Store: Keep bananas at room temperature, as they will continue to ripen over time. If you’re not able to finish all the bananas in the bunch, don’t worry! Even ripe or overripe bananas are good for some recipes.
Use: Bananas are beloved by people of all ages. They’re perfect for a delicious afternoon snack, a quick bread ingredient, or with some pancakes on Sunday mornings. Ripe bananas can also be peeled, cut in half, and stored in a zip loc bag in the freezer to add to recipes or smoothies later!
Prep: Under-ripe or barely ripe bananas are perfect for stir-fries, stews, curries, or deep- frying. Ripe bananas are perfect for fruit salads, fruit tarts, bread or rice puddings, or with a roast. Very ripe bananas have many brown dots on them and are ideal for sandwiches, and grilling or to compliment dessert treats like sundaes, cheesecake or crepes. Overripe or brown bananas are great for smoothies, breads, or pancakes.
Store: Nectarines will keep up to five days if stored in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator. However, do not store nectarines in the refrigerator until they are fully ripe, as the cold will stop the ripening process.
Use: Nectarines are a great fruit because they can be used in many different areas throughout the kitchen. Whether they are eaten alone as a snack, or added to a fruit salad, pie, jam, or meat dish, their fresh, juicy flavors compliment many unique dishes.
Prep: Peeled or sliced nectarines will have a better flavor once they have been set out of the refrigerator and given time to warm up. Once sliced, squirt a small amount of lemon juice on them to keep the insides from browning. Nectarines can also be sliced, peeled and frozen to keep for extended periods of time or to make into a pie or jam.
Store: Pick through the grapes and discard any that are damaged. Wrap the container of grapes in a plastic bag or towel and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Grapes should be rinsed in a colander under running water and then should be warmed up a bit in order to experience their full flavor.
Use: Grapes provide the perfect accent for any summertime dish. Red flame grapes are sweet with a crunchy texture. They would make the perfect addition to a fruit salad or with a tangy glazed chicken.
Prep: Many grape varieties have a white powdery coating called “bloom.” This delicate natural protection helps keep the grapes from losing moisture, so wait to wash them until just before serving.
WATERMELON FRUIT SALAD:
* 1 medium watermelon
* 1 (15 ounce) can canned diced pineapple in juice, drain juice and reserve
* 1 pound seedless flame grapes
* 2 nectarines, peeled and chopped
* 2 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
* 2 bananas, cut into bite-size pieces
1. Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise. Hollow out the insides using a melon baller, reserving rind for later use. Drain pineapple, and discard juice.
2. Cut apples in half, remove cores, and cut into bite size pieces. Cut nectarines in half and cut into bite sized pieces. Peel bananas, and slice in to bite size pieces. Rinse grapes under cold running water, and pat dry.
3. In a bowl, toss together the watermelon balls, pineapple, apple, nectarines, banana chunks, and grapes. Divide fruit salad among the watermelon “bowls,” and serve.
*Recipe Courtesy of Allrecipes.com