Delicious Ways to Use Up Overripe Bananas
Did you know that Americans waste $165 billion in food every year?
The very, very, very best way to save money on groceries is to not waste food! Throwing away food is exactly the same as tearing up your hard-earned dollar bills and tossing them in the trash.
So what do you do with the overripe bananas lingering around your kitchen? If you’re like me, you always have them.
My husband loves bananas and will take a couple of them with him to work with him every morning. But he likes them a little green. Same with my kids. Once they start getting spotty, they’re goners.
It’s tough to gauge exactly how many I need, so I always have a few rejects.
You might not enjoy brown bananas, either, but whatever you do, don’t toss them!
Since my middle name is frugal and wasting food is akin to blasphemy, I know lots of tasty ways to use up those overripe bananas. And I mean lots!
Easy Banana Recipes
From breakfast to desserts, I’ve got you covered. Just click the photos if you want the recipes.
1. Classic banana bread recipe
In my book, banana bread is king when it comes to overripe bananas. The darker and uglier the bananas, the more flavorful and sweet your bread will be.
There are so many yummy varieties, I couldn’t possible choose just one! So I started with a classic banana bread, no crumb topping, no frosting, nothing fancy. Just a delicious, sweet, moist loaf of banana bread. Just click the photos below for the banana bread recipes from my blogging friends.
2. Chocolate banana bread
Check out this moist, rich, chocolate banana bread version, studded with chocolate chips! Click the photo for the recipe.
3. Egg-free banana bread
Everyone deserves delicious banana bread no matter what their allergies or sensitivities! Just look at the texture of this incredible recipe.
4. Paleo banana bread (gluten-free and sugar-free)
I couldn’t leave this paleo banana bread recipe out, because it’s right up my alley (I eat gluten-free and sugar-free) and because it’s so yummy that I have to double the recipe just to make sure I get a taste!
5. Banana bread mug cake
And how about this gluten-free, sugar-free, single-serving banana bread you can make in a mug! Talk about quick and easy! And chocolate chips!
6. Banana bread muffins
My kiddos use the terms cupcake and muffins interchangeably. I understand their confusion when we’re talking about these tender little morsels. I’m tempted to call them cupcakes myself! Click the photos for the recipes.
7. Healthy banana oatmeal cookies
Adding fruit to your cookies makes them healthy, right? Okay, maybe only a little, ha, ha! But it does make them soft, tender, and incredibly delicious. Click the photo to get the recipe.
8. Banana fritters
I first tasted banana fritters during college, when a Filipino friend in my apartment complex made them. I’ve never made them myself, but I still dream of them! The warm banana inside sort of melts into the crispy, fried dough on the outside. They’re amazing plain, but this Nutella dipping sauce sounds especially divine! Click the photo for the recipe.
9. Banana chocolate chip donuts
Boy, oh boy! The banana recipes just keep getting better and better, huh? This one sounds like a terrific way to use up overripe bananas.
These donuts are one of those healthy snacks that your kiddos won’t even realize are healthy. They’ll feel like a treat! These healthy banana donuts are sweetened with honey, and packed with plain yogurt, rolled oats and bananas. And don’t they look delicious?
10. Banana breakfast bars
Banana breakfast bars are the perfect quick and easy breakfast or afternoon snack. These are made with simple, nutritious ingredients like yogurt, oats, and bananas.
11. Banana pancakes
You can keep breakfast super simple with these two-ingredient banana pancakes. They are literally just eggs and bananas.
Use one egg and one medium banana per person you’re serving. Throw those two little ingredients into your blender, then pour the mixture onto a hot, buttered skillet, and you’ve got a little piece of heaven on a plate!
Fair warning — these pancakes taste like bananas, and not buttermilk pancakes. They are definitely not a replacement for your favorite Saturday morning recipe.
Another warning — this batter is pretty fragile. Heat your skillet to about medium and be sure it is buttered plentifully. Keep them small, so they’re easier to flip. Use a thin, metal spatula and flip them gently.
It takes some finesse. When my kiddos tried to make me these they were a mess. I ate scrambled banana pancakes for breakfast that morning. I still licked my plate clean!
12. Banana bread overnight oats
If your morning are crazy busy, but you still want a nourishing, hearty breakfast, these Banana Bread Overnight Oats are the answer. You can make a bunch of them in single-serving jars, and just pop one in the microwave before you run out the door in the morning, easy peasy!
13. Banana smoothies and milkshakes
When bananas are just too ripe and mushy for your taste, add them to smoothies and milkshakes. There’s pretty much no smoothie on the planet that doesn’t benefit from the addition of a ripe banana. They’re sweet, creamy and nutritious. And if you freeze them first, they make it just a little frosty!
A favorite among my kiddos is the banana, peanut butter, chocolate smoothie. Click the photo for the recipe!
14. Banana cake
This Banana Cake is sweet, dense and packed full of flavor. The cream cheese icing is the perfect complement. What a yummy way to use up overripe bananas! Click the photo for the recipe.
15. Banana Nutella ice cream
With only 2 ingredients, this rich, creamy Banana Nutella Ice Cream is such a simple treat idea for the summer. Doesn’t it look heavenly? I’m betting it will become a fast favorite at your house, just like it is at mine!
16. Banana walnut brownies
Move over banana bread! These banana walnut brownies are a decadent way to use up those ripe bananas. Gooey and rich, they are extra delicious warm and melty. Click the photo if you want the recipe.
17. No-bake banana bread bites
Simple and quick to concoct, these delectable morsels will quell your banana bread cravings.
18. Healthy peanut butter and banana dog treats
Hey, dogs like bananas, too! And they’re not going to waste as long as someone (including animals) is using them.
In fact, bananas are a hot commodity among all of the animals on our farm. When we throw them into the cow pasture, all of the cows come running, udders swinging, and fight over every last bite. The chickens fight over them, too.
Occasionally, I’ll find entire boxes (40lb) full of overripe bananas at the grocery store for around $5 for the entire box. I can’t possible fit that many in my freezer, so I’ll buy them (yes, the whole box!) for the sole purpose of treating our animals.
Enough about our farm. If you have a dog, I bet it would really like these dog treats. Click the photo for the recipe.
19. Banana oatmeal baby food
This recipe’s author uses this exact recipe to help her baby sleep all night. My youngest is five-years-old, but I would have given my eye teeth for this recipe when I had babies! Click the photo if you need this recipe.
*Tip for freezing bananas: Back when we were newlywed, and I realized that you could find overripe bananas for super cheap (I’m talking pennies on the dollar!) in the produce department, I quickly learned how to freeze them. I’m not the queen of frugal for nothing!
Now I regularly buy like 10 large bunches of brown bananas, just to freeze them to use in these recipes.
I first tried freezing them in the peel, but quickly learned that that frozen peel was dang hard to get off! And I had to scrape all the stringy things off with a knife, because they were stuck good. No bueno!
Next, I tried peeling and freezing them whole, smushed in a ziploc. Well, then I had a ziploc-sized chunk of frozen-solid banana to deal with! Did you know you can’t thaw a huge, frozen, banana chunk in the microwave very well? Ask me how I know.
I finally figured out that it was easiest to peel the bananas, slice them onto a baking sheet in chunks about 2″ thick, and freeze them until partially solid before filling my freezer bags. It takes a little extra effort upfront, but it makes the rest of the job much easier!
I hope you found a few easy overripe banana recipes so you can use up those extra bananas and reduce your grocery bill! Did I miss any of your favorites? Please share it in the comments.
Want more great money-saving tips?
Pin these awesome banana recipes for the next time you have a brown bunch!