Once ripe, bananas are only good for a matter of days. I’ve always struggled with eating a bunch of bananas before they go bad, and I have learned the hard way not to let ripe bananas sit on the counter for too long (my family won’t soon forget the Great Fruit Fly Infestation of 2015.)
But rather than throw those overripe bananas away, here are some ingenious and delicious recipes that can help you to get the most of nature’s candy:
1. Spicy Banana Fritters
2. Pork Tenderloin with Banana-Dates Chutney
This dish is just perfect for warmer weather. It combines fresh, summer-y flavors like bananas, mint and lemons to create a dish that is sweet, spicy and complex. This one will wow your family. Check out the recipe from It’s Cooking With Magda.
3. Banana Risotto
When you think of risotto, you probably think of a heavy, creamy Italian dish that is more savory than sweet. But, bananas are a clever mate for arborio rice, whether you try Vegalicious’ recipe for Tofu, Sugar Snap Peas and Banana Risotto or Peter Gordon’s Spiced Pear and Banana Risotto.
4. No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecake
This is a great dish to make when you are craving dessert, but you don’t want to crank up the oven to bake something. From Beyond Frosting, this recipe is straightforward and easy-to-follow, and it combines vanilla wafers, heavy cream, bananas and cream cheese for a dish that is as decadent as it sounds. Perfect for a summer splurge!
5. Chicken with Banana Curry Sauce
Overripe bananas can help bring some Caribbean flavor to a boring weeknight dinner. With this recipe from A Good Appetite, you can combine bananas with coconut milk, curry, sugar and lime to transform chicken into something truly memorable.
6. Homemade Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips
Cooks in the know are well-aware that frozen bananas can be a simple way to create homemade ice cream. With this recipe for banana ice cream with chocolate chips from Well Plated, you can satisfy your sweet tooth while still getting a boost of potassium. Or check out this vegan option for 2-Ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream from Two Peas and Their Pod.
7. Peanut Butter Banana Cookie Dough Shake
OK, the title alone probably has you drooling, right? Well, this recipe gets even better! It’s vegan, low in sugar, and made with whole foods. A delicious, icy treat with no guilt? Yes, please. Here is the recipe from Blissful Basil.
8. Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
Sure, everyone makes banana bread with overripe bananas, but this recipe from The Wicked Noodle is a decadent and grown-up twist on the classic. Lime, coconut and banana are three of nature’s most epic flavors, and when combined together, they pack a palatable punch.
9. Banana Chips
Banana chips are the treat you never knew you wanted, but once you have them, you will never reach for a bag of Doritos again. (Okay, well, maybe you will, but you will probably wind up wishing you had banana chips instead!) Check out this recipe from Grandma’s Menu:
10. Moist Chiquita Banana Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
I know it sounds strange, but bear with me. The bananas in this recipe don’t compete with or mask the traditional red-velvet flavor, but rather they keep the cake moist and succulent. Recipe here from Chiquita.
11. Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
These muffins are heavenly and pair perfectly with a morning cup of coffee. Make them the night before and bring them into office—your coworkers will never stiff you with extra work on a project again! Recipe here from A Pastry Affair.
And, if you STILL have some leftover bananas, why not make yourself a decadent, skin-quenching face mask with bananas, avocado and honey? Recipe here from Stockpiling Moms.