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Don’t Toss ‘Em! 11 Clever Ways to Use Ripe Bananas Beyond Banana Bread

Don’t Toss ‘Em! 11 Clever Ways to Use Ripe Bananas Beyond Banana Bread

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With their vibrant color and firm texture, bananas make for easy, tasty, and nutritious snacks. But what happens when the fruit loses some of its appetizing points as it ripens with brown spots and mushiness?

Most people will tell you to make some sort of break, but if you’re reading this, then you’re wondering what to do with ripe bananas besides banana bread.

To help your inner chef, we’ve put together a list of delicious ideas to turn your ripe bananas into a range of sweet and savory treats!

1 – Milkshakes and Smoothies

One of the simplest things you can whip up using ripe bananas is a drink, and no drinks are more suitable than milkshakes and smoothies for the incorporation of fruits such as bananas.

Since they’re already mushy, the bananas will blend with other ingredients more smoothly. Bananas also add a delightful creaminess to your smoothies or milkshake, along with a healthy dose of nutrients.

One of our all-time favorite banana milkshake recipes uses peanut butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract. Blend everything with your choice of milk and you’re ready to drink up!

As for smoothies, pair bananas with dried dates, chia seeds, lime juice, and cinnamon for a yummy breakfast on the go. You can also couple bananas with other fruits including strawberries, mangoes, and pineapples.

2 – Muffins

Walking the fine line between cake and breakfast, muffins are one of the blessings that baking can bestow upon our days.

Making muffins with bananas? Not only do these fruits add extra tenderness and moisture, but their creaminess just makes the treat more addicting.

Not to mention, ripe bananas provide a candy-like flavor that works great with the richness of muffins. The browner the bananas get, the more will the notes of vanilla, honey, and rum come through.

For the batter of your banana muffins, one of our favorite recipes uses walnuts, pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. We also love the combination of orange juice, canned pumpkin, date paste, flax seeds, and dried cranberries.

3 – Pancakes

Who doesn’t love pancakes? Whether it’s a hearty breakfast or a Sunday brunch, bananas can add an extra dose of moisture, sweetness, and butteriness to your fluffy pancakes.

Don’t just stop at slicing ripe bananas to top your pancakes, instead incorporate the mashed fruit into the batter to really get the flavor in there.

One of our favorite banana pancake recipes uses a mixture of mashed ripe bananas, milk, oat flour, oats, and chocolate chips. Some diced strawberries on top will make them perfect!

You can also try making 2-ingredient pancakes using mashed ripe bananas and eggs (2 large eggs for each banana). Top with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or jam, and dig right in!

4 – Meatballs

You’ve probably never thought of bananas and beef teaming up for a recipe, but nothing is impossible; just meet these meatballs!

That’s right, you can use ripe bananas the next time you’re making meatballs. The fruit will help the meatballs become juicier and more tender with a hint of smokiness that blends smoothly with the rest of the flavors.

This recipe uses1 large mashed banana for every pound of minced beef steak. Add torn bread, chopped bacon, grated carrot, and diced onion to create the mixture.

Don’t forget to mix in an egg to better bind all the ingredients. You can also throw in some powdered curry for a kick of spice.

Once you roll the mixture into balls, feel free to cook them in a pan or grill on a BBQ.

5 – Tartes

Bananas have a unique sweetness that makes them a great ingredient in dessert recipes, particularly when whipping up a tart. Their creaminess, notes of honey, and vanilla undertones can boost the flavor profile of your tart to a whole new level.

One of our favorite recipes calls for brown sugar, chopped butter, bananas in cut halves, cinnamon, and macadamias. Combine the ingredients and place the bananas on top before baking.

Once out of the oven, sprinkle with macadamias and serve with some vanilla ice cream.

6 – Cookies

An easy and delicious dessert you can make with ripe bananas is none other than cookies. You can have these for breakfast, pack them for lunch, eat them as a tea-time snack, or serve them after dinner.

After you mix the butter, sugar, and eggs, add some mashed ripe bananas, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, and salt. When the batter is just combined, stir in white or milk chocolate chips, toffee bits, or your choice of nuts.

Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. You can enjoy your banana cookies as is or top them with some chocolate or caramel frosting.

7 – Cake

If you’ve got leftover ripe bananas and don’t want to make traditional banana bread, why not use them to cook up a banana cake?

Bananas in a cake don’t just mean more flavor, but they also give your baked creation a more moist and tender texture. You don’t need us to tell you that you can have cake anytime; you’ll even feel less guilty if you only opt for sweetness from the bananas.

What you need to do is cream some butter, vanilla, and sugar, then mix in eggs, mashed bananas, milk, baking soda, and flour. Feel free to add grated carrots, chopped dates, or chopped walnuts.

After that, pour the batter into a greased pan and bake for about 40 minutes.

8 – Fritters

You’re probably more familiar with savory fritters that use potatoes, meat, seafood, or other similar ingredients. But have you tried making sweet fritters before?

These battered, deep-fried treats taste amazing when you add ripe bananas into the equation. The extra creaminess and honey-ness take this comfort food to a cozier place.

All you need to do is mix mashed ripe bananas with flour, baking soda, water, and oil. Then shape the batter into disks and deep fry until golden brown.

When done, drain the banana fritters on paper and sprinkle with a cinnamon-brown sugar blend.

9 – Oatmeal Bowls

Be it a healthy breakfast, a nutritious lunch, a filling snack, or a light dinner, there’s nothing easier to make than an oatmeal bowl.

Just grab a couple of your ripe bananas, cut or mash them up, and stir them into your bowl of oats. You can add warm milk for cold days or mix in some yogurt for a refreshing touch.

Banana oatmeal bowls are super versatile depending on what you like. You can go ahead and add strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, pecans, cinnamon, pineapples, apples, and so on.

10 – Ice Cream

You can transform your ripe bananas into ice cream — how awesome is that?

The process couldn’t be easier. Here are the steps:

  1. Chop the ripe bananas and place them in an airtight container then put the container in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.
  2. Transfer the frozen banana to a powerful food blender, processor, or chopper.
  3. Start pulsing to break up the banana.
  4. Keep blending until the banana looks gooey then looks like oatmeal.
  5. Continue blending and you’ll see the banana smooth out into a soft ice cream texture.
  6. At this point, you can gently stir in any extras such as peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, nuts, cocoa powder, cinnamon, or ginger.
  7. Feel free to eat the banana ice cream right away or pour it into an airtight container and freeze it until solid then serve.

11 – Pudding

How about a rich banana pudding to indulge your taste buds? Here’s how you can make it:

  • Start by cutting some brioche slices in halves, coat them with some butter, and arrange them in a greased baking dish.
  • Then, slice the ripe bananas and arrange them between the brioche slice along with some pieces of your favorite chocolate type.
  • After that, whisk some milk and custard in a bowl then pour the mixture over the arranged slices.
  • Transfer the baking dish to a larger baking pan and pour boiling water enough to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
  • Bake for about 1 hour until set.
  • Take the baking dish out of the oven and let it rest at room temperature for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm or cold with a sprinkle of icing sugar.

Final Thoughts

Wondering what to do with ripe bananas besides banana bread? As you can tell from today’s list, there’s no shortage of options!

From baked goods to ice cream to savory treats, the sky is your limit!

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