It is fascinating, when wartime rationing bit hard a banana became as precious as a diamond, yet now we take the fruits for granted and they are plentiful and affordable. There are just the two of us but it still works out cheaper to buy a larger bag of bananas, often I buy the family bags of Fair trade bananas from Lidl and the Tesco Value Bananas also offer brilliant value for money.
It is all very well having plenty of bananas but it is storing them successfully that is the problem. If you leave them in the plastic wrapping then they sweat and ripen far too quickly, if you store them in the fridge they go black and if you put them into the fruit bowl along with the other fruit then it all ripens too quickly. I like a spotty banana and I am one of those fruit and nut cases that saves the blackened banana skins, cuts them up and feeds the potassium laden skins to my roses. A friend of mine said that you could freeze bananas, I was dubious but it turned out that her theory was right. If you slice the bananas in half lengthways and then lay them on a tray ( making sure that they are well separated) then put them into the freezer until they are solid , then you can put two or three of the frozen bananas into a freezer bag and straight into the freezer. Once they have been frozen you can use them for making banana fritters, or banana cake or add them to a fruit smoothie, hence no wastage.
Anyway, back to the drawing board. I have tried everything to try and make my hand of bananas last longer, I have wrapped them in newspaper, I bought one of those fairly useless banana holders that sits on the kitchen worktop and I have tried buying unripe fruit but I still find that the fruit ripens far too quickly. On the Lakeland website they have been advertising this banana bag, I hold my hands up, I was loathe to believe Lakelands claims about the bright yellow banana bag. For a start the bag costs nearly £5 and to my mind that seemed to be an expensive way of keeping the fruit for a little bit longer.
The Lakeland Banana bag.
It arrived and I looked at it and really thought that I had lost the plot, who on Earth pays good money for an average sized yellow bag which looks like a large Jiffy bag in disguise. The Lakeland banana bag measures 11 ½ x nearly 14 inches and it is surprisingly thick. This is due to a layer of insulation, this layer is supposed to keep the fruit at the right temperature when you put it into the fridge and it also protects the bananas inside of the bag from being bumped or bruised. The bag is nothing to look at, an oblong bag with a wipe clean surface and at the top there is a white thick cord that you can tie loosely to make sure that the fruit inside does not escape.
The Lakeland banana bag holds about six bananas, if you try to put anymore into the bag it will not tie properly. Then the bulky bag needs to sit on one of the racks inside of the fridge to keep cool, this does mean that your refrigerator space becomes limited.
From my point of view I found it quite hard to understand just how the Lakeland bag worked but they say that the insulated bag keeps the fruit at the correct temperature and enables the bananas to stabilise rather than ripen further.
Put the bananas into the fruit bowl and you are very lucky if you can get away with keeping them for more than two or three days but put them into the Lakeland banana bag and pop them into the fridge and it becomes a whole different ball-game. The fruit that is kept in the insulated bag at the correct temperature keeps far far longer, the appearance of the fruit remains virtually the same though you may notice a few tiny brown blotches appearing after a couple of days. The bananas do not sweat inside of the bag as I first thought that they would either.
I admit that I sometimes curse the space that the bag uses up in the fridge ( the bag will not fit into one of the salad boxes either ) but it has paid dividends. Instead of picking out overripe bananas and trying to eat the best bits I can now enjoy good firm fruit. The Lakeland bag is easy to clean, I wipe it over both inside and outside with a cloth that has been rinsed in warm water.
I suppose Lakeland have yet again proven that all the old fashioned methods are not necessarily the best ones. When it comes to storing bananas then the Lakeland banana bag beats the lot hands down. You can order this online from the Lakeland website and you will pay just under £5..