Bananas are one of the most highly consumed fruits in the world, and not just because they taste great. These yellow fruits are loaded with nutrients and natural health benefits, plus they can be made into some very tasty recipes. The downside of bananas is that they can go bad fairly quickly if you do not eat them while they are ripe. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious recipes out there that are perfect for using up old, overripe bananas.

Health Benefits of Bananas

Fresh bananas contain about 105 calories per one medium fruit, about 118 grams. A single medium-sized banana contains 25% of your daily recommended value for Vitamin B6 as well as significant amounts of manganese, potassium, copper, biotin, and vitamin C. Bananas are also an excellent source of dietary fiber. In addition to these nutritional benefits, bananas are also loaded with healthy compounds and substances that provide natural health benefits. For example, the potassium content of bananas helps to regulate blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function. Bananas are also a low-glycemic fruit loaded with dietary fiber which helps to regulate blood sugar and improve digestion. Other benefits of bananas include reducing cancer risk, improving lipid and insulin levels, treating diarrhea, preserving memory, and boosting mood.

Recipes to Use Old Bananas

A brown, slightly mushy banana might not seem like an appetizing treat but bananas like these are perfect for making banana bread, banana pancakes, and even banana ice cream. Below you will find a simple recipe for all three of these options:

Simple Banana Bread

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium overripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a regular loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add the milk and vanilla then whisk smooth before folding in the mashed bananas.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then stir them into the wet ingredients.
  5. Fold in the walnuts, if using, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean then cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn the banana bread out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

  • 1 large overripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  1. Place the banana slices in a mixing bowl and mash them with a fork.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until smooth and well combined.
  3. Preheat a nonstick griddle pan over medium heat - you may melt a little butter on it too.
  4. Spoon the pancake batter onto the hot pan, using about 2 to 3 tablespoons per pancake.
  5. Cook for 1 minute or until the bottoms are browned then flip the pancakes.
  6. Allow the pancakes to cook for another minute or so until the underside is browned.
  7. Serve the pancakes warm topped with maple syrup.

Easy Banana Ice Cream

  • 2 large overripe bananas, peeled
  1. Slice your bananas into ¼-inch slices and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until the banana slices are solid (at least 2 hours).
  3. Transfer the frozen banana slices to a food processor and pulse several times.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then blend the bananas until smooth.
  5. Add in your choice of mix-ins (like chocolate chips, peanut butter, even fruit) and blend smooth.
  6. Spoon the ice cream into an airtight container and freeze until solid then scoop to serve.
So, the next time you look into your fruit bowl and find that your bananas have started to go brown, don't throw them away! Use them to make one of these three tasty recipes.

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