There’s No Need to Get Rid of Overripe Bananas

If your first thought is to toss overripe bananas when you see them in your kitchen, think again. From muffins and pancakes to healthier versions of baked goods, there are countless ways to use browning bananas. Bananas are a significant source of many vitamins and minerals, so eating them is great for your health. And using, rather than trashing, overripe bananas is good for your financial health, so you’re not wasting food (and money!). Below, we share some ideas for transforming bruised bananas into tasty treats.

  • The obvious choice is to use them to make banana bread, but you can also add them to other quick-bread and muffin recipes.
  • Add overripe bananas to baked oatmeal recipes or mash them into your favorite overnight oats combination.
  • Add them to smoothies.
  • Make two-ingredient pancakes using one medium banana and two eggs. Thoroughly mash the banana in a bowl using a fork until there are no longer large lumps. Separately whisk the two eggs together until they’re completely combined and then pour them over the banana and stir thoroughly. Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto a greased griddle and cook at a medium heat for one minute per side (or until they’re cooked to your liking). Flip the pancakes slowly and very gently. They’re best served right off the griddle! You can top with cinnamon, nuts, granola, blueberries or coconut. Tips: Add 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder if you like fluffier pancakes. To sweeten them, add honey. To add flavor, use vanilla.
  • Make three-ingredient bars by mashing four bananas and then combining them with 2 cups of dry oats and 6 tablespoons of peanut butter. Spread the mixture in a greased 9 x 13 pan, top with chocolate chips and/or walnuts (optional), and cook at 350 F for 18 to 20 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).
  • If three ingredients is one too many, make two-ingredient cookies by mixing two medium overripe bananas with 1 cup of rolled oats. Scoop about one tablespoon of batter per cookie onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden and let cool for 30 minutes. Note: The batter should turn out like cookie dough, so you may need to adjust the amount of oats based on the size of the bananas you use. Optional add-ins include: dried fruits, nuts, coconut flakes, a teaspoon of cinnamon or a splash of vanilla.
  • Make healthy ice cream. Check out our “nice cream” recipe!
  • For bananas that are ripe, but still firm, you can make banana chips by cutting bananas into thin slices, topping them with fresh lemon juice and cooking them at 200 F. Cover a baking pan with foil and lightly grease it. Arrange bananas in a single layer and bake for two hours. Then, flip the pieces with a metal spatula and bake for another 1.5 hours. Cool completely. The longer they cool, they crispier they will be. Store in an airtight container and keep them on hand as a snack or as a topping for your oatmeal, yogurt and more!

“How To Make 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes,” Emma Christensen,, April 8, 2018.

“3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars Recipe,” Tiffany Rudd,, May 2, 2018.

“5 Secrets for Making Delicious, Low-Sugar Baked Good,” Stephanie Eckelkamp,, Feb. 25, 2016.

“Homemade Baked Banana Chips Recipe,” Katerina Petrovska,, Feb. 19, 2016.