5 Ways to Use Brown Bananas – Guest Post

banana cake

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.

See more $5 Dinners Cooking Tutorials here


  1. Crystal S says

    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…

  2. says

    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!

  3. fiery says

    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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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

  6. Lisa Hodnett says

    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!

  7. Sarah says

    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.

  8. Mandy says

    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)!!!


  9. Laurie says

    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!

  10. Carolyn says

    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 says

      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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