Love your Leftovers – Bananas

Mar 17, 2020 | 7 comments


Over ripe bananas, we all get them. We buy nice, ripe bananas, and blink, before we know it, they’re over ripe, and not nice to eat. I like them riper than my husband, who likes them at that teeth roughening, under ripe stage. But they go from that stage to black in a couple of days sometimes. And although I like bananas, my husband buys loads of the things and sometimes we don’t keep up!

5 ways to save when you go shopping - bananas

Huffington Post reckons that we waste a shocking 162 million bananas every year in Britain alone!

Wiki has lots of interesting information on bananas and their cultivation.  Bananas are a powerhouse of nutrition, high in potassium and magnesium

How to extend the life of your bananas

  • Buy them really green and they’ll keep for days longer
  • Keep them in a bowl on their own. The gases from other fruit hastens the ripening of the bananas
  • Don’t keep on the worktop, the hard surface will bruise them over a couple of days. They’re really quite delicate. Perhaps try a banana tree to hang them on to protect them
  • Take them out of the plastic bag as soon as you get home
  • If they are ripe, and you won’t be eating them for a few days, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them
  • Wrapping the stems (the crown) in plastic wrap or tin foil prevents the escape of ethylene from the stems. This works even better if you carefully separate the bunch and wrap the end of each one individually
  • If your bananas are heading towards too ripe, pop them into a bag in the freezer and use them for smoothies or baking
  • Freeze them in their skins and eat them half frozen, like ice cream

Ideas to use ripe bananas

  • If your bananas are heading towards too ripe, pop them into a bag in the freezer and use them for smoothies or baking
  • Pat Parker says she freezes hers in their skins and eat them half frozen, like ice cream
  • Mash them onto hot buttered toast
  • Freeze in slices ready for all sort of good things
  • Make banana pancakes. Mix together a mashed banana, a little flour and melted butter and fry
  • Banana milkshake
  • Paula Chapman was thinking she could chop them in sections, freeze, coat in peanut butter freeze, dip in chocolate and maybe sprinkles, freeze . Put on a stick if you like
  • Love a bit of banana custard! Some like it when the bananas are sliced and cold custard poured over. But for me, it has to be sliced banana and hot custard poured over
  • Or in a sandwich, with lovely salted butter, a drizzle of lemon juice and perhaps some crunchy peanut butter
  • Vicky Archibald suggests hanging one in a tree for the insects and butterflies who love them!
  • Substitute banana for an egg when baking
  • If you have a dehydrator, you could try drying them in slices
  • Banana chocolate chip muffins


Chewy banana chips

Guzzi Elizabet Franks says that a great way to use up overly ripe bananas is to make chewy banana chips. The picture was a full plate but the little human ate most of them. Really filling too! Literally slice, dip in lemon and bake on greaseproof paper at 150° until golden.

Don’t they sound good. I’ll have to try that

Raisin and Banana Oaty Bites

Tracey Jackson makes this cheap healthy snack…..Raisin and Banana Oaty bites. Mash 4 bananas, mix with 125g oats and 75g raisins

Mix together. Use a spoon to make 18 bites onto grease proof paper. Into the oven at 160 (fan oven) 15 mins.

Banana Scones

Pat Parker makes Banana Scones which sound lovely

In a bowl, mix 200g sr flour, 50g butter, 2 ripe bananas and a dash milk
Split into 8 portions and cook for 10 mins on Gas 5/ 180C

Banana Chocolate Mug Cakes

These banana chocolate mug cakes are fabulous

Your Kids Will Go Bananas For These Desserts

These desserts are so good it's bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Posted by Tasty on Saturday, 25 May 2019



Banana ice cream

Banana ice cream, or nice cream as it’s often known is a wonderful way to use ripe bananas

Chocolate covered Katie has masses of ideas for different flavours

The classic use it up recipe

Banana cake or banana bread

The classic use for over ripe bananas is banana bread. I even chop up the peel and use that as well in this quick and easy recipe!  You can add walnut pieces to make banana walnut bread, or try cashews; ripple through jam or peanut butter once the mix is in the tin.

Add raisins or other dried fruit. Use wholemeal flour or dark brown sugar. Zest in a lemon and some lemon juice, or orange. All these things change the flavour and allow you to change things up.

Or you could swap out the banana for any other fruit that’s soft, cooked pears for instance or tinned apricots. Or maybe cook some apples that have gone wrinkly, and use those. All these different fruits will give a different flavour

Once cooked and cooled, spread with butter and/or jam or peanut butter if you like. I like it for breakfast, toasted, with crunchy peanut butter and apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon

Quick Banana Bread

Ideas to use up ripe bananas in savoury dishes

For a Caribbean type curry, over ripe bananas work beautifully. A Good Appetite create this lush sounding chicken version

Chicken & Banana Curry

Baked Savory Bananas

Bananas wrapped in ham with a stilton sauce poured over, then baked in the oven. This recipe is from Aldi


Spicy Banana Courgette Balls

This is a finger food recipe using courgette and bananas in a batter and deep fried. Never come across that combination before!

Spicy Banana Zucchini Balls

Chicken Curry with Apple, Banana and Tomato

Here’s another chicken curry by,  it only uses 1 banana though


Banana and Ginger Chutney

Banana would make a great chutney, if you like sweet ones

I couldn’t find many savoury uses for an over ripe banana, if you find any more, let me know and I’ll add them in


Ideas to use up over ripe bananas

The most frequent thing I do with soft bananas is make a smoothie with them. I whizz them with a whole apple and a splash of orange juice and enjoy them as breakfast or lunch. I don’t tend to add any dairy, but milk or yogurt, or even ice cream are good.


Add one to carrot cake

A tip from Mandy Jayne is to add an over-ripe banana to carrot cake, keeps it really moist

Hang a ripe banana in a tree!

Vicky Archibald suggests hanging one in a tree for the insects and butterflies who love them!

Banana and grape crumble

Gillian Anthony says that a good way to use up old bananas is to make a crumble with them, adding some halved grapes. Make sure you cut the grapes in half or they explode hot juice in your mouth and burn.

Christmas crumble

Gillian also says to make a crumble topping. Then for the base, use an apple, pear, one banana, cranberries cut in half, tablespoon of mincemeat.

Banana, nut and chocolate spread

Thanks to Rose Rye for this one
Mash 2 ripe bananas and add the juice of half a lemon.  Add 2 tblsp of cocoa or carob powder and 40g ground almonds.
Makes a fab chocolate spread for toast. Keeps for a week in the fridge, or freezes well

I have tried this and it’s fabulous. I also added a pot of double cream and a big dollop of thick yogurt and froze it as ice cream – delicious!

Manchester Tart

Susan Joyce Bracegirdle offered the suggestion of a Manchester tart. Use a pastry base, spread with jam, cover with sliced bananas, then custard, (after it has cooled a little) then coconut.

Microwave banana pudding

How about a BBC Good Food recipe, microwave banana pudding – sounds good to me

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters

I really want some of these banana fritters from Tasty

Can I eat banana peel?

I’m asked sometimes if the peel, or skin, of over ripe bananas can be used. I’ve done some research about it as I was intrigued to know the answer. In short, it seems to be perfectly alright to eat banana peels. Wiki says that banana peel is often used for animal feed, water purification, to produce ethanol and as compost.

I often use over ripe banana peel in banana cake now. It disappears and you can’t tell it’s there!

Banana peels contain protein and masses of fibre too, which we would all benefit from having more of.


Banana Peel Cake

Banana Peel Cake


Sarah Wilson has written extensively on zero waste cooking. Her book looks great, but it’s a bit expensive right now, I’ll wait for a copy to be much cheaper, then I’ll get it

40 ways to use over ripe bananas

Want some more ideas? How about 40 more! 

Pat says that your rose bushes would say thank you to some banana peels on the ground at the base of the bush. cover them with a little dirt. Pat says that she didn’t as they turn black so quick and shrivel up , but the rose bushes were very lush and bloomed and bloomed.

over ripe bananas



  1. Thrifty Lesley

    You’re very welcome

  2. Sarah

    Thank you for this comprehensive list of suggestions, lots of variety.

  3. Thrifty Lesley

    I’m definitely going to try that, thanks

  4. Pat

    Your rose bushes would say thank you to some banana peels on the ground at the base of the bush. cover them with a little dirt, ( I didn’t they turn black so quick and shrivel up , but the rose bushes were very lush and bloomed and bloomed.)

  5. Thrifty Lesley

    I’ve added a few, but most recipes called for firm or unripe bananas, and this post is about using up over ripe ones

  6. Thrifty Lesley

    Didn’t notice any, but then I wasn’t looking. I’ll see what I can find

  7. Jeannie

    Excellent comprehensive gathering of ideas and recipes using this really overlooked simple “self-wrapped food”. Are there any ideas for savoury uses?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you!

I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community.