Cavendish or William are the most common. Lady fingers are shorter and wider, and have a sweeter taste.
Year-round, but at their best April to October.
Bananas with green tips are not fully ripe and will ripen at room temperature over a few days. Bananas that are yellow with brown specks are ready to eat. Soft bananas with more brown than yellow skin are good for cooking. Look for bananas with smooth, unblemished skin.
Keep at room temperature. Storing bananas in the fridge will turn them brown. Freeze over-ripe bananas without peeling until needed for baking.
Brush with lemon juice to prevent browning.
5 quick ways with bananas
For a nutritious breakfast on the go, blend 1 banana with 1 cup low-fat milk, 2 tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon LSA mix. Add a handful of blueberries if they're season.
For a quick dessert, make a few slits in an unpeeled banana, cutting through to the flesh, then push in squares of chocolate. Wrap bananas in foil, then bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Serve with ice-cream.
For a tasty treat, cut bananas in half crossways, push a paddle-pop stick into each half, dip in melted chocolate and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Freeze for 2 hours or overnight.
Make a sweet salad by combining sliced bananas with toasted cashew nuts, shredded coconut and coriander leaves. Dress with fresh lime juice and serve with a hot curry.
Place sliced bananas into sweet pastry cases. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter. Bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until sugar caramelises. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and serve topped with a dollop of low-fat vanilla yoghurt.