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10 Uses for Overripe Bananas

Updated on September 30, 2013

Overripe Banana Recipes

Forgotten to eat up those bananas before they went black and spotted again? Don't despair - here are 10 excellent ways to use overripe bananas, so you'll never have to throw any away again!

If you often find your banana tree full of black and speckled bananas, too far gone to enjoy on their own, then you're not alone. But there's no need to discard them - there are lots of ways to use the sweet ripe taste in recipes and enjoy them!

In fact, some of the uses I explain below actually work better if the bananas are overripe!

Read on to find out how to start going bananas straight away...

Photo Credit: Overripe Bananas by Sheila Shund via Flickr Creative Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Overripe Bananas - Yes or No?

Can you eat overripe bananas? Do you like them?

Absolutely, the riper the better! I'll take recipes, too, though!

Absolutely, the riper the better! I'll take recipes, too, though!

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    Yuck, no, please help me find a way to use them!

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      Why Do Overripe Bananas Make Great Ingredients?

      Ripe bananas make great additions to desserts because the riper they get, the sweeter they get. They also freeze well (for up to 3 months).

      So even after they seem to have gone past their prime, they will reward you with amazing puddings and sweet treats!

      Go Bananas

      Bananas Cookbook: 101 Recipes with Bananas
      Bananas Cookbook: 101 Recipes with Bananas

      Go bananas with your leftover fruit - this little book of ideas will keep you creative for months!


      10 Cool Things

      To Do With overripe Bananas

      1. Mashed Bananas on Toast

      Banana on toast
      Banana on toast

      Photo Credit: Banana on Toast by James Nisbet via Flickr Creative Commons

      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

      Okay, let's start with the super easy way to use up those bananas! It's one of my favourite things to have on toast, actually, and it's the first thing I'll use overripe bananas for.

      All I do is take 2 bananas, mash them up, and spread them over two slices of wholegrain toast. The essential part is to then drizzle with some runny honey. Taste bud bliss!

      Make Yonanas with the Yonanas Machine!
      Make Yonanas with the Yonanas Machine!

      2. Banana Ice-Cream

      The second most likely thing I will do with my bananas is to peel 'em and freeze 'em - and then churn them through my Yonanas machine!

      I first saw the Yonanas gadget demonstrated on the Ideal World shopping channel, and ordered one right away! I loved the idea of making an ice-cream dessert without all the naughty things that you have to put in ice-cream - perfect as well if you're vegan - and also liked the idea of getting my daughter to eat bananas!

      All you have to do is peel and freeze overripe bananas (the more black and spotted they are the better the result!) and then use them in your Yonanas. Let them thaw slightly for around 5-10 minutes and then feed them through the machine, which then does something akin to magic and turns them into a substance that looks, tastes and feels like banana ice-cream! You can also add a plethora of other ingredients during the churning, such as chocolate or other fruits, to make other flavours of yonanas "ice-cream".

      I love mine to bits! The most commonly made is chocolate and cinnamon, which I make by sprinkling the frozen bananas with cinnamon, adding one banana to the machine, then broken up pieces of dark chocolate, then a second banana.

      To find out exactly how this wonder machine works, watch the video below!

      Photo Credit: Make yummy desserts with the Yonanas Maker - buy on

      Go Bananas for Yonanas

      Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker – 100% Fruit Soft-Serve Maker (Black and Silver)
      Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker – 100% Fruit Soft-Serve Maker (Black and Silver)

      I love my Yonanas! So many options for making a variety of "ice-cream" desserts or sorbets, using only bananas and your optional ingredients.

      I've made chocolate and fruit ice-creams, lollies and even cheesecakes.

      Easy to clean and even easier to use, I highly recommend this!


      See How Easy it is to Yonana your Bananas!

      3. Banana Bread

      I've been addicted to banana bread ever since my friend and neighbour borrowed my loaf tin and made us some!

      There are of course, lots of recipes out there, but this is how I have been making mine, and I love it:

      * 125g white self raising flour

      * 100g light brown self raising flour

      * 150g demerara sugar

      * 2 large peeled ripe bananas

      * 1/2 tsp cinnamon

      * 1/2 tsp nutmeg

      * 175ml orange juice

      * 2 beaten eggs

      * 4 tbsp oil

      * Pinch of sea salt

      * Unsalted butter for greasing

      (makes 1 loaf)

      Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180 degrees C, and line a lightly greased 1lb loaf tin. Sift all the flours, sugar, salt and spices into a bowl.

      In a second bowl, mash up the bananas and mix with the orange juice, before stirring in the beaten eggs and the oil. Pour this mixture into the first bowl and mix it all together.

      Spoon it into the loaf tin and bake for an hour. Test the centre with a skewer and if not yet done, cook for another 10 minutes or so.

      Serve with slices bananas, chopped walnuts or a drizzle of honey!

      Photo Credit: Banana bread via Wikimedia Commons

      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

      4. Banana Muffins

      The first time I ever came across a recipe which actually recommended a way to use up overripe bananas, was in one of Nigella Lawson's cookbooks. It was a recipe for banana muffins.

      It was then that I found out you could freeze ripened bananas too, and store them for future use if you weren't ready and able to bake when the dreaded black spot set in.

      Take my advice - if you want to make super delicious ones, try her recipe for chocolate banana muffins, or even better, her banana and butterscotch muffins!

      Photo Credit: Banana Muffins by jspatchwork via Flickr Creative Commons

      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

      Did You Know?

      The International Banana Festival is celebrated on September 21st.

      Fried rum bananas
      Fried rum bananas

      I think this was the first "proper" recipe I ever used with bananas - and boy is it delicious! It's also a great excuse to crack open a bottle of rum...

      Cook Time

      Total Time: 5-10 mins

      Serves: 2-3


      • 3 sliced bananas
      • 4 tbsp brown muscavado sugar
      • 4 tbsp rum
      • Water
      • Butter to melt


      1. 1. Add a knob of butter to a pan and melt over a medium heat.
      2. 2. When butter starts browning and bubbling, add the banana slices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir gently.
      3. 3. Flip the bananas and cook for 1 minute. Add the rum and cook for another minute.
      4. 4. Remove from the pan and serve with ice-cream!
      Cast your vote for 5. Fried Rum Bananas

      6. Banana Cake

      Another great recipe to make with bananas is banana cake! I'm always up for making fruit-filled cake as it's got to make eating that yummy cake healthier, right?

      Don't get stuck in the rut of always making the same kind, though - mix it up! Try these delicious recipes out for size and you'll be longing for your bananas to go ripe!

      * Best Ever Banana Cake

      * Peanut Butter Banana Cake

      * Banana Mud Cake with White Chocolate

      * Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

      * Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake

      Photo Credit: Banana and Almond Cake via Wikimedia Commons

      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

      7. Banana Pancakes

      Photo Credit: Banana Pancakes via Wikimedia Commons

      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

      Okay, so I've seen lots of photos and recipes out there for pancakes with bananas on top, but how about actual banana pancakes made out of bananas?

      Here's how. You'll need:

      * 140g self-raising flour

      * 1 tsp baking powder

      * 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar

      * Pinch of salt

      * 1 ripe bananas, mashed

      * 1 ripe banana, very thinly sliced

      * 2 eggs

      * 25g melted butter

      * 125ml milk

      * Extra butter for melting

      In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the mashed banana along with the eggs, milk and butter. Use a whisk to turn the mixture into a light batter.

      Melt the butter over a medium heat and add dollops of batter to the pan in batches (this will make about 10 pancakes). Add around three slices of banana to each pancake, and when the pancakes start to bubble between the slices (after about 2 minutes), flip them over to cook the other side for another minute.

      When golden and puffed up, serve immediately with maple syrup, ice-cream or your accompaniment of choice!

      8. Banana Smoothie

      Want to be super healthy? Turn those spotted bananas into a superfood smoothie! A very quick, easy AND delicious way to use them up.

      The easiest way to do this is to whizz a peeled and sliced banana in a blender along with half a pint of milk, a couple of teaspoons of honey, and a handful of ice. Yum!

      If you're a little more ambitious, you could try one of these combo recipes:

      * Jamie Oliver's Kiwi, Ginger and Banana Smoothie

      * BBC Food Forest Fruit and Banana Smoothie

      * Banana and Coconut Smoothie

      * Weightwatchers Mango, Vanilla and Banana Smoothie

      Photo Credit: Banana Smoothie by Jamieanne via Flickr Creative Commons

      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivs 2.0 Generic License

      Don't want to eat your overripe bananas?

      Here are two alternative ways to use them!

      9. Bananas for Butterflies!

      Photo Credit: Butterfly on banana - image copyright of the author

      If you don't want to always eat those blackened bananas, you can always help the local wildlife instead!

      Butterflies love nectar but some butterflies love to feed from rotting fruit, too! Overripe bananas are just one of the fruits you can put out for them to feast on. I snapped this gorgeous butterfly above perched on a banana in the butterfly house at Chester Zoo.

      You can put out bananas on a butterfly feeder (see here for how to make them, including a plate feeder for putting out fruit. Or you could make a banana mixture for them to eat - try mashing up 2-3 overripe bananas and mixing with some stale beer, sugar, fruit juice, maple syrup and rum. Stick it on trees and around the garden for the butterflies to enjoy!

      Grow Some Butterflies to Feed!

      Insect Lore Original Butterfly Garden with Voucher
      Insect Lore Original Butterfly Garden with Voucher

      Great to do with the kids or without, this fascinating kit allows you to feed live caterpillars and watch them grow, until they build their cocoons and turn into butterflies!

      Amazing nature at its best, in your living room!

      You can keep the butterflies for a few days, feeding them nectar, before releasing them into the garden.


      10. A Bananatastic Garden

      It's not just wildlife that can benefit from bananas - your garden can, too! And even better, you can use the peel as well. In fact, why not save the peel from all the other ideas above and use them in the garden, too!

      First off, peel the banana and puree the fruit with half a cup of water. You can use this around your plants and bushes - fork up the surrounding soil and pour the mixture in for some natural nourishment.

      Now for the remaining peel. Place it in a large jar and cover it with water, leaving for a while to make a banana "juice". Mix this with five parts water and use to regularly water your plants. Keep topping up the banana juice jar with water to maintain your supply!

      Photo Credit: Add banana juice to your garden plants - image copyright of the author

      Best Way to Use up Overripe Bananas?

      Which way do you think is best?

      See results

      Will You Now Go Bananas for Overripe Bananas? - Leave your Comments and Feedback here!

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        • ShariBerry profile image

          Sharon Berry 2 years ago from Michigan

          Great uses for overly ripe banana's. Makes me hungry for some banana bread.

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          Colin323 3 years ago

          Delicious baked with raisins, Apple and crushed walnuts; add a slug of rum too, if you've a mind. I do.

        • shay-marie profile image

          Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

          I hate ripe bananas. I almost always prefer them under-ripe. That said, I've pinned this and will be referencing it soon!

        • profile image

          RachelKruse 3 years ago

          Truly delicious by themselves. I love Banana.

        • profile image

          dellgirl 3 years ago

          What a great lens you have, I like what youâve done here. Thank you for sharing this, itâs really helpful.

        • profile image

          anonymous 3 years ago

          banana pudding!

          add some coloring and give it to a child as a drawing tool

        • Klinetka profile image

          Klinetka 3 years ago

          Nice lense - I like your recepies

        • profile image

          GhillieTheKid 3 years ago

          Awesome lens. They also make great fried banana fritters

        • LeroySmith1 profile image

          LeroySmith1 3 years ago

          Overripe bananas definitely make the BEST banana bread. I had no idea butterflies like bananas. That's a super idea!

        • blessedmomto7 profile image

          blessedmomto7 3 years ago

          Thanks for the recipes. I have a hard time getting overripe bananas here, my kids eat them too fast!

        • fredginni profile image

          fredginni 3 years ago

          I put over ripe bananas in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer until I have 5 bananas in the bag. When I thaw them, it is just the right amoount for my banana bread recipe. I put the skins in the soil under my rose bushes for nutrients.

        • PaigSr profile image

          PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

          If any of our bananas get to that stage then we pass them off to a friend who makes several kinds of bread with them.

        • profile image

          Embeegee 3 years ago

          Put my banana skins into the worm farm, also very overripe bananas.

        • Aladdins Cave profile image

          Aladdins Cave 3 years ago from Melbourne, Australia


        • Stephanie36 profile image

          Stephanie 3 years ago from Canada

          I usually make banana milk or a smoothie if they're too ripe, or put them on cereal. Great ideas here!

        • profile image

          memoboard 3 years ago

          I slice the ripe unpeeled banana into small pieces and freeze on a cookie tray. When I make a smoothie I add the frozen banana instead of ice cubes.

          Leave the peel on and it tastes fine. I also eat the slightly defrosted bananas as a snack. They are delicious. Once you try this you will not peel your ripe bananas again.

        • lesliesinclair profile image

          lesliesinclair 3 years ago

          Wow, I may just try some of these bright ideas.

        • RoadMonkey profile image

          RoadMonkey 3 years ago

          Some great ideas here. Like the one about using the banana skin to make plant food - that's a good way of getting additional value from a banana.

        • profile image

          LaidBackGuy 3 years ago

          Banana flavoured foods are delicious! Thanks for the great recipes. :-)

        • somebudiesangel2 profile image

          Tami-Lynn 3 years ago from North Vancouver

          Love banana anything! great lense:)

        • LisaAuch1 profile image

          Lisa Auch 3 years ago from Scotland

          Love bananas! going to try the banana bread and banana pancakes!

        • rattie lm profile image

          rattie lm 3 years ago

          I already use my over-ripe bananas in Paleo cooking, a natural sugar.

        • profile image

          mina009 3 years ago

          Great ideas. When I first tasted fried bananas in a Chinese restaurant I fell for that dessert!

        • smine27 profile image

          Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

          Great ideas for bananas. I would have never thought of giving them to butterflies.

        • profile image

          IreneL11 3 years ago

          Thanks for all the recipes. Great lens.

        • David3142 profile image

          David3142 3 years ago

          Great lens. I shall try some of these next time I have over-ripe bananas.

        • profile image

          ZionAmal 3 years ago

          I didn't know that Overripe Bananas were of this much use.

          Thanks a lot mate :)

        • Missmerfaery444 profile image

          Missmerfaery444 3 years ago

          @peterb6001: I am guilty of doing that haha! :)

        • BrownEyedGirl69 profile image

          BrownEyedGirl69 3 years ago

          The fried rum bananas sound YUMMY! I will definately have to try it!

        • profile image

          anonymous 3 years ago

          I always fried them!

          But i realy do like your other ideas :)

          Thanks for share

        • peterb6001 profile image

          Peter Badham 3 years ago from England

          I'm loving at least 7 of these suggestions. Will maybe have to let mine get overripe on purpose!

        • DawnRae64 profile image

          Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

          Fried Rum Bananas!! and butterflies! Great ideas. thanks for the lens.

        • Susan Zutautas profile image

          Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          I always have a few overripe bananas in my freezer. I use them to make banana bread and my dogs love peanut butter banana cookies that I make for them. Banana ice cream is my favorite way to use the overripe bananas. Great lens!

        • Stazjia profile image

          Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

          I put over ripe bananas in the garden compost bin. I like the idea of putting them out to feed butterflies. I'll try that next summer. I might try your banana cake, that sounds lovely.

        • MarathonRunning profile image

          Martina 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe

          Nice tips. I also use overripe bananas for making sweets.

          Great Lens!

        • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

          Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

          Three cheers for the butterflies - that was really a new use for me. Thanks for an informative lens.

        • lewisgirl profile image

          lewisgirl 3 years ago

          I love the Yonana!

        • Diana Wenzel profile image

          Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

          Guilty as charged. I'm one to let those bananas get a bit ripe at times. Perfect excuse to make banana bread. Thanks for the great ideas.

        • tammywilliams09 profile image

          tammywilliams09 3 years ago

          These are great ideas. I love making Banana smoothies and ice cream. I haven't tried Banana cake and muffins in a long while. I do not remember ever trying Banana pancakes so that is one to make note of. Thanks for sharing.

        • profile image

          GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

          Only if I can keep my stash of rum up to the same level as my over ripe bananas.

        • Steph Tietjen profile image

          Stephanie Tietjen 3 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

          I usually fry them in butter and then add to pancakes OR give them to my chickens--they love 'em. Great ideas here

        • BestRatedStuff profile image

          BestRatedStuff 3 years ago

          What a great bunch of ideas, I knew quite a few, but some were things I would never have though about.

        • favored profile image

          Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

          Thanks for the ideas. Feeding the butterflies is something I'd like to try.

        • girlfriendfactory profile image

          girlfriendfactory 3 years ago

          Love these ideas!

        • profile image

          anonymous 3 years ago

          I'm boring, I usually only make banana bread out of them, so great ideas here! Good luck in the September Squidoo Food Club Quest

        • KandH profile image

          KandH 3 years ago

          Great lens - Good luck!

        • SusanDeppner profile image

          Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

          Love these ideas! I usually freeze mine and use them in banana bread or smoothies. Most recently I had one that was on the verge of too overripe and I used it for a wonderful peanut butter-banana sandwich. Wow, wishing I had a banana to munch on right now!

        • Missmerfaery444 profile image

          Missmerfaery444 3 years ago

          @Margaret Schindel: Thank you!

        • Margaret Schindel profile image

          Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

          I love freezing overripe bananas to use in recipes, fruit smoothies, etc. Your recipes look great, and I love your tips about using overripe bananas and banana skins as plant food. Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing and congrats on your well deserved purple star. :D

        • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

          Dancing Cowgirl Design 3 years ago from Texas

          I will use them when I can. I still try to cut around the dark spots.

        • BLouw profile image

          Barbara Walton 3 years ago from France

          Great recipes. In my youth I made banana bread - easy and delicious - but I love your other recipes too!

        • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

          Nathalie Roy 3 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

          I love banana bread, that's the best use for your ripe bananas, especially my mom banana bread recipe :)

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          Pete1000 3 years ago

          This is really good. I thought, once they were no longer ripe, that was it.

        • Missmerfaery444 profile image

          Missmerfaery444 3 years ago

          @Paul Ward: That sounds yum! Amazing how well banana goes with bacon :)

        • Paul Ward profile image

          Paul 3 years ago from Liverpool, England

          If you have a breadmaker, put a mashed up very overripe banana on top of the usual mix. Try slices toasted with bacon.