There are two categories of food that everyone hates: there's the food that you ate too much of as a kid and can't imagine eating again, and the food that is just intrinsically disgusting and you will never ever try. Bananas fall into the first category for me. Growing up, I feasted on peanut butter and banana sandwiches every day for lunch. Whenever I would show the slightest sign of being sick, my mom would force feed me extremely ripe bananas. And every strawberry smoothie I drank? Bananas in those too. 

Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for me to become totally banana-ed out, and once I was old enough to pack my own lunches, I cut bananas completely out of my diet. The only problem with that? Bananas are literally everywhere. Every time I turn around there's another new way to incorporate banana into foods that really don't need it (looking at you, banana guacamole). Rather than struggle against the overwhelming tide of banana-this, banana-that, I decided to try to trick myself into liking bananas by hiding it in 5 different foods. And to my surprise, I didn't totally fail. 

First Attempt: Mocha Nice Cream

cocoanibs, nicecream, Healthy, cocoa, banana, healthybreakfast
Nicole Burnett

Initial Reaction: What ungodly slime am I about to put in my mouth?

For the past 2 weeks, I haven't been able to eat ice cream as part of the Clean 20 program. You can imagine how torturous that is for someone who works in an ice cream shop. When I saw this recipe for Mocha Nice Cream that used banana I was hopeful that maybe it would kill my ice cream craving and take me one step closer to liking bananas. 

It honestly wasn't horrible. Sure, the only thing that I tasted was the banana, but this could have been a lot worse. It probably didn't help that I skipped the whole "freeze for 1 hour before serving step" due to lack of patience, but even still this recipe wasn't half bad.

Second Attempt: The Elvis Sandwich   

cake, sweet, chocolate, pastry, cream, pie, honey
Elisa Djuhar

Initial Reaction: Hello again, preschool Kristen's lunch. 

For my second attempt, I decided to throw it back to the days of watching Arthur in my grandmother's kitchen by making a modified Elvis Sandwich. In order to be true to my childhood, I skipped the bacon and went straight for sliced banana and peanut butter on bread. Again, I found it to be pretty mediocre. The banana and peanut butter combo got pretty sticky in my mouth, but this sandwich was, if not enjoyable, at least palatable.

Attempt 3: Banana Pancakes

banana, sweet, butter, pancake, peanut butter, syrup
Kristine Mahan

Initial Reaction: Mornings by Jack Johnson

Looking back, the banana pancakes were definitely the most successful part of my banana experiment. I had to pass on the maple syrup, but the banana provided enough natural sweetness that I *gasp* actually liked the pancakes. Especially after topping them with some peanut butter and cinnamon, I began to understand why Jack Johnson wrote a song about these babies. 

Attempt 4: Chocolate, Banana, and Peanut Butter Smoothie

milk, smoothie, banana, milkshake, coffee, cream
Natalie Beam

Initial Reaction: "Pretend it's a chocolate milkshake, pretend it's a chocolate milkshake..."

I had just gotten home from a long, sweaty shift at work and all I wanted was a nice frosty smoothie. For attempt 4, I chose to slip my banana into a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, praying to god that the banana taste wouldn't overpower everything else. While the combination of peanut butter and cocoa powder put up its best fight, the banana triumphed and became the self-appointed "primary flavor." A few sips in though, I was surprised to find myself actually enjoying it? Was the experiment working? Or was I just hungry and desperate?

Attempt 5: Classic Banana Toast

pie, caramel
Grace Goettman

Initial Reaction: This is nothing like avocado toast. At all.

I'd had these bananas for a few days now and they were beginning to look a little worse for the wear, so I decided it was time to attempt some banana toast. People have likened banana toast to avocado toast so I thought I had a pretty good chance at enjoying this. As it turns out, the only similarity between these two breakfasts is that they both require a toaster. While avocado toast is bougie, this was like eating baby food on bread. Once I loaded it with cinnamon and peanut butter, though, it was pretty decent. But it wasn't avo toast.

Final Thoughts

Jocelyn Hsu

So maybe I don't totally like bananas now, but I do enjoy bananas when they're hidden in other foods. At the very least, I no longer have to be that jerk that orders her smoothies without bananas in them. Progress is progress.