Have you ever had this happen? You buy a bunch of bananas from the store and within a day, suddenly they are all brown! You know that there is no way that you can eat them all before they rot away, but at the same time, you don’t want to let them go to waste either. This used to happen to me all of the time! And I absolutely hated the guilt that I felt throwing bananas that had been perfectly good a day or two before into the trash. Of course, these days, I would throw them in the compost pile instead, but it is still a waste of good food, which is a waste of money.
I only knew of one thing to do with ripe bananas until recently. They were perfect for banana bread (yum!). But I wanted other options for using ripe bananas that hadn’t quite gone bad yet, because, let’s be honest…I simply can’t eat THAT much banana bread, no matter how good it is (and it really, really good)!
So here are some options that I came up with that have helped me and may help you as well!
Make banana chips
Homemade dehydrated fruit is much better than store bought, which often adds additional sugar to the fruit. I’m not sure why it is necessary to do that, but the food companies do. These banana chips can be used as a snack or mixed into homemade trail mix to take with you on the road. And ripe bananas are naturally sweeter than their unripe counterparts, so they make for the perfect sweet treat. The best part is that you can dehydrate them right in the oven! To make banana chips, simply cut your ripe bananas into 1/8 inch pieces. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and line up banana slices on top. To prevent bananas from getting too brown, brush with some lemon juice. Bake until the bananas have dried out (approximately 2-3 hours). Allow the banana chips to cool fully. They will get crisper as they cool. Store in an airtight container.
This is actually my new go to, favorite thing to do with ripe bananas. I really enjoy making smoothies, and using half of a ripe banana gives the smoothie a nice sweet taste without having to add any sweetener. So I buy a bunch of bananas, allow them to get ripe and freeze them to use in my smoothies. All you need to do is peel the ripe bananas, cut them in half, put them in a freezer bag, seal and freeze. You can pull them out as you need them. I also use frozen bananas that I have allowed to thaw in recipes like banana bread, banana pancakes, etc.
Make a batch of banana ice cream!
Of course, the type of ice cream that I’m talking about has no cream or even non-dairy substitutes…it’s nothing but bananas! You can find the recipe for making it here. Ripe bananas work much better for this type of ice cream because, once again, they are sweeter than those that are not ripe.
Super simple way to enjoy a healthier frozen treat…and you can even top it with some of your other favorite fruits, or maybe a few dark chocolate chips for a guilt free dessert.
Use in your favorite banana recipe!
There are thousands of banana recipes out there that can help you use up any ripe bananas that you have. Maybe it’s time to be adventurous and discover a new recipe!
So, as you can see, you do not have to throw away those ripe bananas anymore! There are ways that you can use them so that they don’t have to go to waste.
What is your favorite way to use bananas? I’d love to hear in the comments below or over on Facebook!