7 Ways to Use Overripe Bananas

The fruit my family consumes the most of by far is bananas. There are two ways we use bananas 90% of the time and the first is of course just plain, raw bananas (with a slightly green top, of course!). One spot gets on that baby and it is automatically demoted to the banana bread pile. The second most common thing we do with bananas is…you guessed it, banana bread. Me and my kids kind of have a slight obsession with the stuff and it is not good. I mean, it’s deliciuos, don’t get me wrong…..but it is incredibly packed with sugar and butter so therefore, it is a problem. But what else can you do with those dreaded brown bananas??

Thankfully, bananas become little baking miracles the instant they turn brown and that just makes them sweeter and mushier and tends to make baked goods fluffier and adds a lovely dimension to many things. Here are a 7 ideas to use up your overripe bananas so they don’t go straight to your {banana} muffin top!

Whipped Banana Oatmeal

Whipped oatmeal is what happens when you stir chopped or very thinly sliced banana into oatmeal while it's cooking. The banana sort of just melts in, and it makes the finished oatmeal sweet and a little fluffier.

Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes

Gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo. The basis of the pancake is extremely simple. Just roughly 1 egg per 3 or 4 tbsp of mashed banana. Mix together and cook on your griddle. Easy peasy and they are so delicious! They are packed with protein so they are quite filling and perfect for a pre or post workout meal.

Three-Ingredient Banana FroYo

Sure, you can make banana soft serve with bananas, a food processor, and nothing else. But why not add some protein and healthy fats by throwing Greek yogurt and peanut butter in there? It makes for a much more satisfying snack.

Three-Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

All you need to whip up a batch of these guys is bananas, oats, and chocolate chips! If you want to make them a little more breakfast friendly, swap the chocolate chips out for a nut or a dried fruit.

Baked Banana Chips

These could not be easier, and they're actually a genius way to add crunch to parfaits or bowls of oatmeal. This particular recipe is brilliant because it uses only two simple ingredients: bananas and lemon juice. There are no extra added oils, sugars, salt, etc.

For best flavor, use bananas that are ripe, but firm, and not bruised. The thinner you cut the slices, the crunchier they will be. Simply cover a sheet pan with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Toss the banana slices in lemon juice. Arrange them in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 200F for 2 hours, flip the slices with a metal spatula, and continue to bake for 1.5 hours longer, or until desired crispiness. Remove from oven and transfer the chips to a wire rack. Cool completely. The longer they cool, the crunchier they will get. Then store in an airtight container. There you have it!

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

The situation: A smoothie doesn't seem like enough, oatmeal seems too hot, and you didn't have the foresight to make overnight oats. The solution: This banana oatmeal smoothie that's got all the whole-grain goodness, without the heat or the wait time.

Just blend ¼ cup oatmeal, ¾ cups milk, 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of your choosing), 1 banana and 4-5 ice cubes and voila! A super easy and nutritious breakfast or snack!

Simple Green Smoothie

Don't underestimate the power of a good, simple green smoothie on days when you want to feel extra-healthy in the morning. Freeze bananas, kale, and avocado together in individually portioned freezer bags to take the guesswork out of your mornings.

What are your favorite ways to use overripe bananas? I’d love to hear in the comments below :)

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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