Top 10 ways to use up ripe bananas

  • By
    Natalie Hardwick - Senior writer -

Have some over-ripe bananas languishing in the fruit bowl? Put them to good use with our leftover recipes.


A limp banana turning the wrong shade of brown is a common sight – the slim turnover period between the perfect banana and over-ripeness means we’re sometimes caught short.  When a banana loses its firmness it becomes hard to eat as a snack, but it can be mashed and used up in a number of thrifty ways.

Buying and storing bananas

Consider the shelf life when buying bananas. If you want to eat them over the course of the week, choose ones that have green tinges on the ends as they can be ripened at home. To eat straight away, choose bananas with small patches of black on the skin, which is a sign of ripeness. Store in a fruit bowl rather than the fridge, as the cold temperature will make the skins go black. They’ll also make everything else in the fridge smell like bananas.

Our favourite ways with over-ripe bananas...

Brazil and banana breadBanana bread

A popular way of using up bananas is in a loaf or bread, and we have no shortage of recipes to keep you busy. Try a traditional loaf with icing, team it with Brazil nuts, or go healthy and eat a trimmer version with low-fat spread for breakfast.

Brilliant banana loaf


Chocolate baked bananasBaked bananas

Let your soft and squidgy bananas meld in heavenly fashion with chocolate buttons in these whole baked bananas. If it’s not barbecue season, they’ll cook perfectly well in the oven. Contrast all the steaming gooey sweetness with a dollop of ice cream.

Chocolate baked bananas


Microwave banana puddingMicrowave banana pudding

The mashable nature of over-ripe bananas means they can easily be worked into a cake batter. This cheat’s pud takes merely 20 minutes in the microwave, making it an ideal low-maintenance midweek pud.

Microwave banana pudding


banana ice creamQuick banana ice cream

You don't need a fancy churner to enjoy homemade ice cream. For this version, chop your ripe bananas then freeze on a tray. Once frozen, whizz in a food processor with milk. It even counts towards your five-a-day - what more could you ask for?

Quick banana ice cream


Hazelnut and banana smoothieBanana smoothie

Another way of getting benefits from nutritious, potassium-rich bananas is to blitz them into a smoothie. Hazelnuts, mango, citrus fruits and berries all complement bananas in rather fine fashion.

Banana, clementine & mango smoothie
Banana, honey & hazelnut smoothie
Forest fruit & banana smoothie

Banana pancakesBanana pancakes

Go stateside at brunch time and flip up some fluffy pancakes with banana two-ways - sliced into thin rounds and mashed into the batter. Team with crispy bacon and syrup. Elvis would approve...

Banana pancakes with crispy bacon & syrup


Dotty banana fairy cakesBanana fairy cakes

Use up your mushy bananas in a traditional sponge. These cake sale-friendly cupcakes with retro icing will go down a storm with kids.

Dotty banana fairy cakes


Chocolate and banana French toastFrench toast

This decadent fried sandwich will work as a brunch dish or pudding, but it’s not for the faint-hearted -  double cream, maple syrup, chocolate and mashed banana combined will knock your socks off.

Chocolate & banana French toast


Feelgood flapjacksFeelgood flapjacks

Be a little more virtuous with a nutritious flapjack, packed with hidden apple and banana, healthy seeds, chewy apricots and peanut butter.

Feelgood flapjacks


Blueberry and banana muffinsBanana & blueberry muffins

Earn brownie points by tucking one of these fruity muffins into a lunchbox. If you prefer, you can swap the buttermilk for yogurt.

Banana & blueberry muffins


Are you a serial banana offender regularly faced with a browning bunch? We’d love to hear your serving suggestions…



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leumas's picture

The bananas in the picture above don't look over-ripe to me!