spot, but not in direct sunlight. After one or two days, the peels should be turning yellow. If not, place a ripe apple in the brown bag with the bananas.

Freezing bananas

Freeze bananas by removing peel, adding a little lemon juice and placing in a sealed freezer bag.

Cooking substitutions

Bananas can be used in place of equal amounts of oil or fat. Mash up bananas, then measure into a dry measuring cup.

Banana recipes

Add more bananas to your diet by checking out these 10 recipes from the Produce for Better Health Foundation. These ideas are great for children!