Don’t Throw Away Your Overripe Bananas

Bananas are some of the most nutritious foods out there. For me personally, whenever I buy a bunch (perhaps since they’re on sale), I have a habit of buying some fully ripe bunches as well as some green ones to eat at a later time. This is so that I have a constant supply of bananas. The ripe ones are eaten fairly quickly while I just need to wait for the green ones to ripen. Unfortunately, schedules can get busy, and by the time I feel like eating some, guess what? The bananas have already become too ripened and already have those brown spots developing.

Seeing the bananas in that over ripened state, it can feel a little depressing to eat them. At times, I might just eat them but the more I do that, the more the bad memories of the fermented, alcoholic taste comes back to haunt me. I mean bananas are not that expensive…wouldn’t it just be better to buy new ones and throw the overly ripened ones away. They are probably no good anymore right? Actually, you can still put those over ripened bananas to good use!

What Can Overripe Bananas Be Used For?

Of course, if the bananas are moldy and have started to rot (inside is dark brown/black), it would be best to throw them away. But if they look fairly good with brown spots, you can still put them to good use.

I recommend using them to make banana bread. As bananas become more ripe, the more sugar they produce which leads to the darkening of the color on the outside (I guess that’s a sign that too much sugar isn’t healthy for you if consumed too much).

Basic Banana Bread Ingredients List

Here are all the ingredients you need.

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda (or 2-3 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

To Put It All Together…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, melt the butter (20 to 30 seconds depending on microwave)
  3. Peel open the bananas and crush it (with spoon or fork, or both) in the mixture.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and continue to mix.
  5. In separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together (Try to equally distribute the contents by stirring).
  6. Then mix the 2 bowls of content together in the same bowl until it looks thoroughly mixed.
  7. Pour the contents into a pan of some sort and bake it for about 45 – 50 minutes. At around the 40-minute mark, you can check to see if it is ready by poking it with a toothpick. If no parts of the bread stick to the toothpick, it is ready.
  8. Let it cool a bit and serve.

Recommendations

  • When baking, remember to leave room for the bread to rise. The pan that I used only held about 1/4 inch in height of the banana bread batter. It rose to about 2 inches in height when it finished baking. My pan was about 3 inches tall.

  • Depending on how much sugar the bananas produce, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you add. The amount I used was for a moderate sweetness level so you can gauge from there.
  • If bread is not as sweet as you had wanted, you can also add icing to it.
  • Once cooled, you can either refrigerate it or freeze it. Remember to keep a plastic wrap over it to retain its moisture.
  • Personally, I add more cinnamon than the recommended. Not just for flavoring but also because of the health benefits like controlling blood sugars (since we’re about to ingest a bunch).
  • If you want to make a bigger batch, just use the ingredient list above and multiply it all by your desired amount (x2,x3, etc.). The above ingredients list can serve maybe 8 – 10 people.
  • You can invest in a silicone bread loaf tray if you like. My banana bread was a bit “flat” in shape compared to most banana breads since I used a regular aluminum tray. With the bread loaf tray, the shape of your bread will looking more appealing and since it is silicone, it will pop right out of the tray. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

Summary

We may have a habit of wanting to eat bananas when they have already become too ripe. We may be tempted to throw them away just out of frustration, but they can actually still be of use. Banana bread actually taste way better with overripe bananas because of the extra sugar it produces. The saying is quite true about how one man’s trash truly can become another man’s treasure. Please enjoy your banana bread!

Did you enjoy this article on how to make use of overripe bananas? Please leave a comment below!

26 thoughts on “Don’t Throw Away Your Overripe Bananas”

  1. This is a great idea. My girlfriend and I have this exact problem. We buy a lot of bananas because they are a great healthy snack with the theory it’s better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them. Sometimes we would make health food snacks, or banana nice cream in the blender and the bananas would run out, so we would buy more and be left with to many when we didn’t play in the kitchen as much. I have never tried banana bread though so thats my next plan

    Reply
    • Hello there, Alex! Bananas are indeed a great healthy snack. When I do catch myself buying too many bananas at once, I usually peel all of them and cut it into chunks, collect them in Tupperware, and freeze them. They actually don’t turn dark brown/black and it feels like eating banana ice cream when thawed. Hopefully your first attempt at making banana bread (and even your future ones) come out really great!

      Reply
  2. Great idea for more ripe bananas. I rewrote your recipe and I will try it soon, it looks delicious. I especially like the silicone red molds. Children will be thrilled, and so will adults. I love healthy, fast, and delicious specialties. I wish you a lot of success in your further work!

    Reply
  3. Hi Mike, 

    I am one of those guys who are particular about my bananas. I can not eat them once they have become too ripe. I prefer them a bit on the green side. Love the tartness! I think you have hit the nail on the head with the banana bread. This is probably one of the most common uses I have used in the past. 

    I  am going to mention one other thing I use them for is banana pancakes. This is one of the easiest things to do. With your leftover bananas and a couple of eggs, you can make these with just two ingredients in a jiffy. Obviously, if you are a culinary explorer you can add more to them for flavor or consistency to your liking but you can do this with bananas and eggs alone. They are gluten and dairy-free and packed with the stuff that is good for you!

    Super simple life hack! Don’t’ throw away bananas!

    Thanks, 

    Chad

    Reply
    • Hello there, Chad! I think banana pancakes are a great idea! I will have to try it with my remaining bananas. It seems like the trick is to find ways to incorporate bananas into cooking. 

      Reply
  4. Banana bread is one of my favorites recipes to make, everyone love it and it’s a good idea to use those overripe bananas. I always love to have a few bananas at home as I know this is good food to have any moment, and it will be a great snack for any kid anytime, but it’s sad to see some bananas going overripe so fast when weather is warm, but with your basic banana bread recipe, I will be using any overripe banana to make a bread everybody loves to have!

    Reply
    • Hi there, Alejandra! It definitely is quite sad to see some bananas going overripe so fast. If only they just lasted a bit longer. Good thing there are ways to still make use of overripe bananas and banana bread is just one of the methods out there!

      Reply
  5. Never had freshly made banana bread before… Now I’m craving some, haha. I might have to go to the store when I can just to buy a bunch I can use for banana bread! I’m not sure that this recipe would work for us sadly as we need gluten-free recipes but luckily one of the bags of gluten-free flour we got has a recipe on it for this very thing. Great article- always good to serve out more information on how to reduce waste.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Christina! I think one of the best experiences when making banana bread is the fragrance that is emitted from the oven as it is baking! Gluten-free flour should be able to work as a replacement for all-purpose or regular flour.

      Reply
  6. I do not particularly like ripe bananas, for my taste they still need to have a certain crispness when I bite into them. This often means that I end up with bananas that are too ripe for my liking. I do love banana bread though and usually end up making that with the overripe bananas, or otherwise banana muffins.I have in the past also frozen the banana loaf and as long as it is well wrapped, it works extremely well. 

    Reply
    • Hello there! I also don’t like the taste of overripe bananas. I need that tart flavor to supplement the sweetness. Once that tart flavor is gone, it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. 

      That’s great that you have some ideas on how to use overripe bananas. I haven’t tried this yet, but frozen bananas have the texture of like ice cream so I am thinking of making banana ice cream cake someday (and instead of cake, I would just use banana bread). Maybe slicing the banana bread into layers and adding blended frozen bananas in between the layers 🙂

      Reply
  7. Oh, thank you for the useful hack. I sometimes throw away the overripe bananas because it feels gross to eat them. I actually love banana bread, so now I can learn to make it myself with those overripe bananas 🙂 By the way, a bit unrelated to the banana bread, is it true that we can halt the ripe process if we throw the bananas into the freezer? 

    Reply
    • Hello there! Hopefully you won’t be needing to throw away overripe bananas now with this hack. To answer your question about whether freezing halts the ripening process of bananas, it actually does! If you throw it in as is (with the peel), the peel itself will start to turn brown but the actual banana on the inside will retain its freshness. Unfortunately, the peel will also be frozen and will be difficult to peel when you decide to eat it. I recommend peeling the bananas first, cutting it into small chunks, putting them in a ziplock bag (or container), and then throwing it in the freezer.

      Reply
  8. Hi there,

    I must say that banana bread has left my mouth watering for a taste. Indeed, it looks delicious. I have a habit of throwing out my bananas when they overripe and get too soft. The recipe is quite simple and I already have all the ingredients in my kitchen cupboard. Seeing that I love ripe bananas, I will definitely try this recipe. I will let you know how it turns out. I am sure it will be delicious. (lol)

    Reply
  9. Banana bread is one of my favorite ways to make use of overripe bananas!  Another is banana chocolate chip cupcakes!  If I have more than 3 (which is so often the case), I will make larger batches and give away the surplus.  Sometimes, however, if I don’t have time to bake, I will peel the bananas, put them in a plastic bag and freeze them until I do have time.  They will turn a bit darker and become a bit mushy but they still taste fine.  Thank you for posting!

    Reply
    • Hi there, Cynthia! I am going to have to try banana chocolate chip cupcakes some time. For some reason, I’ve been spending quite some time with baking this past week (mainly just to play with yeast, it’s quite fun to watch the dough inflate). I have also peeled the banana and freeze them before. They actually do taste about the same which is pretty great. Thanks for the reminder!

      Reply
  10. I love bananas. We never throw them away. Rarely do they make it to the point where we wonder what to do with them. Peel, slice and throw in the freezer if they get to that point and you don’t have time  for cooking. My mother would always fix babana bread with them. I prefer the ice cream like another person commented on this page. Blend frozen bananas until creamy. You think it will never happen and then BOOM it turns to a nice texture. freeze it a little more or have it soft serve. It is much healthier than real ice cream. 

    Another treat is the 2 item pancake. 1 banana and 2 eggs mixed up and cooked like pancakes. AWESOME!

    Reply
    • Hi there, Rich! That’s a great way to preserve banana life by peeling, slicing, and throwing in the freezer. I do that too when the banana is still in good shape. Definitely much healthier than ice cream! The 2 item pancake is a great idea too!

      Reply
  11. Yes I grew up with lots and lots of banana bread in the house! My mom used to bake for the shop and sell them. So I cant stand banana bread any more! We usually just freeze all the over ripe bananas, and yes they end up in lots and lots of banana bread.  But I actually stared making banana fritters…they are so much easier and the kidz love them. Banana smoothies and Banana milkshakes with a teaspoon of peanut butter in it sells well at our restaurant. And off course! Just as I notice they are becoming too ripe I make a banana cream pie! That usually gets rid of all the bananas before we though them away. The banana peels goes to the garden and if we are really stuck with too much I can always take them to the next door neighbor; he has pigs.

    Reply
    • Hi there, Michell! I noticed that with a lot of people who worked at their specific restaurants. To others the smell of the food is mouth watering, but to them (since they smell it too much), they can’t stand it. Those are all great ways to utilize bananas that you suggested. 

      Reply
  12. Uuu-uu, banana bread sounds absolutely amazing. I will have to forward this to my wife. Other than that, I really appreciate that you didn’t just provide the suggestion, but also gave just about every bit of information to help people make that one possible. I mean, I’m really looking forward to trying this tonight.

    Also, I love that recommendations section, really insightful. Personally, I believe the silicon bread loaf tray is an amazing buy. We have one at home. It’s, indeed, just so much easier than aluminum. Plus, did you know that aluminum actually gets from such a tray into the bread and can potentially cause problems since our bodies need very, very little aluminum for health (everything on top is potentially harmful)?

    Again, I loved the article, thank you, cheers.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Matiss! Thank you for your comment, hope your banana making session comes out really great! I have heard of aluminum in small doses (like vitamins) is healthy for the body but definitely not in form you brought up. The thought of ingesting metal in that form kind of scares me. Good thing for silicon trays!

      Reply
  13. Hi,

    I grew up seeing overripe bananas. They turn soggy while the banana peel may turn black or brown. That doesn’t look very appetizing. However, they are very good for our health. An overripe banana is rich in antioxidants, which is beneficial in preventing or delaying cell damage in one’s body.

    Reply
    • Hello Ann! You are right, bananas are very rich in antioxidants as well as other nutrients and minerals. Our cells go through all types of stresses. Oxygen radicals are produced as a result which are harmful to our bodies and antioxidants work by blocking all those particles.

      Reply

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