Freeze bananas for a tasty treat
Frozen bananas are wonderful in smoothies. You can make a mock ice cream, too. Simply cut a frozen banana into four sections and blend with a splash of milk in your food processor until creamy. Then enjoy a frozen treat that’s lower in fat than ice cream, but doesn’t sacrifice taste.
The first reader tip shares another way to enjoy frozen bananas:
I like to peel a banana, cut it in half lengthwise, spread peanut butter on one half and stack the other half sandwich-style. Then I wrap it in tinfoil and freeze it in a freezer storage baggie. Now that’s a cool snack! — Carol S., email
Bake sausage patties:
I bake sausage patties in silicone cupcake cups rather than frying them in a pan. I don’t follow a recipe; I just cook them at 350 F until they are done, then freeze any leftovers for later use. — Kate, Indiana
1 cup dried lima beans, or 3 cups (any) cooked beans
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon sage
Force cooked beans through a strainer. Add remaining ingredients. Shape into the form of sausages. Saute in butter. — Polly, Pennsylvania
I am trying out some recipes for homemade beauty products and just made my own facial cleanser. It was so easy and feels wonderful. Grate a bar of Castile coco soap (coconut soap) and melt it on the stove with enough water to make 16 ounces (about 1-1/2 cups water.) Mix in 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and 5 drops each of eucalyptus essential oil, vanilla oil and jasmine oil. Let it cool, then pour it into a bathroom soap dispenser. It only takes one pump, and my face feels clean, not dry and tight like when you use regular soap.
I also made a homemade disinfectant/cleaner. Mix three cups of vinegar with one orange peel. Store in a cupboard for two weeks, shaking occasionally, then strain into a clean container. To use, mix one cup of the citrus vinegar with enough water to fill a 32-ounce spray bottle. It will make three 32-ounce spray bottles.
My homemade toner has been much better for sensitive skin than my Olay toner/astringent. Boil 1/3 cup water and steep two bags of chamomile tea for 15 minutes. Then pour into a container and cool. Add two drops of your favorite essential oil. (I added eucalyptus.) Shake and let stand for 48 hours. — Angel, Washington
Skin care tips:
I use olive oil to remove eye makeup. It works especially well on mascara! I also use olive oil and sugar on a cotton pad to exfoliate my skin instead of buying products from the store. — Ashley, forums
Since my kids never really eat the candy I put in their Easter eggs anyway, I’ve been considering alternatives. The stores sell plastic eggs with Play-Doh in them, so why not make your own using homemade play dough? And thanks to a friend’s suggestion, I’m going to buy a small Lego set and divide it among the eggs I hide for my kids. — M.P., New York
photo by sweetonveg