By: Jackie Bruchez
Have you ever found yourself stuck with a ton of overripe bananas? The first project that usually comes to mind is banana bread. Although it’s delicious, banana bread recipes generally only call for three mashed bananas. So what do you do with the rest? Here are four ideas to put those extra bananas to good use.
1. Freeze Them
Simply remove the peel and place whole bananas in a gallon-sized freezer bag. They can remain frozen for up to three months. When you’re ready to use them, allow the bananas to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before eating or adding to a recipe.
2. Smoothie Time
Bananas are perfect to use as a natural sweetener in smoothies. They can be used frozen or at room temperature.
Recipe: To make a single serving strawberry banana smoothie: Combine 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 banana, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries and two tablespoons of honey. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and enjoy immediately.
3. Banana Pancakes
1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
7 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 banana, peeled and sliced
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside
- In a large bowl, beat together 6 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/4 cup of sugar until combined
- Add two eggs, 1/2 cup of mashed banana, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 cup of milk to the butter mixture. Beat until combined
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until smooth. Allow the batter to rest for ten minutes
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large griddle on medium heat. When the pan is hot and butter is melted, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Space pancake rounds about three inches apart
- After about two minutes — or when the tops start to bubble — flip the pancakes.
- Cook for another two minutes, and then serve with sliced bananas and syrup.
Tip: Slice the bananas and add them to the batter before flipping to get them caramelized and extra sweet.
Tip: Add chocolate hazelnut spread, strawberries or peanut butter on top of the stack for an extra punch.
4. Banana Soft Serve
Are you trying to eat better, but still get late night dessert cravings? With a little advanced planning, you can scratch that itch with banana soft serve!
Slice up three bananas and freeze. Once they’re frozen, blend bananas in a blender or food processor until creamy. Eat immediately or freeze for later.
Tip: Enjoy your “soft serve” with a little bit of hot fudge and chopped peanuts for a lower calorie hot fudge sundae.
What’s your favorite way to put old bananas to use?
Jackie Bruchez is a wife and mother of three living in Solana Beach, Calif. She is the author of the food blog The Seaside Baker, which focuses on delicious baked desserts and the occasional savory dish. She loves to travel and is currently working on a cookbook featuring West Coast farmers and cuisine.