You’ve got some bananas and they are looking slightly past their prime. They’re over ripe, are just starting to turn brown and you don’t know whether to bin them or what! Good news, you don’t have to throw them away. But before we get into that, let’s look at some interesting facts and truths about bananas:
Despite many claims that the poor banana is unhealthy, leads to weight gain and contains too much sugar, bananas actually have lots of proven health benefits. According to Harvard School of Public Health, bananas are a great source of potassium, which is important in heart health, and low in sodium (salt) which makes them a great snack for people with high blood pressure (1). They also are a good source of magnesium (useful for cramping), fibre and vitamin B6.
They can be beneficial in digestive health as they are easy to digest, not too eccentric in taste and can help replace electrolytes after an episode of vomiting or diarrhoea. (Okay, not what you wanted to read before looking at recipes). And finally, there is very little concrete evidence to support that bananas can cause weight gain, well except when used with some unhealthy ingredients. On that note, here are some ways to turn those old bananas into something tasty and nutritious, perhaps a naughty but nice little treat!
Banana Ice Cream or Nice Cream
Nice cream, Nana ice cream or banana ice cream – whatever you like to call it, it’s easy to make, healthy and the perfect way to use up old n’ ripe bananas. All you need is 3 – 4 bananas and some milk. Cut the bananas up into chunks and put them in freezer. Once they have frozen, take the chunks out and put them in a food processor with around 3-4 tablespoons of the milk, and blend until it becomes creamy in texture. Put it into a bowl or serve in a cone and it’s ready to eat. Add some chocolate or toffee sauce on top for some added flavour. Simple and delicious!
Oh So Obvious, Banana Bread
Making banana bread is probably one of the most popular and well known ways of using up old bananas. There are many different recipes out there to try, but this one is. a favourite.
Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup mashed, ripe banana, 1 cup apple sauce, 1/2 cup sugar (or no apple sauce and 1 1/2 cup sugar), 1 3/4 cup plain/all-purpose flour, 1 tsp bicarb of soda (baking soda), 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4-1/2 cup pecans or walnuts.
Method: 1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C (325 F) and lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf tin. 2. Beat the eggs with buttermilk, oil and bananas. 3. Then add all dry ingredients making sure to sift the flour and mix in a blender or well by hand. 4. Pour into loaf tin and bake for 1hr 10min – 1hr 20min. Test with skewer or cake tester in the centre to check it comes out clean and the loaf if baked.
With only 10 minutes to prepare, you’ll have a tasty banana bread without wasting any old bananas.
If you can see your bananas won’t last much longer, but you don’t have the time straight away to do something with them, then why not freeze them?
There are a couple of ways to do this. 1. Simply freeze as they are. The skin will go very dark, but once defrosted it is super easy to squish out of the skin and into a smoothy or for banana bread. 2. Remove the skin and then mash the bananas up with a fork, or blender before freezing. Once they are all mushy, simply put them into a sealable freezer bag or container. You’ll now have bananas to use, in your freezer, when you’re next in the mood to make something with them.
Healthy Milkshakes or Smoothies
Another super quick and easy recipe is to make a milkshake or smoothie. From plain banana and milk smoothies to fruit or peanut butter, the options are near to endless. A delicious option is to blend up banana with some ice (or frozen banana), a little milk (almond milk is a great option), and nut butter. You could also add some cocoa powder for a more chocolatey taste.
If you want to be more naughty, why not turn it into a proper milkshake by using vanilla or chocolate ice cream blended with your ripe bananas? For a less milky option, blend up your ripe bananas with mixed berries or strawberries and a little water or juice to make a berry smoothie. Or for a tropical mix, blend the bananas with some pineapple and mango or an orange! So many options to add some extra vitamins and minerals into your daily intake. Good for your health and even your hair! Perfect during the warmer summer months!
Oh banana pancakes! How deliciously simple and healthy and a good option for breakfast.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional), cinnamon, 1 large very ripe/brown banana (or 2 small ones), 2 whole eggs (or 3 egg whites), a dash of vanilla essence.
Method: Grind up oats in a blender along with baking powder, cinnamon and protein powder. If you don’t have protein powder, you can use more oats (another 1/4 cup). Once this is blended, add the banana, eggs and vanilla essence and blend again well until smooth. Lightly spray your frying pan and pour the mixture into a size you want your pancakes to be. Cook on one side for around 30 seconds or until most bubbles have started to pop. Flip and cook a little longer until done. Serve with mixed berries, maple syrup and peanut butter ( for an extra yum taste).
The Final Word
These are some ways in which you could save your old bananas from the bin, and turn them into something delicious. Once you’ve got the hang of these, try to come up with some ideas of your own. From smoothies to muffins, there’s still a lot more to do with old bananas, and they are all delicious and nutritious.