It always happens. You buy a bunch of bananas, but no one eats them and they are left until they turn black. They may even end up in the garbage if you’re not sure how to use over-ripe bananas.
I buy a ton of bananas–about 20-30 pounds a month. Only about one bunch of bananas gets eaten “fresh” in my house, though.
Since I love the natural sweetness that over-ripe bananas provide, I mostly buy them so I can wait for them to go bad!
As a result, I’ve tried a ton of recipes for using up over-ripe bananas. And I’m sharing ten of my favorites!
These are all recipes that I have kept coming back to again and again. Hopefully this list can help you find a way to use that bunch on the counter, and find some favorites of your own!
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Bananas–especially over-ripe bananas–go so well in smoothies. They add sweetness and creaminess.
This Blueberry Banana Avocado Smoothie is one of the most delicious uses of banana in a smoothie I’ve ever had. The recipe calls for only half an avocado, so I typically double it so I can just throw in the whole thing.
Avocado simply adds a subtle flavor undertone and makes the smoothie incredibly filling. Because the flavors of banana and blueberry are so strong, they are the stars–you won’t find the avocado flavor undertones unless you’re looking for them.
Another fantastic recipe that pairs banana and avocado together is this Chocolate Avocado Smoothie. If you’re craving a chocolate milkshake but want a healthier option or simply don’t want all that dairy, this smoothie is a great alternative!
It definitely tastes more like banana than an average chocolate milkshake, but the chocolate and avocado flavors play off of each other to create a delicious, healthier substitute.
But we can’t leave out the more classic flavor profiles–banana and peanut butter. This Banana Peanut Butter and Date Smoothie paiRs the two classic ingredients and uses dates to sweeten. In my opinion, the addition of dates takes this smoothie from good but ordinary, to truly divine.
However, if you don’t have a Vitamix (and most of us don’t!), I highly recommend soaking your dates in very hot water for 20-30 minutes before blending. I have a Ninja blender and I’ve found I need to do this any time a smoothie recipe calls for dates.
The first time I made this, I didn’t know to do that. I ended up with a very creamy smoothie that was dotted with tiny pieces of dates that were quite chewy. And creamy but chewy is not a great texture for a smoothie! If you soak your dates, you can avoid my mistake right off the bat.
On the other hand, creamy yet chewy is a great (and expected!) texture for oatmeal. Overnight oats are one of my favorite ways to use up brown bananas because they’re just so quick to throw together.
These Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats are super delicious. The creaminess of the oats and the silkiness of the bananas combine with the juicy bursts of blueberries. It’s seriously some of the most flavorful oatmeal I’ve ever had!
These Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats are also divine and are great for those days when you need something more filling. I’ve never been a big peanut butter and chocolate fan, but you could add chocolate too if you wanted to!
Of course, banana bread is probably the default recipe that most people reach for to use up bananas that are past their prime.
This Starbucks Copycat Banana Bread comes together so easily and is truly a delectable treat. My favorite way to eat a slice is warmed with butter.
If you prefer muffins, I’ve had great success doubling my banana bread recipe, adding to muffin tins, and baking. I’ve also loved these Oatmeal Banana Muffins!
When I want something a little bit different, these Soft and Chewy Banana Bread Granola Bars are a huge hit in my house! I imagine they would be great snacks for on the go. However, I’ve never gotten a chance to test it because every time I make them, they are gone within a day!
I also love making these Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies. They are perfectly soft and chewy. Plus, even though they are pretty healthy, my toddler thinks he’s getting a treat!
Do you regularly find yourself with over-ripe bananas? What are your favorite ways to use them up?