Have you ever purchased a bunch of nearly green bananas on a Tuesday, but then, somehow, they've all started spotting and turning brown in just a few days? You are not alone. Sometimes it seems as if our bananas are constantly whispering to each other, plotting a synchronous time to ripen.
So what should we do with all of those too-ripe bananas when we simply have too many?
There’s the obvious route of making what is now being referred to as the official recipe of the pandemic — yup, banana bread! — but if you're sick of turning on the oven, there are plenty of other ways to use up this versatile fruit.
Caramelize bananas for pancakes, toast and more
Enjoy the taste of bananas Foster on pretty much anything! First, slice your bananas into coins, then sprinkle them with some coconut sugar or drizzle on a bit of maple syrup. Heat up some coconut oil in your pan, then add your bananas. Sauté until both sides are golden brown and caramelized, about five minutes. Put the bananas on top of yogurt, breakfast items, ice cream or just eat them on their own.
Use banana to replace eggs
If you are vegan or have an egg allergy, you can mash one ripe banana and use it in place of an egg in many sweet recipes. It will help to bind ingredients, while also imparting a lightly sweet flavor. Additionally, if the recipe calls for applesauce as an egg substitute, you can sub in the same amount of mashed banana.
Mash them up to sweeten oatmeal
Instead of, or in addition to sugar or maple syrup, mash one ripe banana into your oats. They add a warm, sweet taste, plus you get some fiber. Finish with a dash of cinnamon and top with your desired add-ins.
Make two-ingredient pancakes
Using just eggs and bananas, you can whip up pancakes in no time. Just beat two eggs and combine them with one mashed banana, a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Grease a skillet well with coconut oil and spoon the banana batter onto it (each pancake should be about two to three tablespoons). Cook for a few minutes per side, then serve. Top with maple syrup, nut butter or fruit.
Roll 'em up for banana sushi
Bananas and peanut butter belong together, so do bananas and Nutella, that's why I love this simple snack. Spread a generous amount of peanut butter (or whatever nutty spread you like) onto a tortilla. Place an unsliced, ripe banana into the tortilla, along with a dash of cinnamon, then roll it up like a piece of sushi. Slice into one-inch thick rounds.
Make "nice" cream
Two everyday ingredients — frozen ripe bananas and almond milk — come together to create a truly magical treat. People who avoid dairy have been making "nice" cream (ice cream without milk) for years, but this treat is a perfect summer dessert for anyone to enjoy. Simply combine frozen bananas in your blender with just the tiniest splash of dairy-free milk, just to get the blades turning. If you’re a chocoholic, or simply want a more decadent dessert, add some cocoa powder for a transformative experience.
Only one ripe banana? No problem!
Make One-Banana Only Muffin Tops with the lone banana that’s been staring at you from your counter all week. All you need are some grain-free flours (almond and coconut) to easily whip up these small-batch muffin tops when you’re craving a little something sweet.
Freeze bananas for smoothies or milkshakes
If you’re not in the mood to deal with your ripe bananas now, freeze them for later. They’re perfect for making smoothies creamier and sweeter. For something more decadent, combine your frozen bananas with cocoa powder, almond butter, dates and almond milk for a dairy-free milkshake. Make sure to peel your bananas, slice them up and then freeze them — frozen banana peels are a big pain.
Make no-bake banana breakfast cookies
When turning on your oven seems like a chore, make a no-bake breakfast treat. Combine mashed banana with some rolled oats, a nut or seed butter, honey and vanilla extract. Feel free to customize your cookies by adding shredded coconut, mixed nuts and sea salt. Using your hands, form the mixture into little balls and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Store them in the fridge or freezer for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or snack.
Create chocolate-dipped banana pops
Chocolate-dipped bananas are not difficult to make, but they are pretty much universally adored. Plus, since they're covered in chocolate, it doesn't matter if the banana is a little spotty. If your banana is super mushy, however, it's best to use that banana in a different recipe or the pop won't hold its shape. First, cut bananas in half, then insert a wooden popsicle stick through the middle of the cut side. Dip in melted chocolate, and then roll in your desired toppings — crushed nuts, sprinkles or a little flaky sea salt all work nicely. Transfer to the freezer and let them harden.