Bananas and avocados follow the same threat sequence. They go through the same ripening stages:
Not ripe yet!!
Nope – not yet!!
Tomorrow – for sure!!
Ready – eat me now!!
EAT ME NOW!!
Too ripe!! (How could you do this??!!)
There was a time I would go into panic mode when I see a stack of bananas with brown spots sitting on the kitchen counter. My mind would be like: “Oh no, I have to quickly scroll through Pinterest images and find a recipe I feel like doing that uses lots of bananas, that’s easy to make, with ingredients I have, umm…should be also healthy, but not too healthy because then the kids won’t eat it!!” Oye- Ve!! Too exhausting!!
However, given my love for natural sweeteners, over time, I have figured out some super simple recipes to use the bananas effectively. Here’s a quick summary of the top 6 ways I use ripe bananas.
- Banana Coconut Fruit Salad
- Banana Nut Butter Pudding
- Butter Roasted Bananas
- Chocolate Banana Cookies
- Ice Creams
You can eat some of the recipes hot, some at room temperature, and some cold. (sort of like Goldilocks!!)
Room Temperature Recipes
- Banana Coconut Fruit Salad
This one reminds me of the prasad we get in Indian temples. It is a really simple fruit salad recipe with an Indian twist.
Recipe = Mix 1 Banana chopped + 1 Apple chopped + 2 Tbsp Shredded Coconut + 2 Tbsp Jaggery powder (Indian molasses)
Below are pictures of the Indian Ingredients – frozen coconut (which, by the way is such a useful product) and Jaggery. You can substitute Coconut Sugar or Raw Sugar if you cannot find Jaggery powder.
The base recipe is very simple and very flexible. Just the dash of coconut and jaggery gives it a very authentic South Indian taste.
I can top off the salad with hemp seeds or dried fruits of choice. You can add powdered elaichi (cardamom) or powdered ginger for added flavors. Sky is the limit…
2. Banana Nut Butter Pudding
I am a sucker for creamy puddings. Banana + nut/seed butters are a match made in heaven. Zero additional sweeteners needed.
Use any seed or nut butter of choice. Add to ripe bananas mashed with a fork.
2 tbsp + 2 mashed bananas = creamy pudding
Sweetness of banana + healthy fats from nut/seed butters = mucho delicioso!!
It is a simple and perfect little sweet treat I like to make after-dinner sometimes.
The only downside of this recipe is that you have to eat it soon. Mashing the bananas oxidizes them and they are best eaten right away.
3. Butter Roasted Bananas
If you want caramelized and gooey bananas or if you want your whole house to smell like banana bread, try making this easy Butter Roasted Banana recipe.
This recipe will be great for folks who prefer eating warm desserts to cold ones.
As winter approaches, don’t just think of warm apple pie, also consider making warm, roasted bananas.
Who says cookies can only be made with heavy ingredients like eggs, butter, sugar etc? If you have mashed bananas as your base, with just a few more healthy ingredients, you can make a tasty cookie.
My 6-ingredient Vegan Banana Drop Cookies uses almond flour, almond butter, cocoa powder, sliced almonds, and raisins stirred in with 2 mashed bananas.
This sugar-free banana cookie has that slight bitter hit of chocolate coming from the cocoa powder. The sweetness is ever so subtle. Feel good about eating them and good after eating them – no sugar highs!!
I also have a non-vegan version Chocolate Banana Cookie that uses Milk powder. The milk powder tones down the sharpness of the dark chocolate and makes for a super-delicious sugar-free cookie that I have ever tasted.
Freezing Cold, but not cool: Ok, first of all – Don’t ever put bananas in the refrigerator (normal cool part). The peels will become black, and the bananas will feel like they are under stress.
However, if you peel them and place them in the freezer, you can freeze time on them (stop the ripening clock). Depending on how good your freezer is, or if there are no power cuts, frozen bananas will stay white and firm for easily a month or more. Then, whenever you want, you can make tasty and healthy smoothies or ice creams with them.
Frozen bananas give you the thickness and feel of a rich smoothie without all the heavy dairy or cream calories.
The green color from pistachios, the heavenly smell of cardamom and the creaminess from the bananas makes my Pista Kulfi smoothie a favorite smoothie flavor of mine. But, why even get so complicated? Throw in frozen bananas and milk, and that’s a great smoothie too…
6. Ice Creams
Finally, I saved the best for the last. In my house, for the past few years, atleast once in 2 weeks I make some flavor of Nice Creams (Healthy banana ice creams). These are so tasty and so creamy with banana functioning both as a sweetener and as a flavor neutral ice cream base.
Peanut butter flavor – yum! Chocolate flavor – yes! Strawberry flavor – Mmm, Vegan Chunky monkey – done that!! – I have tried all kinds of simple, natural flavors using frozen bananas as a base and they have all turned out yummy. It is very hard to go wrong with this base recipe.
If you kids are forever begging for ice-cream and you are worried about spoiling their health with too much sugar, this warm apple pie topped with banana ice cream is the best option for you.
Type Nice Cream in Pinterest, they have so may ideas….you will thank me later :)….
Most of the above recipes don’t even need any additional sweetener – even natural ones like date puree. Nope, siree…!! Just the sweetness of the banana.
A large mashed banana (120 calories, 3.5 g fiber) is better than any extracted, processed sweetener in the market. That 3.5g of fiber is such a great boon packed inside that sweet banana flesh. How does something so sweet and creamy have such a good amount of fiber?? – Mother Nature, you are too good!!
Ok, small side story about McDonalds Milk Shake: Renowned Business consultant, Clay Christensen did a study to find out why people order McDonalds thick milkshake. This is a real study, I kid you not!! They found out that most people who buy them drive off in a car on their way to work. It takes about 23 minutes to suck up the thick milkshake, so it gave them something to do while driving.
So, if all people need are 20 minutes of sucking a liquid, why should it be a McDonalds triple thick shake that has 720 cal and 0g of fiber. Why not make a thick, frozen shake from frozen bananas instead with 3.5x #of bananas g of fiber instead?
Just start freezing your bananas overnight and blend them right before you head out to work.
Anyways, I hope you find these 6 ways to use up ripe bananas in your kitchen useful.
What’s your favorite way to use up ripe bananas? Post your thoughts and comments below. As always, I love to hear from you!!