Overripe bananas are brown and squishy and not very pleasant to eat because they become sweeter and stickier. But why waste something that could be put to good use in another way? Here’s what you can do with a banana that seems to be past its expiration date.
The nutrient content of a banana changes as it ripens. But that doesn’t mean it’s not healthy anymore! Ripeness is not a big issue, according to the Cornell University College of Human Ecology. Overripe bananas are still filled with antioxidants, they’re easy to digest, and are rich in complex (and healthy) carbs. The starches in them change to simple sugars while ripening – that’s why they are sweeter. But at the same time, that’s why they are easier to digest.
Bananas are rich in fiber and several antioxidants your body needs. The fruit is also rich in potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, folic acid, and thiamine, and also vitamins B6 and C. Among the health benefits of this yellow wonder has nutrients that moderate your blood sugar levels, help with weight loss, and support your heart health.
If you eat an overripe banana, this might result in a quicker rise in your blood sugar, so if you are diabetic, this article is not for you. If you’re not, though, here’s what you can do with the sweet and squishy material.
6 things to do with overripe bananas
1. Banana bread
Overripe bananas are actually pretty great for making bread because they add moisture and more flavor to bread recipes. Not to mention some incredible texture to the taste right there. You can have banana bread slices as dessert or even as breakfast. You can use them as a basis for spreading other delicious things, like homemade marmalade. And you can improve upon the recipe you have by pairing them up with nuts or adding some nice icing. If you make a large batch, you can even freeze the extra loaves.
2. Banana ice cream
This ice cream is something that is so easy to make you will have time to cook a lot of other things in the process. Or do some of the chores you’re behind on. All you have to do is chop the ripe bananas and add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then you pop them in the freezer and keep them there for an hour or two. Once you get them out, mix them with some milk and whizz both ingredients in a food processor.
3. Banana muffins
This fruit with an interesting history is also amazing for making muffins, thanks to bringing moisture and flavor to the muffin batter. You can make one large batch and eat them for breakfast or as a snack throughout your work week. We all need a bit more sweetness in our lives, isn’t it?
4. Banana jam
Do you like having peanut butter and banana sandwiches? Or even use them as toppings on your pancakes and crepes? Then how would you feel like making some banana jam from your browned bananas? There are plenty of recipes out there but the system is pretty similar as with any jam. You mash the bananas, mix them with water, some sugar, and other optional flavor-lending items and cook them over medium heat while stirring. You can also add some rum, for a quick punch of flavor.
5. Banana pancakes
Speaking of pancakes, you don’t have to limit yourself to using the banana as topping. Just add the mashed overripe bananas to the batter for the pancakes and have the flavorful goodness cooked right in. You can do the same for French toast. The bonuses are obvious: more flavor, more texture, less need for other sweet toppings.
6. Smoothies and milkshakes
This is pretty obvious: the overripe bananas are already pretty smooth, so they will bring some extra creaminess to your smoothies or milkshakes. Not to mention some extra sweetness if your other ingredients are healthy but on the bland side flavor-wise. For best results, freeze the bananas before you add them in the blender. And if you freeze them unpeeled, just know that the peels will turn black. That doesn’t mean they’ve gone rotten, though.
Experiment with overripe bananas
This is all up to you. I mean, the overripe bananas are creamy and sweet. Figure out what they fit into: you can use them for cake, and you can even replace some of the butter with them in recipes for cookies. They’re ideal for puddings and custards, and for banana cream pie. You can also bake them whole in the oven with some chocolate chips on top and eat them with ice-cream! The possibilities are, in fact, endless.