I’m on a mission never to waste a banana. Seriously. Food waste is a huge issue that I’m becoming passionate about. It probably started with inflation and becoming more mindful of the grocery budget, but as I get older, I find it also hits me in my heart. I just can’t help but think about all the people who don’t have enough to eat when we’re throwing out perfectly good food every day! That’s why I’m trying to use leftovers quickly and get creative with recipes to use up every last bit of food. I’m still a work in progress, but it’s been an enjoyable and rewarding journey!
While I may not be able to solve the food waste problem in our country, I can ensure that my kitchen waste is kept to an absolute minimum. So, my best intention is your gain – a blog post that solves the mystery of what to do with old bananas.
In This Article:
Got two old bananas just sitting around? Please don’t throw them away because you’ve got the best ingredient for creating something scrumptious! Consider two old bananas God’s gift to your kitchen from now on!
Old bananas make me feel a little squeamish, honestly. The brown and black spots, and nauseating smell, best described as a mix of overly sweet and sour slime, can make anyone gag.
Old bananas make me feel a little squeamish. As they ripen, the sickly sweet smell increases, sometimes with hints of gross fermentation. The stronger the smell, the riper the banana is getting. If I don’t take action soon, the off-putting odor can turn into a sour or rotten stench that will have me throwing ’em into the trash can.
When you combine the less than pleasant smell with the change in color and texture, a girl might think it’s time to toss those bananas in the trash. It doesn’t seem “normal” to go from bright yellow and firm to brown and mushy in just a few days.
But don’t let their outer appearance fool you! In the hands of a master chef (aka you!), old bananas can be transformed into something extraordinary.
(Side thought – remember that bible verse about David and the outer appearance?
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Samuel had expectations of a king’s appearance, but God’s perspective differed. What a great reminder that sometimes what we first judge as “inferior” or “not enough” is actually something incredible with just a little creativity and care. But I digress…)
What can you make with old bananas?
Whether you’re an expert baker or just starting, banana bread is a must-know classic because it’s so easy to make and always delicious.
It’s easy to customize banana bread with whatever flavors and mix-ins you like, from chocolate chips and walnuts to cinnamon and nutmeg; let your imagination run wild!
Now, I tend not to make banana bread because I don’t want the work of prepping and baking. Being busy during the week means I need practical recipes most days of the week.
I also run into the issue of overeating – one slice quickly turns into two, which then turns into the entire loaf. Not good!
What can you make with ripe bananas besides banana bread?
There are a bunch of different recipes you can rock out with what you’ve already got in the kitchen. The possibilities are endless! Here are five ideas to get you started:
Easy Recipes For Old Ripe Bananas
You’ll love these ideas because they are no fuss, no muss! I like to keep things easy.
Mashed Banana Pancakes
Toss one mashed ripe banana into your mix, and voila! You’ve got yourself some delicious banana pancakes. They’re fluffy, soft, and not to mention – super nutritious. Top them off with just a touch of maple syrup for added sweetness.
Smoothies For Breakfast
Banana Yogurt Breakfast Bowl
This breakfast bowl is quick and hits the spot. Mix up some yogurt, banana slices, and your choice of toppings like nuts, coconut flakes, or granola. If you use a tupperware container, you can take it with you when you’re on the go.
Banana Bread Overnight Oats
Craving something warm and comforting in the morning? Try this delicious banana bread overnight oats recipe to start your day. All you have to do is combine rolled oats, almond milk, mashed banana, and spices like cinnamon and nut.
These are especially great if you’ve got kids around! Peel the banana, cut it into two equal pieces, stick a popsicle stick in one end of each piece, then dip them in melted chocolate and freeze. Kids love them, and they are a great way to beat the summer heat.
Banana Pudding Dessert Cups
This is my favorite when I’m in the mood for an easy-peasy sweet, yummy, and healthy dessert. Portion control is critical when it comes to dessert. The recipe I share in my Tiny Banana Pudding Dessert Cups post will make four dessert cups that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can overripe bananas be frozen for later use?
Yes! Overripe bananas can absolutely be frozen for later use. Peel them, cut them into 2-inch chunks, and freeze them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until solid. Once completely frozen, transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for 2 or 3 months.
When you’re ready to use the frozen bananas, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.
Why should you not freeze bananas?
Bananas are fragile fruit. They will become soft and mushy as they thaw. That means that you can’t eat them they way you would a firm, fresh banana. Additionally, freezing bananas can cause them to turn brown, which might make them less attractive for eating. If you’re going to use your frozen banana for baking purposes, it’s best to go ahead and mash it up with a fork immediately after thawing. This will help retain some of the texture of the banana and make it easier to incorporate into recipes. But if you’re looking for a snack or a fresh fruit dish, you may want to steer clear of freezing bananas.
Rethinking Overripe Bananas
Old ripe bananas can be used in a variety of ways to make delicious and nutritious dishes. nd if you don’t want to use them right away, freezing them is always an option. So don’t let ’em go to waste.
And don’t forget to try my healthy and easy-to-make banana pudding cups recipe today.