Four Ideas for Overripe Bananas (Besides Bread)

We’re all familiar with the sight: a few sorry looking bananas left in the fruit bowl, that are about to turn brown and speckled. The advice is always the same: “Why not use them to make banana bread?”

Ways to Use Old Bananas |

Well, personally I’ve had one too many banana bread recipes. All tasty, of course! I’ve had chocolate chip versions, spiced vegan versions, even a recipe with nuts and sourdough added to it for some tang.

But I’m ready for new recipes outside of baked goodies! So here are four interesting alternative ways to use up those old bananas.

1. Banana Ice Cream

I’m not going to lie. This is a little labor intensive if you don’t have an ice cream maker, but it’s well worth the effort.

First, leave the bananas in the freezer overnight.

Take them out the next day, leave them to defrost for an hour or so, then peel them and put them in the food processor or blender with a squeeze of lemon.

Process them for about 10 seconds, then add some light corn syrup, about 1 1/2 tablespoons or 5 teaspoons for each banana.

Pour the mixture out into a large bowl, and slowly mix some heavy cream into it (you can experiment with the quantity). You may also want to add a little sugar.

Banana Ice Cream |

Place the bowl in the fridge for about an hour, and then transfer it to the freezer for about half an hour. Take it back out once it’s chilled, and beat the mixture with a whisk.

Put the bowl back in the freezer for another half hour, and repeat the process again and again, beating the mixture to ensure that you don’t allow too many ice crystals to form.

After a couple of hours, you should have beautifully smooth homemade banana ice cream.

Check out Ashley’s homemade ice cream article for more ideas.

Want to have the ability to make the same thing in your own kitchen in just minutes? Check out our review of the Yonanas frozen dessert maker. This handy gadget is the answer!

2. Banana Frozen Yogurt

If making ice cream sounds like too much work, banana yogurt is a quicker and easier alternative. Just follow the same instructions as above, but instead of adding cream, use plain yogurt instead.

Banana Yogurt |


Spread the mixture out thin in a deep container, so that it’ll freeze quickly without forming too many ice crystals. Then just leave it in the freezer for a few hours, take it out, give it a stir, and voila – ready to serve!

3. Banana & Horseradish Dip

This is a delicious and unusual creamy dip, and it works great as an accompaniment with grilled or barbecued meats.

Dice a few of your bananas up into small chunks, add a splash of lemon juice, and then put about a tablespoon of hot horseradish relish into the mix.

Next, stir in about a cupful of sour cream, and season the mixture with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill before serving.

Banana Horseradish Dip |

4. Banana Chutney

There are lots of different ways to make banana chutney, but one of my favorites is with ginger.

Simply blend your bananas and add some chopped raisins, a handful of finely chopped crystallized ginger, and a cup of cider vinegar.

Gently fry off a diced onion in a nonstick pan, and add a couple of teaspoons of curry powder. Then pour in the banana mixture and cook it on a low heat until it begins to caramelize, and thickens to the consistency of jam.

Banana Chutney |

This is perfect to eat with leftover cold meats, a big salad, and some fresh crusty bread to mop it all up.

As you can see, using up ripe bananas can actually be a lot more exciting than just making banana bread! Hopefully these recipe suggestions will prompt you to come up with a few of your own twists and ideas.

With a little bit of creativity, there’s never any need to throw those old bananas away. Tell us what you come up with in the comments!

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

42 thoughts on “Four Ideas for Overripe Bananas (Besides Bread)”

  1. I’m no fan of banana bread either! I have tried banana chutney before though – it was an interesting taste and was very similar to the British dish, Coronation Chicken.

  2. I like to use my ripe bananas in the making of bread or muffins, I have also used them in smoothies. The ice cream sounds good but away more work than I would care to do.

  3. I almost licked the screen {my laptop}…the ice cream looks delicious…so does the yoghurt…we all know this leads me to noting down all these amazing points and putting them to work…no more trashing away overly ripe bananas 😉 …i remember my aunt baking us a banana bread once and it was so dry {no offense} she tried her best but i had to drink several glasses of water to quench down a certain thirst 😉

  4. That banana chutney looks amazing! The recipe seems easy enough, I can’t wait to try making it. I’m going to omit the ginger though since I’m not a fan of it. Do you have any suggestions of what I could replace it with?

    The fruits in my household go bad so quickly, there’s never enough people to finish them in time! I usually end up mixing the bananas into muffins or baked goods, gets tiring very quickly. Thanks for these new ideas!

    • Jen, personally I love ginger. Fresh or crystalized. Perhaps you can try some nutmeg instead? That may assist with the whole “British Empire in India” taste from which this dish probably originated (an original “fusion” food).

  5. The best thing about overripe bananas is how sweet they are! I have three of these in my fruit bowl just now, begging to be used. I love the idea of the homemade ice cream – it would certainly keep the kids busy for a while too.

    I often use bananas up by adding them to smoothies, and sometimes I make dried slices, they’re a nice healthy little snack. I just slice them up quite thinly, then microwave them on the lowest heat setting for about 10 minutes. Then leave the slices to dry out overnight.

  6. My two sons have a place together. There on the counter set about 3 over ripe banana’s I told my oldest son they need to do something with them. I’m sure they are in the trash by now or at least I hope so. I wish I would have seen this before I went to visit. Banana ice cream sounds good, and I have a little pint serving ice cream maker.

  7. Genuinely chuckled at the title because my mother always makes banana break with overripe bananas. The ice-cream idea looks too good not to try. I could probably make my own variation of it (ice-cream bread), or just follow your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Honestly, I’m not a big banana-bread fan, but bananas are awesome for baking — can replace some of the sugar and oil and it makes muffins and cakes more moist and delicious! Smoothies are also a great fit because of how easy it is to make and how much banana taste balances the different fruit flavours out. Also great in pancakes. So many easy baking recipes!

    It can even be used when making falafel like treats — we have this “bonbon piment” yummy snack that is very similar to falafel, except it uses lima beans and tumeric powder. When the time comes to fry those delicious marvels though, they often come apart. A half banana fixes that in a pinch!

    Plus, dark and ripe bananas can be frozen and used at later times.

  9. What about banana tea? That’s my go to when I have seemingly unusable bananas. Chop off both ends of the banana & boil in water. Make sure your bananas are organic. You get all the nutrients from the peel & the sweetener from the banana itself. Delicious.

    • I’ve never heard of banana tea before. I definitely have to try that one out! However, even if your fruit is organic, could there not be some dirt that could get into the tea?
      I once made banana yogurt and it was so delicious! It never occurred to me that I could use overripe fruit for it. Thank God I stumbled over this article. There will never be another wasted banana in my house again!

  10. This is very cool. I like banana bread just fine, and I have made some smoothies too, but it’s great to have some more ideas. I enjoy bananas, but they seem to get overripe in a hurry. I usually only buy a few at a time, but still, I don’t always eat them before they start to turn. This is terrific, because now I won’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll go to waste. I’ll have plenty of things to do with them, even if I don’t feel like making bread.

    The horseradish tip sounds divine. I love horseradish but never would have come up with this. I can’t wait to try it.

  11. I’ve done a sort of makeshift ice-cream alternative with overripe bananas before. Tossed them in the blender with some honey, let it sit in the freezer a bit, and topped it with chopped walnuts and more drizzled honey. The horseradish dip sounds intriguing, though; I never would have thought of it. And I love ginger, so that banana chutney recipe is something I’ll have to try out.

  12. I actually love banana bread and blueberry banana bread, but sometimes I like a break in between eating it, and these are some nice alternatives. I actually do have an ice cream maker, so I might try making the banana ice cream. I also like the idea of the dip and chutney. I love horseradish and ginger (separately), and am always looking for ways to incorporate them into my cooking, so I think I will try out these recipes with those 2 brown bananas sitting on my counter.

  13. Hey,
    one thing that I have started making is 2 ingredient banana pancakes. One ingredient obviously being bananas and the other is eggs. Its super simple and if you want something quick and nutricious I would highly reccommend. As much as I love to spend time baking and such there are days when I just want something quick and simple.

    1. Mash a banana up in a bowl with a fork
    2. Crack an egg into the bowl
    3.Heat a frying pan with oil (i love coconut oil!)
    4. Mix the mixture in the bowl so that the egg is cracked and everything is really mixed together.
    5. Grab a ladel and slowly add small part of the mixture depending on the size and thickness you want, however I have noticed that they are normally quite thick regardless of how I try to make them thin.
    6. Flip the pancake over when it starts to change colour.
    7. Carefully place the pancake onto a plate and add some maple syrup if desired !

    I personally love these but I know a lot of people that don’t!

    • Oh absolutely, I always vote for pancakes!
      For a slight variation on the recipe above, use a heaped table-spoon of coconut flour into the mixture (and I love some cinnamon added too).
      This bulks up the pancake a bit and helps you get some extra fiber.
      Perfect post workout food!

  14. A masterpiece of article for real! I knew the method with overriped bananas to make bread but I never heard about the others. It’s quite ingenious if you look smoothly into the tecnique you used because firstly I think it doesn’t really requires a lot of skill and secondly it’s a method that is affordable to anyone. Another method that just came up in my mind is why not making a sort of cake/cream with it? I think this idea could be developed in a really delicious plate to taste!

  15. I’m so up for making that amazing ice cream even if it’s labor intensive! Not having an ice cream maker is having me be more adventurous and hard working with all the ‘no ice cream maker needed’ recipes out there. The yogurt also looks good! I guess my sad looking bananas now have a purpose.

  16. This is such a helpful article; I have always ended up feeding the overripe bananas to my dog (who loves them!) because I can’t take the texture of it. I just happen to have a few sitting on my counter right now, and I believe I’m going to try your yogurt suggestion. My dog is not going to be very happy with me for not giving them to her. 😛 Thank you so much!

  17. Alternatively, you can use them to make a facial scrub! Or even use them in gardening! You can use a banana puree for your house plants or rose bushes, the flowers will be noticeably bigger!

    • Well I really would not have guessed that you could use them in a facial scrub, but I am very intrigued now. I was all excited for the many uses that I can now have in the kitchen, but if you are including personal care too, that is a whole other area. I am guessing there is more to it than just mushing up some bananas and applying, but maybe not. Looks like I have some research to do. Thanks for sharing.

  18. All the suggestions for overripe fruit looks so delicious, barring the one with Horseradish dip. Whenever I have a batch that are about to go bad, I normally make them into pancakes or sweet biscuits that I serve with tea. Since I keep a lot of flour in the house, I tend to make a lot of baked goods and combine it with fruit since I have a bad habit of forgetting fruit in the fridge after a couple of days and only remembering hem as they are about to go bad.

  19. The only one that looks appealing to me is the banana chutney. I’m not too keen on the ginger but I think it will taste great nevertheless. I always prepare bread with all the bad fruit but I may do this one from time to time too.

  20. I swear, every time I go to visit my grandmother, she has at least one completely black banana in her freezer she is saving to make bread with. Next time I’m visiting her, I’m going to suggest we make the ice cream. She’s an old Italian lady, so I don’t know if I can convince her to try chutney, but she has quite the sweet tooth, so I don’t think it’d take much convincing to get her to try a quicker, probably sweeter dessert in lieu of her go-to recipe. She won’t have to know it’s a little healthier than the usual stuff, but she’ll probably want chocolate syrup with it.

  21. I just love overripe bananas! I think they are much sweeter and less starchy tasting that just ripe, or under ripe ones. Also, if I eat one that isn’t overripe, my stomach hurts and I have trouble digesting it. These are some great tips for using this yummy, mushy delectable fruit. I am going to try the ice cream and the yogurt recipes.

  22. Well I always welcome a good bread bread, it’s tastes really good. The only recipe I would try here is probably the banana icecream. It looks absolutely delicious. That is, if I find the time to do so.

  23. Interesting post you have here for overripe bananas. I am particularly excited to try out the chutney recipe. Never made one nor tasted it before. Thanks for posting this!

  24. I make a smoothie every morning so I always save my over ripe bananas to use in my shake. I usually freeze them then save them for them for when I don’t have fresh bananas to use.
    I’ve also mushed them up and made wheat less pancakes. It’s a very healthy alternative.

  25. These are such good ideas. We eat a lot of bananas and occasionally have some that are overripe. They will all be put to good use in future, especially since you have shared these ideas with us.

  26. I always have an influx of bananas because my mom buys like three bunches at a time. And god forbid there be a sale because she will buy an amount I couldn’t even possibly consume before they go bad. I’m really not very diversified when it comes to cooking so guess what I would always turn them into? That’s right, banana bread. On the bright side though I have mastered making my bread moist and sweet, I even add extra flavors sometimes. On the darker side I think if I make another loaf I’ll explode, so thanks for this article, it’s highly needed. I’m not a fan on nondairy ice-cream so I’ll pass on the first recipe, but the chutney looks awesome. I’m not so sure about the dip. Bananas and horseradish sounds like one of those odd combinations I wouldn’t like.

  27. I love all those ideas! Every time I buy bananas to eat in work, I forget about one or two and they get overripe. Now I’ll know how to use them. I never liked throwing them out, but I had no idea what to do with them! They seemed sort of gross.

  28. For some reason no one in my house is able to eat enough bananas to finish them off before they go brown, and I’m pretty sure my landlords and coworkers are tired of getting banana bread so I’m definitely going to try some of the suggestions on this list…especially the banana ice cream! I even have an ice cream maker that I don’t use anywhere near often enough, so two birds with one stone 🙂

  29. Bananas are also good for smoothies! With some other fruits you can get a drink full of vitamins that actually tastes pretty good! The ideas are brilliant – I didn’t knew you can makes banana yogurt all by yourself. Probably it tastes better than the one in the store, haha!

  30. Thanks you for these recipes! I often use bananas in cooking. Most of the time I add them to muffins, pancakes or make bread, of course. Sometimes I’ll just fry them and add some sweet sauce and raisins – it’s a very easy dessert but so delicious! Although I’ve never made my own ice cream and yogurt because it seems like a hassle, banana dip and chutney sound easy and look yummy! I’ve never heard of these two dishes before so it’ll be interesting to try something new.

  31. My mother has a recipe for banana cake that is to die for. She tops it off with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and no frosting at all. The most unusual dish I ever had using this fruit was when I visited the Philippines a few years back and tried fried bananas skewered on a stick. They were different and interesting, not to mention tasty. I’ve never tried to make them but it might be fun for a change of pace.

  32. Thank you for providing such wonderful recipes. We frequently have these as we have several banana trees in our backyard. I live in the Philippines that why we can just pluck these off the tree and that definitely saves us the trip to the farmer’s market. Usually we just fry these and covered in brown sugar or wrap them in flour tortillas covered i brown sugar then fried, which we call turon. Using it as a sauce is new to me, well at least, besides the usual banana catsup that we can purchase locally.

  33. I am definitely going to try that horseradish dip, that sounds almost crazy.. bananas and horseradish together? Well worth experimenting just to find out.

    My lazy thing to do with a few overdone bananas is just dump then in the blender with some ice cubes, milk, some pineapple and a little bit of sugar. A lazy-mans smoothie. Bananas are very cheap where I live, so I usually go through about 3 bunches per week in varying receipes.

    I sometimes also just cut the overripe bananas into bit-sizes and freeze them in a small container and then throw them on top of cereal another day.

  34. There’s this simple, quick dish we make where I’m from. It’s called “Thambutt” and happens to be one of my favorite tea-time snacks. All you have to do is mash up ripe bananas with some powdered roasted rice (this dish is quick to prepare provided you have this ingredient readily available). Garnish with grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds and serve with ghee (clarified butter). Yummy!

  35. When I hear someone suggest that I make banana bread with the overripe bananas, I just want to scream…or cry…or maybe both! Banana chutney is a new one for me. I’ve said in another post that my little 2-year-old girl absolutely adores bananas, and now I have some new fun ways of serving them to her, and to hubby and me.

  36. This is probably one of my favorite entries on this blog, in my house we literally always have a lot of bananas and inevitably they tend to get brown and weird quickly, and it’s a shame to just throwing them out, but you just gave me the best ideas to not waste them, when I read about the ice cream I wasn’t that excited because I thought that we were going to need machine, and I don’t own one. But it actually seems kind of easy to do, and it’s a perfect recipe for this time of the year! I also loved the frozen yogurt one.
    Thank you, thank you!

  37. I have three children, my oldest being 5. Since having kids, I don’t think we have ever had a wasted banana. We tend to use them in muffins alot, since they enjoy muffins for breakfasts.We also use frozen bananas with a touch of milk in the blender and it turns out similar to a banana ice cream. We will have to try it in yogurt soon!


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