5 Ways to Use Brown Bananas – Guest Post

by tdomf_91172 on August 13, 2010

The amount of produce that is wasted in America each year is staggering, which means that millions of dollars in food is wasted each year, both by manufacturers who have surplus crops and homeowners who purchase food that goes bad.

But if you’ve got a few brown bananas lying around, bringing them to the local food pantry probably isn’t high on your list. Why not find ways to use your brown bananas so that you can maximize your investment and feed your hungry family?

Here are 5 ways to use brown bananas :

  • Bake banana cake. Nobody (except for you) will know that you used brown bananas in this scrumptious recipe.

    ¾ cup oil
    1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. vanilla
    ½ cup orange juice
    1 ½ cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. baking powder
    2 cups flour

    Mix all ingredients together. Place in a greased 9×13 pan or two 9” round pans, bake for 25-20 minutes at 350 degrees. This recipe freezes well.

  • Freeze them. Yes, it’s true – if you can’t use your bananas before they get moldy you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • Make banana pancakes. Not only will this recipe prevent you from wasting brown bananas, it’ll disguise these healthy items in a ‘fun’ dinner.
  • 4 bananas mashed through a strainer
    1 cup milk
    1 cup flour
    ¼ tsp. cinnamon
    2 tsp. baking powder
    2 eggs
    ½ tsp. salt

    Mix all ingredients together and fry on medium heat until brown on both sides.

  • Make smoothies. Use brown bananas in a smoothie with yogurt, berries and milk. You can also use frozen bananas for your smoothies.
  • Stack them in a sandwich. Banana-peanut butter sandwiches are a little-known treat but one that is worth publicizing. Brown bananas will maintain a smooth consistency for your sandwich without sliding out of the bread. Banana-peanut butter sandwiches work well with both creamy and chunky peanut butter. For small children, cut the sandwich in half so that it’s easier to hold without the bananas shifting inside.

Sari Holtz is a writer for Billy.com and the voice behind Billy’s money saving blog.  She is the mother of 4 children between the ages of 6 and 1, and she is always looking for new ways to save money and to trick her children into eating more fruits and vegetables.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany August 13, 2010 at 4:27 pm

We freeze them and then use them for smoothies and milkshakes. Delicious!


Crystal S August 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I freeze bananas and the unappealing looking strawberries (you know the ones the kids wont eat bc they are too dark, etc). When my kids want something sweet, I make banana strawberry smoothies and tell them they are just like the ones from McDs…


Kristy @momhatescooking August 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Love this post, we’ve been freezing bananas and using them in fruit smoothies. A friend told me that it makes them creamy, which it does and works great since my son can’t eat yogurt.


Marcy@JustaCrumbs... February 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

Kristy, check out my post that I did on “frozen yogurt”, if your son can’t eat yogurt this “ice cream” treat may be worth trying. http://www.justacrumb.com/2010/09/banana-fro-yo.html.


Denise August 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

We always freeze the brown bananas and use them in puddings and breads later – so easy, just pop them in the freezer with the peel on, no need to wrap them!


fiery August 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I love using brown bananas in banana bread. We use moneysavingmom’s recipe which freezes great. It even works well if you have only 2 or 3 banana’s instead of the 4. I just add a tiny bit more oil and milk to keep it from being to dry if I use less bananas.


Lazy Budget Chef August 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Brown Bananas? What are this brown bananas of which you speak? I only WISH I could keep bananas around my house long enough that they would go brown so I could bake with them!


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy August 13, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for the tips! But I’m with Lazy Budget Chef, we can’t keep them around long enought to go brown. If I want to use them for bread or something, I have to hide them!!


Cherilyn August 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

I am always throwing brown bananas in the freezer – as is. I am one who enjoys them “still green” so once they start to turn, it is over for me.


Anne August 14, 2010 at 1:59 am

Oooh, thanks for this. I had just had a box of brown bananas given to me by our local shopkeeper, and I made what I could that day (2 banana loaves, 2 Banana slab-cakes, and a tray of Banana Muffins). I’m so disappointed I didn’t know they could be frozen. I ended up throwing quite a number of them away :(
And your recipe for the Banana loaf looks much better than mine. Next time, this ‘ll be the one!
Love, Anne x


Lisa Hodnett August 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

I was at a restaurant this weekend that freezes them then puts them through a juicer and and it turns into a custard like ice cream consistancy…it was so good!


Sarah August 22, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I keep a ziplock bag of brown bananas in the freezer to use to make banana bread or muffins. They make the bread and muffins nice and moist. I just defrost the frozen bananas in the microwave or on the counter when I’m ready to use them. My son also loves to use them for smoothies as other people mentioned.


Mandy August 24, 2010 at 3:24 am

We have a few banana trees in our backyard, so we often get 70-80 bananas all at once! Of course we can’t eat them that fast … so we freeze them.

BUT … we peel them and dice them and then freeze them in ziploc baggies. They’re less slimy that way and are easy for throwing into a smoothie without having to use an entire banana! Just dump out the amount of sliced bananas you’ll need … and voila! MMmmMmmm …

Love the tip about banana pancakes. Those sound perfect for when we have “BINNER” (Breakfast for Dinner)!!!



Lissa September 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for the recipe, it turned out wonderful (and I substituted Splenda Sugar Blend)!



Laurie November 3, 2010 at 10:52 am

How do you make smoothies? Also, is it easy to peel the banana once you want to use them out of the freezer?

I started making banana pancakes this summer on my own. My family loves them! Now I can’t make plain pancakes anymore. I mush up 2-3 brown bananas, then I use Bisquick and follow the recipe for plain pancakes in the same bowl. I add a little more milk. I then add cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves and sometimes some sugar and mix. This is sooooo delicious! Just like banana bread :) I recently tried apple pancakes and did the same thing but diced apples real tiny and added sugar, cinnamon and dash of ginger. So good!


Amy February 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I just mashed one up and added it to a bowl of plain oatmeal. It’s so good!


Linda Hallett/Moyer September 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

use small red apples, to small to bother peeling, core, quarter and grind skin and all in food blender ..Makes wonderful apple sauce all nutrients included with the skins on.


Carolyn September 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

Oh, Linda, I didn’t notice at first that you said to core the apples before putting them in the grinder. I was about to comment on the cyanide in the apple seeds. However I definitely agree with throwing them in without the core but with the skins, especially if they were grown without chemicals like pesticides.


Rebecca June 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

Although apple seeds might not be great in apple sauce they certainly are a healthy addition to your diet! Cyanide is know for fighting arcinogenic agents in the body – thus aiding in a natural way to fight cancer! :)


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