Bananas are one of the most commonly consumed fruits by people worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. They lower the risk of cancer, regulate blood pressure, and boost bad moods. We may be familiar with the perfectly creamy banana, but what happens when they turn brown, mushy, and overripe? Here are the best ten ways to avoid throwing them out!
An overripe banana is intense in flavour and high in sugar content, making them perfect for milkshakes. Vegans can also substitute cow’s milk with almond milk, which does not contain any lactose or cholesterol. Almond milk even has the option of vanilla, light vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened, or coconut blend. The amount of milk used will determine the consistency of the milkshake – it’s all personal preference!
Classic Banana Milkshake Recipe
1-2 ripe bananas
250 mL (approx.) any milk
2 scoops ice cream (optional)
1-2 spoonfuls any yogurt (optional)
Here’s where you can get creative. Bananas are versatile and are complementary to nearly any other fruit. Don’t forget you can also add yogurt, milk, honey, chia seeds, or any other ingredients you think would be good. Using a classic banana milkshake as the base recipe, here are some popular combinations:
3. Banana Cake
As a banana ripens, more starch converts to sugar. It becomes a sweeter ingredient and is softer to mash into cake batter. You can also use the same cake batter and fill a muffin tray for delicious two-bite snacks. Here is an easy banana cake recipe, simple enough for anyone to make: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-banana-coffee-cake/
4. Delicious Banana Fritters
These are definitely going to satisfy your sweet craving. All you need are ripe bananas, cooking oil, and honey.
a) Slice as many ripe bananas as you want to cook.
b) Drizzle any type of cooking oil (vegetable, coconut, olive…) onto a heated pan.
c) Set your banana slices onto the pan and flip them after 1-2 minutes.
d) In the meantime, dilute 1 part honey with 2 parts water. Drizzle the mixture into the pan (or skip this step and use it as a dip)
e) Cook for an extra 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy!
5. Baked Bananas and Ice Cream
Slice the banana lengthwise and place it on a baking tray. Brush the bananas with honey, and bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a cold scoop of ice cream and top it off with honey, chocolate drizzle, or caramel sauce!
6. Nutella Banana Sandwich
This works best with a sandwich maker – Taking two slices of bread, apply a generous amount of Nutella (or peanut butter). Thinly slice the banana, laying it over the bread. Close the sandwich maker, and wait 2-3 minutes. Then, voila! Leaving your sandwich heated long enough will turn your ripe bananas into a sweet, hot, mush.
7. Mini Banana Pancakes
This recipe is taken from Blogilates’ Cassey Ho: It only needs 2 ingredients!
8. Oatmeal Sweetener
Oatmeal isn’t the most flavourful breakfast food, so sweeten it up – thinly slice the banana onto your bowl of oatmeal, or mash the banana and mix it in. That’s one less ripe banana gone to waste!
9. Banana Gelato
Believe it or not, you can make a cold summer gelato with ripe bananas being the only ingredient. Peel the bananas and either place them in a Ziploc bag or wrap them in saran wrap. Throw these into your freezer – once they’re solid enough, put them through a strong blender or food processor. You’ll end up with a creamy and icecream-like texture. Enjoy!
10. Banana Hair Mask
Bananas are loaded with potassium and natural oils, which will replenish the moisture that we lose from heat and harsh chemicals. A natural banana hair mask is perfect for a deep conditioning if your hair is dry and frizzy – the riper the banana, the better it is for your hair.
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp honey
1-2 tsp hair conditioner (optional)
Mash the ingredients together, removing all banana chunks. Using your fingers, apply the mixture into your hair. Unless your scalp is dry, avoid the roots. While you leave the mixture to sit into your hair (approximately 10-15 minutes), place a towel over your shoulders to keep your clothes clean. Rinse your hair in the shower, then shampoo and condition as usual – you should feel softer hair immediately.
And that concludes 10 of the best ways to use your ripe bananas!