Wasting bananas used to be a real problem for me, but not now that I have figured out these easy ways to use ripe bananas.
Waste not, want not, as my grandmother used to say. She would reach to the ground to pick up a penny!
While I am not quite that frugal, I do like to save money. And nothing makes me more upset than throwing away food.
Frugal Kitchen Tips: Ways to use Ripe Bananas (and Banana Peels!)
Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and find out what to do with those ripe bananas and banana peels. Some may surprise you! And if you are in a hurry to start cooking, you can
This one goes without saying and is the main thing that most cooks do with ripe bananas. The super rich taste of the bananas makes a very moist banana bread and their softness makes them easy to incorporate into the recipes.
If you are trying to cut out sugar and wheat, try this Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe. And if you follow the Weight Watchers diet, try this Weight Watchers Banana bread (it’s only 3 Freestyle points!)
2. Low fat and calorie ice cream
Well, not exactly ice cream, since there is no cream in it but mashed bananas makes a wonderful, healthy and lower calorie treat.
The trick is freezing the pieces first. Just cut up ripe bananas into even sized chunks and freeze them in an airtight container for a few hours. (overnight is best) Then blend the chunks of frozen bananas into a delicious, and creamy “looking” dessert.
They will be crumbly at first but just keep blending and you will end up with an ice cream like consistency.
3. Make waffles with bananas
You can actually make waffles or pancakes just with bananas, eggs, and baking powder, which are great for those who follow a gluten free diet.
If you don’t mind the wheat, then go all out for a Banana peanut butter Belgian waffle like this one. SOOOO tasty.
Ssee my tips for perfect pancakes here.
There are loads of recipes for banana smoothies but most have one thing in common: ripe bananas!
Just combine skim milk, some vanilla, a frozen ripe banana and some peanut butter and dark chocolate and blend.
Get the recipe here. Breakfast on the run!
Sounds odd, but it does seem to work. Bananas are rich with amino acids and antioxidants that can add nutrients to your skin and hair.
Mash up a ripe banana and put it on your dry skin. Leave for 15-20 and then wash off and rinse with cold water to lock in the moisturizer. Your dry skin will instantly feel better.
5. To attract wildlife
If the bananas are too far gone to use in recipes, or if you just want more wild life in your yard use bananas. Bees, butterflies and birds like the taste of bananas just like we do.
Leave some bananas or banana skins out to attract them. You may not want a Binturong in your yard, but you will love the birds and butterflies!
6. Bananas as a shoe polish
No need to spend money on pricey shoe polishes to get a nice shine.
Rub a banana peel over the surface of your shoes and then buff them up a with a cloth.
7. Dog treats made with ripe bananas
Freeze some chunks of banana and feed them to Fido. They love the taste and if they are anything like my dog, love the crunch of the frozen treat too. (mine chases any ice cubes she hears fall to the floor.
I never have to pick them up!)
8. Bananas as a plant mulch or fertilizer
Grind up dried banana peels and use it as mulch around new seedlings, or bury pieces of banana in the soil right next to plants for some extra nutrients.
9. Facial Scrubs
Try this tip. Take a ripe mashed banana and add 1 tbsp. of sugar and mix them together well.
Apply the mixture to your skin and rub it in a circular motion. The banana will moisturize the dry skin and the sugar granules will help to get rid of the dead and dried skin.
10. Hair Conditioner
Why pay retail prices for expensive conditioner? Make your own by mixing a ripe banana with avocado and then adding some coconut milk to the mixture until it is the consistency you like.
Apply it on your hair and leave it for 15-20 minutes. This conditions damaged hair and makes it very soft.
11. Make “bananasicles”
Peel a ripe banana and push a bamboo skewer into the middle of it. Place it on wax paper and freeze for a couple of hours.
If you want, you can roll it in melted chocolate and roll in crushed nuts or coconut. Yummo!
12. For Dry Feet and Heels
I walk around barefoot all the time, so I always have dried and cracked heels. This is a great way to treat them: Mash the pulp of two ripe bananas and apply this pulp on clean, dry feet.
The banana pulp will penetrate deeply into the dry, cracked skin to make your feet softer and more supple.
13. Dried Banana Chips
If you have a food dehydrator, you can make dried banana chips at home.
And the riper the banana is, the sweeter the chips will be! (you can also bake them at 250º for 1 1/2 hours and get a similar result.)
14. Baked bananas
Bananas bake beautifully. Lay sliced bananas on al foil and add some chocolate on top.
Wrap the foil and bake for about 15 minutes on hot coals in a Barbeque. Great camping food. (even better with a scoop of ice cream)
15. French toast
Spread mashed bananas over the bread and then dip in the egg mixture like normal French Toast.
Bananas adds some extra sweetness and richness to the dish.
16. For dusty houseplants
If you have houseplants with dusty and dingy leaves, use the inside of a banana peel to wipe down the leaves.
It removes the gunk and leaves a brilliant shine on the plant.
Blend peanut butter, chocolate chips and ripe bananas for a delicious “milkshake.”
18. Bananas as an oil substitute
Mash very ripe bananas and substitute for equal amounts of oil in baked goods. (similar to using applesauce)
Just be sure the mixture is very smooth. (see my other cooking substitutes here.)
19. To help with Itching
Rub the inside of the skins of bananas on rashes, poison ivy or bug bites for instant itch relief.
20. For compost
If none of these uses appeal to you, put them on the compost pile. Banana peels break down easily.
Add them to a compost for the green part of the brown green mixture needed for compost.
21. Make ice cream
22. Make muffins
Ripe bananas combine so well to make any baked goods.
This recipe combines them with all purpose flour and semi sweet chocolate chips for a great breakfast on the go.
Looking for recipes to use up some of your ripe bananas? How about these recipes:
Paleo Banana Nut Muffins from Recipes Just 4U.
Banana Nut Muffins with Streusel Topping from the Gardening Cook.
Banana Nut Breakfast Bars from Recipes Just 4U.
Savory Banana Chocolate Cupcakes from The Gardening Cook.
Banana Doughnut Holes from Sweet C’s Design.
Banana Pecan Cake from The Gardening Cook
Banana Cookies from Pots, Pans and Parkers.
Crock Pot Banana French Toast from Diethood.
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from Recipes Just4u.
Banana pumpkin Breakfast shake from Dine and Dish.
Banana Buttermilk Pancakes from Family Feedbag.
Banana Caramel Cream Dessert from Glorious Treats.
More Banana Recipes
Still need some more inspiration? We aren’t done yet. Here are some more delicious recipes for using ripe bananas.
Banana Chocolate Walnut Cake from Epicurious.
Banana Cream Pudding Cakes from The Country Cook.
Cinnamon Sugar Banana Lumpia from Imperial Sugar.
Banana Cream Squares from Betty Crocker.
Gluten Free Banana Rice Pudding from Eating Well.
Fried Honey Banana from The Crohn’s Journey Foundation.
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread from Lovin’ from The Oven.
Crock pot Banana Bread from Recipe 4 Living.
Chocolate Banana Cashew Smoothie from Fit Sugar.
Strawberry Banana Milkshake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Strawberry and Banana Ice Pop from Flour on my Face.
White Chocolate Mango Banana Bread from Sally’s Baking Addiction.