Bananas are often overlooked when it comes to baking fruity desserts. While I am aware that they are not everyone’s person’s favorite fruit, it’s important we give them attention on April 20, as it is National Banana Day! Here are a few recipes and fun facts about these underrated treats in honor to properly celebrate this silly holiday. 

One of my favorite ways to eat bananas is paired with some sweet treats. What better than to try out Giada De Laurentis’ frozen banana ice cream sandwiches? As summer approaches, this dessert will be a great way to help beat the heat. To make this recipe, you will need cookie dough, chocolate chips, vegetable or peanut oil, chocolate-toffee candy bars, bananas and 1 pint of vanilla or banana ice cream. The first step is to make the cookies that will be used to hold the ice cream sandwiches together. The bananas get thinly sliced and placed on one cookie, and then one scoop of your desired ice cream goes on top. Place that second cookie and smush the sandwich down. After all is said and done, you freeze the batch until the cookies are all firm. One of the best parts about the ice cream sandwiches is that the cookies are covered with a coating of melted chocolate and toffee chunks!

Another tried and true way to use bananas is banana bread! The Mirror’s very own Toby Ugwu ‘22, our former co-managing editor, shared his famous chocolate chip banana nut bread recipe. For this recipe you are going to need some very ripe bananas, unsalted butter,  white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, all-purpose flour, eggs, baking soda and salt. You can add chocolate chips and almonds (or another kind of nut — whatever you prefer!) if you so choose. Toby prefers chocolate chips and whole almonds. Banana bread is a classic, family favorite bread that can be enjoyed at any point during the day. I love a slice of banana bread for a small breakfast or morning snack! 

Another classic way to enjoy bananas is with none other than a banana split! There is much debate about who is the originator of this all-American dessert, but after much research, it looks like David Strickler, a pharmacy clerk in Latrobe, Penn. invented this iconic sundae in 1904. Strickler’s banana split consisted of a banana sliced in two, scoops of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, three flavored toppings: strawberry, chocolate and pineapple, whipped cream, maraschino cherries and peanuts or walnuts sprinkled on top. 

However, one of my favorite ways to eat bananas is in pancakes! Make your favorite pancake batter and then slice up some bananas. Sometimes, I even mash the bananas and mix it into the batter itself, but you can also slice the bananas thinly and then put a few slices of banana directly onto the pancakes cooking on the griddle. You can really spice this up by adding cinnamon or nutmeg into the pancake batter for some extra flavor. Another great addition to this breakfast recipe is topping the pancakes with some of the leftover freshly sliced bananas and whipped cream or maple syrup. It’s so good! 

Don’t miss out on celebrating National Banana Day with any of these delicious recipes! Just remember to stock up on your bunches early so that they are ripe in time for April 20!

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