When bananas start to show their brown spots, they become less appealing as a snack. Many people are guilty of watching their bananas go bad on their counter, and eventually just throwing them out. You might be one of them. But there’s no need to toss your bad old bananas. There are actually a lot of recipes that call for them. The mushier, the better. So if you’ve got a couple of bananas that have seen better days, keep reading for some healthy old banana recipes. Here are five smart ways to be using your bananas.
1. Use as a Binder in Your Favorite Vegan Recipes
Instead of throwing away your old bananas, consider using them as a binder in some of your favorite recipes. A lot of people know that bananas are rich in potassium and fiber. But did you realize that bananas can be used in place of eggs in a lot of recipes?
Yes, eggs are one of baking’s most common binding agents. They’re the reason that a lot of pastries don’t fall apart. But that doesn’t mean they are your only option.
If you’re a vegan, you know this already. Since vegans cannot eat eggs, they need to find a decent binding substitute. For many bakers, bananas are the answer.
Refer to these great vegan recipes for inspiration. To get you started, you can whip up some delicious banana pancakes, and top them with syrup or honey.
Another great idea is to turn your overripe bananas into banana bread. Why knock an old favorite?
The nice thing about banana bread is it is highly customizable. You can add different nuts or dried fruits to it, depending on what you have in your cupboard. This means that it’s one of the recipes using old bananas that you’ll never get tired of.
There are lots of other ways that bananas can be used as a binder, which is great news for people who love to bake. But if baking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options for using bananas in the kitchen.
This is especially true when it comes to making great vegan alternatives. Banana “Nice” Cream is one example of a way to turn a sweet treat into a healthy vegan dessert.
2. Turn Your Kitchen Into Smoothie Central
Why don’t more people eat overripe bananas? Because the texture is not as appealing as a fresh banana. People get turned off by the mushy feel of an old banana.
And that’s why it’s a great idea to have a blender in your kitchen. When a banana meets the blender, it can transform into any number of shakes and smoothies.
You still get all of the potassium and fiber from the banana, but without having to eat it in its mushy form. In fact, old banana recipes for smoothies are some of the healthiest ways to incorporate bananas into your breakfast. They are also great for after a workout.
Not convinced? Try this Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Smoothie recipe to get you started.
In a blender, combine:
- Two overripe bananas
- Two scoops of your favorite yogurt
- A quarter cup of milk
- One serving of protein powder
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter
Blend until smooth. Enjoy as a healthy way to start your day.
If smoothies aren’t for you, you can still blend up your bananas for other great breakfast options.
Do you eat oatmeal every morning? Instead of making a smoothie, how about you blend some overripe bananas with some peanut butter and stir it into your oatmeal or porridge? This mixture is also delicious when spread onto some toast.
Here’s a pro tip: After stirring this mixture into your oatmeal, top the dish off with some cacao nibs. They are a healthy source of antioxidants and will give your breakfast a delicious chocolate taste.
3. Use as a Savory Option
Bananas are naturally sweet, which leads a lot of people to think that the only things they are good for are baked treats and quick breads.
But that is actually far from the case. The sweetness of a banana can transform into a delicious savory option that you’ll want to incorporate into all of your favorite dinner recipes.
In fact, there are a lot of countries that have used bananas creatively for savory dishes.
One of our favorites is Maria Orosa’s banana ketchup. It’s a tangy concoction made up of vinegar, spices, and you guessed it — bananas. Now, it’s a popular food in the Philippines and is paired with meats, fries, and sometimes even eggs.
In Peru, “tacacho” is a regional favorite. It’s made of cooked, mashed bananas that get rolled into a ball with pork and lard. Served with chorizo, it’s a delicious breakfast meal.
So there is no need to feel confined by sweet foods for your overripe bananas. Do some research and find some global inspiration to get bananas onto your dinner plate.
4. Make a Healthy Dessert
A lot of people who want to start eating healthier think that they have to cut out dessert entirely. In fact, that strategy often ends in failure. It is much easier to start making healthier substitutions than to cut out dessert altogether.
And fortunately, bananas can help you on that journey to healthy eating. There are a lot of banana recipes that can help you use up your overripe bananas, while also providing a dessert substitute. This means killing two birds with one stone.
A lot of people have found that bananas and chocolate make a great pairing. Consider skewering your bananas and dipping them in dark chocolate. Freeze them until the chocolate solidifies.
Once frozen, you’ll never be able to tell that the bananas were on the older side.
Alternatively, use a basic quick bread recipe to make a banana and Nutella pizza. Spread the Nutella on the pizza dough while still warm, and slice the bananas on top. This will make for a warm, sweet treat.
If you want to take your banana and Nutella pizza to the next level, cut the dough in half and make a sandwich in a panini press. You will love this as a dessert or breakfast option.
There are lots of other ways to use bananas as a healthy dessert alternative. Remember that even though bananas taste sweet, they are healthy sources of potassium and fiber. There’s no need to throw them out when you can use them to improve your eating habits.
5. Freeze Them for Later
Let’s say you don’t want to waste your bananas, but you aren’t going to use them today. That’s okay, you still have options.
Peel your bananas and place them on a flat baking sheet. Freeze them on this tray.
Then, seal them in a plastic freezer-safe bag. This way, you’ll be able to use them whenever you want, for whatever you want. Just don’t forget that they are in your freezer.
A lot of recipes actually work better if your banana is pre-frozen. Smoothies and shakes are great ways to use frozen bananas because they will make your drink cold without having to use ice.
There are actually a lot of benefits associated with freezing your bananas. Click here to learn about some of the ways your life and diet can be improved just by keeping bananas in your freezer.
You can also go ahead and blend your bananas into a puree before you freeze them. If you know you’re going to use the bananas for a savory glaze, or for pancakes or quick bread, you can save yourself some time this way.
Be sure to label the bag with the date so that you can make sure to use your oldest bananas first. But if you go throw bananas as fast as we do, you won’t have to worry about that.
Improve Your Diet With Healthy Old Banana Recipes
Let’s face it, we’ve all thrown out bananas when they get too brown. But there’s no reason to waste your overripe bananas. Bananas are versatile, delicious, and healthy, even if they are on the older side.
In fact, there are so many recipes that work better with bananas that are just a little bit mushy. Hopefully, now you realize all of the different ways you can use browning bananas. And you even have some healthy old banana recipes to get you started.
But if you’re still curious about some of the other ways that bananas are good for your diet, check out our Health section to learn more.