Do you ever find yourself with leftover bananas that are past their best? It’s as if they’ve turned from an unripe green to brown and speckled in hours! Blending up a tasty smoothie is often our go-to solution, but what if you have several bananas to use up?
In this article – guest author, Adam Bogatin, shares 5 awesome recipes for using up leftover bananas along with practical tips on freezing them.
Bananas are a staple of any fruit bowl because their colour and shape make them stand out. They’re also a relatively inexpensive fruit that is packed with potassium but as you may have noticed, they go off pretty fast.
So next time you think about throwing out those bananas that are turning a little brown – why not freeze them? This article will teach you how to properly freeze bananas and 5 recipes you can make with leftover bananas.
How to freeze a whole banana (without peel)
You don’t have to unpeel the banana, but taking the peel off later when it’s frozen can be a bit of a hassle. It’s easier to do it before it goes in the freezer.
Freezing whole bananas is great when you still want to munch on the banana later but don’t know when you’ll get around to snacking on it. Put the banana in a zip lock bag, squeeze the air out, and place it in the freezer.
You might also like… our Banana Smoothie Health Benefits Infographic
How to freeze banana slices
If you’re someone who likes preparing food ahead of time, you can slice up the banana before it gets frozen. This is ideal for people who want to throw all their smoothie ingredients into a blender in the morning to save time.
Once you’ve sliced your banana, place the banana slices on a piece of baking paper and flash freeze them for two hours. It’s important to only do a single layer of banana slices at a time.
After two hours, take the banana out and place them into a zip lock bag and put them back into the freezer until they’re ready to be used. Alternatively, you could buy a packet of pre-sliced frozen banana to save even more time!
How to freeze banana mash
So, you mashed some bananas to make banana bread but have way too much. Oops. That’s fine, you can still freeze it. Put the mash into a zip lock bag, squeeze the air out and freeze it flat.
Top tip: Write the amount of banana mash on the bag so you don’t have to measure it next time you use it.
5 recipes using leftover or frozen bananas
Bananas are a great leftover ingredient because they taste great in both sweet and savoury dishes, plus go well in smoothies too. Below are five tasty recipes that you can make with your leftover bananas that require few ingredients and aren’t banana bread!
#1 Baked chocolate bananas
Chocolate and banana are a winning combination. This fruity and delicious treat is perfect to pop on the barbeque next time your friends come around.
- 4 bananas
- 65g of chocolate buttons
- Vanilla dairy-free ice-cream, to serve
- Heat BBQ (alternatively heat oven to 200 °C).
- Make a slit through the skin of the bananas along one side (be careful not to cut through to the other side)
- Place chocolate buttons inside the cut (use a fork to push them in gently)
- Put each banana onto a sheet of foil and fold the edges to seal it into a parcel
- Leave it on the BBQ for about 15 minutes or until chocolate starts to melt into the banana (25 minutes in the oven).
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and enjoy!
#2 Tropical banana martini
Martinis are a great drink to have at a cocktail bar, but they’re equally enjoyable at home. You only need a few ingredients to create this creamy banana martini. Before you start making this drink though, make sure you’ve got a cocktail shaker, strainer, and a shot glass to measure the alcohol.
- 45ml vodka
- 6 banana slices
- 15ml Kahlua
- 10ml crème de banana
- Ice cubes
- Muddle the banana slices in the bottom of the cocktail shaker until mushy
- Measure and add the vodka, Kahlua, and crème de banana to the shaker
- Fill cocktail shaker to the top with ice cubes
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds
- Strain into a martini glass (you may find double straining necessary to avoid banana chunks in your glass)
- Garnish martini glass with a banana slice, umbrella, or garnish preference and enjoy!
To make two martinis, double all ingredients. Don’t make more than two martinis in one shaker or you’ll end up covered in liquid and smell like a banana yourself!
#3 Banana colada smoothie
No, this one isn’t alcoholic (although you can make it so if you choose), but it’s just as tasty as a pina colada and is nutritious too!
- 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks)
- ¾ cup of frozen strawberries
- ¾ cup freshly cut pineapple
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup dairy-free yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Coconut shavings (or nuts) for topping
- Put banana slices and coconut into blender and turn it on high
- Add strawberries, pineapple and yoghurt
- Blend until the smoothie is one colour
- Add the vanilla extract and blend until combined (add ice cubes if liquid isn’t thick enough)
- Pour smoothie into a glass and top with coconut shavings or nuts
#4 Banana Bonanza Acai Bowl
Acai bowls are a refreshing and healthy breakfast dish, plus a great way to use up any fruit, nuts, or coconut you have lying around. Acai bowls will leave you feeling energised for the day.
- 2 frozen acai blend sachets
- ½ cup of frozen banana slices
- ¼ cup of protein powder
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of granola
- 1 banana sliced
- ¼ cup of coconut shavings
- 1 kiwi fruit sliced
- Add all the bowl ingredients into a blender on high and blend until mixture is thick and smooth.
- Spoon into a bowl
- Place toppings on top of blended ingredients to your liking and enjoy!
Top tip: a blender that comes with a tamper will give your acai bowl a thicker consistency.
#5 Banana ice cream
This is a no-fuss, easy-peasy banana ice-cream. A delicious after school treat for your kids or for adults who are young at heart.
- 4 bananas, flash frozen slices (see ‘How to freeze banana slices’ above)
- ¼ cup of dairy-free milk
- 2 tablespoons of toasted almonds
- 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce (or your sauce of choice)
- Place flash frozen banana slices into a food processor and gradually add milk
- Stop when the texture is creamy
- Scoop into a bowl or glass and squeeze sauce and toasted almonds on top
About the Author – Adam Bogatin
Adam Bogatin is the owner of wholesale frozen food supplier Purple Foods in Australia. Adam has pioneered the rise of Acai in Australia and has over 10 years of experience working in the frozen food industry.