19 Ways to Use Ripe Bananas {and the health benefits of doing it!}

19 Ways to Use Ripe Bananas {and the health benefits of doing it!}

With the incredible health benefits of ripe bananas, we want our kids to eat more of them! Here are 19 ways to use those ripe bananas beyond banana bread!

19 ways to use ripe bananas today

If you have bananas on your counter today, chances are, you already know they are a good food to include in your diet.  But perhaps you don’t know how good they are!

What are the health benefits of eating ripe bananas?

1 medium ripe banana has less than 100 calories, but those calories are packed with vitamins and minerals!

  1. Potassium- possibly the mineral that bananas are most popular for is their potassium! Potassium is essential in our diet to maintain fluid balance.  It’s vital for muscle and nerve function.
  2. Protein – yes! Even this fruit contains a small amount of protein. It’s not much (1 gram) , but it adds up.
  3. Carbs- healthy, natural sources of carbs are vital for kids and even adults.  The natural sugar in bananas give our brains energy for the day.
  4. Fiber- with 3 grams of fiber per banana, this is a good source to keep kids full, and keep them regular!
  5. Other minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, and iron.
  6. Other vitamins like choline and a variety of B vitamins. (see chart)

 

what are the health benefits of eating bananas

Ripe bananas are the first foods for a lot of us.  They are soft, naturally sweet, nutritious, and kids love them.   The one downside is that bananas don’t go places very well. They can ripen quickly. They bruise easily. And once they are brown, kids aren’t so keen on eating them. But we have so many recipes that incorporate bananas, you don’t need to toss them!

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Recipes for overripe, or just ripe bananas

1. Banana Muffins

Bananas are great in baked goods. They add texture and sweetness to muffins, and that’s why banana muffins are so popular. We have a few recipes we like. Our favorite is this banana muffin recipe. But for something a little different, we also have Avocado banana muffins, and chocolate chip banana muffins.

2. Banana Sushi Bites (recipe below!!)

Bananas with nut butter and other toppings are one of our kids favorite foods!  I started spreading peanut butter and almond butter on bananas when they were very young. It helps the banana (which is  mostly carbs) become a more balanced snack with the protein from the nut butter.  These banana bites we featured on a recent Prepear meal plan, and our members loved it! The recipe is below!

banana sushi bites snack

3. Banana smoothies

There are actually very few smoothies we don’t add bananas to!  In fact, when our bananas are VERY RIPE (meaning brown bananas), we toss them in the freezer to add to fruit smoothies later on. Bananas in a smoothie give a creamy, milkshake feel to them, and everyone wants more!  This peanut butter banana smoothie however, is one of our favorites.peanut butter banana smoothie

4. Banana Roll-ups

This snack (or dessert!) is served warm.  With a creamy center from the ripe banana, and a crispy outside from the grilled tortilla, it tastes like something you’d get at a fancy bakery.  Check out the warm banana roll ups here.

ripe banana snack idea for kids

5. Banana Bread

The first thing that usually comes to mind when someone has overripe bananas on their counter, is that they need to make some banana bread. We agree! That’s why we have three different recipes we’ve been using for banana bread.  This one is our classic banana bread.  This one is coconut banana bread. This one is a little crunchy and we call it “Tea party banana bread”.coconut banana bread

Classic banana bread makeover

6. Chocolate Frozen Bananas

There was a time when I would make frozen bananas dipped in chocolate for my kids all summer long.  The trick to these is to freeze the bananas FIRST, and then dip them in chocolate.

frozen bananas with different toppings

7. Banana Overnight Oats

Overnight oats have become popular because we finally figured out that cold oats taste so good!  Plus, you can put it in the fridge the night before and have breakfast waiting for you. Try this banana bread overnight oats next time you have some ripe bananas.Banana bread inspired overnight oats are quick to whip up for a great breakfast or snack on-the-go!

8. Banana Pancakes

Next time you are making pancakes, simply mash up a ripe banana and add it to the mix. You can also follow one of our pancake recipes. We have banana smoothie pancakes,  banana chia pancakes,  and classic banana pancakesBanana Pancake Stacks. These pancake stacks make the perfect birthday (or any day) breakfast!

 

9. Banana Split

Although traditional banana splits are the popular dessert made with ice cream, my kids call any dish where we split a banana in half and add toppings to it as a “Banana split!”  This banana split is topped with berries, Greek yogurt, quinoa, and peanut butter. It really is a balanced breakfast to start the day.

Healthy Breakfast Banana Splits

10. Banana Ice Cream

Start with frozen ripe bananas, and add other fruit to it.  Blend it up and re-freeze. You have Banana ice cream!  Natural, delicious, and so good for you!  This ice cream has bananas, lemons, and strawberries.

No ice cream machine required for this Healthy Instant (5 minutes or less) Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt with only 5 ingredients! Recipe by Dessert Now, Dinner Later for SuperHealthyKids.com

11. Banana Cookies

Just like we talked about bananas being one of our babies first foods, banana cookies were something I made for my toddlers.  These cookies are kind of bland (because they are for toddlers), but little kids love them.  But these banana cookies are a bit sweeter and older kids like them better.

toddler snack banana cookies 12. Snack Bars

Three ingredients are all you need for these banana snack bars, with one of them being bananas!  They are sweet and you can add any toppings you wish.

You only need healthy real food ingredients to make these 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars! They are gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, and perfect for quick & easy breakfasts, school lunches, or a healthy snack.

13. Banana French Toast

Ripe bananas are something we only recently started adding to our french toast!  WOW! You’ve got to try this.  The banana baked french toast is spectacular because you don’t have to cook french toast one by one, and the bananas make it naturally sweet! So good!

Baked Banana French Toast for a healthier breakfast

14. Banana Popsicles

Creamy banana, peanut butter and yogurt popsicles

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Popsicles are so easy to make!

15. Banana Waffles

These chocolate banana waffles are also gluten free!

easy to make cocoa banana waffles

16. Chocolate Banana Cake

Doesn’t this cake look so indulgent! Every time I see this picture I start to drool! This Double chocolate banana cake is definitely rich and worthy of trying at least once.

This lightened up chocolate cake has no oil, uses bananas and applesauce to keep it moist, and has just the right amount of chocolate to make it feel like an indulgent treat. No frosting required!

17. Frozen Bananas

Honestly, kids don’t really need anything that fancy. This frozen banana that we put on a stick is pretty amazing without any chocolate or toppings. We do have this strawberry dip though that kids like to use when I make frozen bananas.

18. Banana Pudding

If you didn’t think we could make banana pudding without adding sugar, you haven’t seen this banana pudding!  The bananas are so sweet, that you don’t need to add sugar!

Pot of Golden Banana Pudding Recipe. No sugar added Banana Pudding!

19. Banana Chips

Unless you grow your own bananas, or you are about to toss your ripe bananas anyway, banana chips can be quite expensive to make. BUT, you CAN make them.  This method I used, banana chips without a dehydrator, worked great!

So, let me know in the comments…what do YOU like to do with your leftover, ripe bananas?

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Banana Sushi Bites

19 Ways to Use Ripe Bananas {and the health benefits of doing it!}
Serves: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 m

Ingredients

  • 2 medium – banana
  • 4 tablespoon – almond butter
  • 1 ounce – coconut flakes
  • 1 cup – almonds, whole

Directions

  1. Slice bananas into quarters; place a small amount of almond butter onto each quarter and sprinkle with coconut and chopped up almonds.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 389 19%
  • Fat: 29 g 45%
  • Carb: 27 g 9%
  • Fiber: 8 g 32%
  • Protein: 11 g 22%
  • Sugar: 12 g
written by
Amy Roskelley

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Comments(2)
Emma Slabyk says:

12 recipe for snack bars took me to a recipe for cookies

Thanks! I’ll fix it!!

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