Bananas always make an appearance on my weekly grocery list. It doesn’t matter if there is a stash of bananas sitting on the kitchen counter at home, it’s just the one item that you can’t leave the grocery store without. They are inexpensive, healthy, and a simple grab-and-go snack. However, by the end of the week, there always seems to be a couple of bananas that have over ripened to the stage of “Mommy, I don’t want to eat that.” I always tell my kids not to waste food, so leading by example, I am notorious for finding ways to repurpose overripe produce. Here are five ways we put those browning bananas to good use:
Banana bread is a comfort food in our home. It’s associated with memories of grandparents and the holidays. Nothing is better than my sweet neighbor, Joan, dropping by a hot loaf of banana bread fresh out of the oven during Thanksgiving. The kids always enjoyed it so much that now banana bread is something we make together almost every week! We love a warm slice of banana bread covered in cream cheese. There are so many different recipes for banana bread, and we change it up almost every time, adding ingredients like chia seeds, flax seed, maple syrup, and even chocolate chips.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream
In the vegan world, this would be referred to as “nice cream.” It’s certainly a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream because it is made with all whole-food ingredients. Slicing and freezing overripe bananas and mixing them in with sliced bananas that are at their peak ripeness is a great way to hide the overripe flavor and add extra vitamins into your little one’s diet. Get the kids involved and let them pick out some of their favorite fruits and throw everything into a food processor. The frozen bananas are as creamy as a soft serve ice cream from your favorite local ice cream shop in Jax!
It’s no secret that smoothies are an easy way to hide any type of produce. Green smoothies are great but sometimes the kids and mama have a sweet tooth! We use overripe bananas in smoothies with chocolate or peanut butter, cinnamon, and almond milk. However, the smoothie recipes are endless and can be modified to accommodate all types of diets.
Making banana pancakes and pretending like I don’t hear the two toddlers pulling at my legs (cue the Jack Johnson)! Mashing bananas and tossing them into pancake batter has become one of the kids’ favorite kitchen activities. Well, to be honest, anything that involves mashing things or making a mess in the kitchen the kids find enjoyable. I add the overripe bananas into the batter and save the fresh sliced bananas for a garnish!
If you haven’t noticed the trend yet, I have a little bit of a sweet tooth! I couldn’t complete a list on repurposing overripe bananas without adding a section on banana oatmeal cookies! I had a friend give me a recipe years ago for these simple cookies.
3 mashed bananas
⅓ cup rolled oats
¼ cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon.
The kids love adding nuts or chocolate chips. Bake them for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, let them cool, and dig in!
What is your favorite way to repurpose overripe bananas?