Using up Ripe Bananas

I went a little bananas at the store last week, but that’s not so unusual.  Bananas are one of our favorite frugal fruits, especially when they are “red-taped” for 29¢ per pound!  That’s as low as they go around here, and my children are trained to spot them aisles away.

Frugal is as frugal does, and although we can snarf a bunch or two before the sugar spots take over, even my banana-lovin’ bunch can’t eat that many fresh bananas in a few days.  So what exactly does one do with 14 pounds of bananas purchased at the same time?

1.  Smoothies – I peel lots of them, break them in half, and freeze them for a few hours.  Transfer the frozen bananas into a gallon freezer bag for weeks of tasty smoothies.  You do make your own smoothies, don’t you?

2.  Add them to pancakes and waffles. Make your favorite breakfasts just a little sweeter and healthier with the addition of a mashed, ripe banana to the batter.

3.  Slice them over a bowl of steamy oatmeal, or even cold cereal. My kids think they’re having dessert for breakfast when I offer Cheerios with bananas!

4.  Winter Fruit Salad and Favorite Fruit Salad are always a hit at the end of a meal.

5.  Kate’s Bananas Foster Sauce rocked my world the first time I tried it with pancakes.  And then… I made her Butter Pecan Banana WafflesSinful. Those will be on our menu when we open our Bed & Breakfast (someday).  She also has a Layered Bananas Foster Pudding that looks pretty yummy.

6.  If you need some gluten-free banana goodness, try Baked Bananas or Banana Cobbler.

7.  Mash and freeze for baking. Add a bit of lemon juice, but yes, they will still darken.  That’s okay!  Some recipes to try with mashed bananas:

Do you go bananas when you buy bananas? What do you do with all of them?

This post is linked to


  1. Definitely make my own smoothies!! What a geat banana round-up!
    A ‘treat’ smoothie I make that uses bananas is Elephant Monkey Choco-Delight. And last week I made some yummy Straight and Narrow Banana Cookies and ate more than half myself over a period of 3 days (not kidding). I left out the choco chips and ground cloves and they were still good!

  2. Oh, I LOVE stocking up on bananas! Confession? No one in my family (except the baby) likes actual bananas “as is”… it’s a texture thing for us. But we all scarf down banana baked goods or smoothies/shakes! My dad somehow stumbled upon a giant paper bag FULL of ripe bananas for 89 cents a while back and we were the beneficiaries of many of those. I was thrilled! I’ll definitely have to check out some of your linked recipes up there…

  3. Oh yum. You are the BEST, Amy! How do you find and know all this stuff?!

    I need to buy bananas and freeze them for oatmeal and pancakes. Why have I not thought of this?!!

    We eat bananas like they are going out of style!

    {thanks for linking up today, friend!}


  4. Bananas disappear rather fast around here, too. But, I never can walk past the clearanced bananas without stocking up for the freezer. My family LOVES Kate’s Banana Foster Sauce. I’ll have to check out the others.

  5. In case you are interested, it is not necessary to peel the bananas before you freeze them. 🙂 All a person ‘needs’ to do is simply put them in the freezer, peel and all!!! The peel helps to keep them from getting freezer burnt. When you are ready to use them, run them under the water faucet (warm water I think) until the peel softens, and can be removed.
    Works for me.

  6. Those are great uses for ripe bananas. If all else fails (which it shouldn’t) put them in the compost:-)

  7. This is the perfect post for me today because I have several overripe bananas and I haven’t been able to talk myself into banana bread yet (although it’s one I LOVE!). Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to try out the sauce and waffles. Sounds heavenly.

  8. You know what else is awesome? banana ice cream- and it’s SUPER easy. When the bananas are slighty brown, you peel and slice them into bigger chunks and stick them in the freezer overnight. Then you can pop them into a food proccessor or blender and mix (until what you have looks like couscous). Stir it and serve it like ice cream, the texture comes out perfectly- and it’s so much healthier than ice cream (plus, my kids can’t tell the difference). You can even add other things (pb, chocolate, strawberries).

  9. Bananas weren’t my big fruit purchase last week…it was STRAWBERRIES! For some reason, bananas (no matter how many I buy) don’t last long here, but I’m going to hide some next time and try your fruit salads!

  10. I make Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins…they’re so good – and I don’t even like Banana muffins! Somehow I think the chocolate is why I eat them 🙂 I use this recipe and sub mashed bananas for the pumpkin.

  11. Drying them in the dehydrator is fun, too! Banana chips anyone?

  12. Banana pancakes are on of my absolute FAVORITE things in the world. Especially with pecans, or chocolate chips. Heaven…. I have a great recipe for a mix-in-pan chocolate chocolate chip banana cake. I love my friend’s sour cream banana bread and I must try Kate’s banana pudding. I saw that the other day–yum!

  13. Banana-Chocolate Chip muffins are a favorite around here!

  14. I got 16 boxes of strawberries for $4 this week…lots of zuchinni and squash too…love clearanced produce 🙂

  15. Yes I make my own smoothies so I am definitely going to be freezing some! Thanks for the tip!

  16. I love love love bananas we go through them like crazy. And if any ever go brown I throw then in the freezer for banana pancakes, muffins, cake, etc.

    I have a newer recipe that I just love almost like a banana foster.

  17. Wowsa! So are you going bananas? LOL!
    Thank you for all the great uses for bananas. WHen they are going bad, I pop them peel and all into the freezer. Pop them out and defrost in micro to make banana bread, banana brunch cake, smoothies. 😀

    • I do peel and all sometimes… but I really prefer the “look” for smoothies when I peel then freeze. Maybe because I let them defrost too long in the peel? Brown and mushy. Ick. 😉

  18. I definately go bananas over marked down bananas! We love them around here! I love that I can use bananas in my smoothies and not add sugar!! We make all sorts of things as well with ours. Thanks so much for your recipes! Love your site

  19. THANK YOU for this!!! My husband ALWAYS buys too much … EVERYTHING… when I send him to the store. I can say “a can of beans” and he’ll buy three. Why? I have NO IDEA! Well, I asked him to get some bananas… he bought not one but TWO BUNCHES?! How in the heck he thought we’d EVER go through 10 bananas in a few days is BEYOND me! 🙂 I’ll be making some banana bread… mashing some… freezing some.. thanks! 🙂

  20. Found your site through parentingthetiniestmiracle.blogspot…love it! I buy the bananas that way, also because my fam loves my banana bread! It’s a ridiculously easy recipe, but the best I’ve had yet! I’m all about from-scratch cooking and baking, but this recipe is what I call ‘easy scratch’! I’ll post it for tomorrow since I’m moving and have to use up my bananas anyway! (I freeze them and they’ll keep forever!) Looking forward to linking up on Friday!

  21. We used to get bananas for $0.19/pound every wednesday, until they stopped their promotion last week! 🙁 But here is what I did with them!
    this is an AWESOME recipe! Yum! And healthy enough for breakfast!

  22. Frozen bananas are the best. If you take a few frozen bananas and a hand full of frozen strawberries and just enough milk to blend everything together it makes a healthy strawberry banana ice cream.

  23. Oh my goodness I want to try everyone of those recipes you linked to!! YUM!! I’ll also just eat them frozen … and w/chocolate is even yummier. Thanks for the tips!!

  24. Oh banana cobbler.. .that sounds interesting! Thanks for all the banana recipes. 🙂

  25. We definately go bananas at our house. Hubby used the dehydrator on a bunch of them before I left on vacation. My son’s family loved them. The daughter’s family, just OK.
    We make smoothies too….love to add some peanut butter in there for my protein as a meal.
    I’ll usually just bake up the banana or banana pineapple bread and freeze the loaves.
    Not always, so there are frozen bananas in both freezers. LOL
    Wow, 29 cents a pound, you got a fantabulous bargain.

  26. Oh, sometimes I do go bananas for bananas!! My family loves banana bread.

    Funny thing: I don’t like bananas at all. Not even the smell of them!

  27. Those are some great tips! I don’t think bananas ever get that cheap up here in Vancouver but they do get cheapish. I’ll have to start paying attention to the price of them from now on.

  28. I do this also for smoothies. YUMMY.

  29. Great ideas, and $0.29 per pound is a great price for bananas! I haven’t seen them that low in a long time where I live. We like to use bananas in smoothies and banana bread. :0)

  30. Great ideas! I think I’ll stock up on some bananas next time thy’re on sale. I love smoothies but they are a splurge in the grocery budget but not this way!

  31. Definitely great tips! We go through bunches…Costco is our best bet at 1.32, give or take, per bunch…love it when they go on sale any lower.

  32. Oh, we love bananas here. I’m definitely going to have to try those recipes!

    Our Kroger puts bananas on sale for 29 cents sometimes – but they package them in 3# bags!

  33. Monday I made a fabulous banana coconut cream pie. I’d say this is a fantastic way to use up bananas AND impress guests. Oh, how I wished I’d kept it at home rather than having sent it to work with Husband. Thankfully, we did have enough to make ourselves a teensy weensy pie to share. Can’t wait to try your banana recipe links!

  34. I forgot to mention another great way to use bananas: freeze them solid, transfer to a food processor and process until creamy and nearly ice-cream like. Serve as ice cream and top with peanuts, chocolate sauce, strawberries, etc. A backwards banana split of sorts.

  35. I freeze banana’s for later baking all the time! I love your other suggestions though, I’ll have to give them a try!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  36. Hi there! I am dropping in from Frugal Friday.

    I enjoyed your post. I make a yummy banana rum bread with my ripe ones. I have seen these red-taped bananas in other blogs, too. What stores do this? I have never seen these elusive bananas.

    Stop by and see me when you get a chance over at Free 2 Be Frugal.


  37. We love bananas too!
    Last month when the boys went to the grandparent’s house, I was left with a bunch of bananas that were overly ripe, and not going to last more than a day or two. On a whim, I threw them in the freezer hoping that was ok, and they could still be used for recipes!
    And now after reading this, I’m glad I didn’t throw them away!
    Now I just hae to decide which recipes to try with them! 🙂

  38. I just came across a “recipe” the other day. You slice & freeze the bananas. Then when you want “ice cream”, just whiz the frozen banana slices in a food processor until creamy. I never knew this was an option, but I’m going to try it!

  39. I use my food saver vacuum sealer when I freeze bananas, it keeps them from not turn brown too. I will usually package them into different quantities and label them bananna bread, smoothies, etc. Love doing this since my kids do not like brown bananas… Plus the vacuum sealer will keep them from getting freezer burn- if they fall to the back of the freezer-lol!

    • I haven’t invested in one of those yet, but we use them up quick enough that I don’t have to worry about browning. I have often wondered about a sealer, though!


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