How can I reuse or recycle very brown bananas?

BananasFollowing on from the soggy apples earlier in the month, I have some VERY brown bananas sat on my kitchen counter at the moment.

I bought them a few weeks ago to make a loaf of banana bread for my friend’s birthday but they were under-ripe when I bought them and my banana bread always works best with slightly over-ripe ‘nanas (great for using them up once they’re just past eating-raw best) so I left them to ripen. Then I didn’t end up seeing my friend when I thought I would and got distracted by the billion other things going on in my life at the moment and so the banana bread never got made.

I think they’re past the eating point now – even in bread form – but I’m still keen to use them. Like with the apples, I know they can be mixed with honey & oatmeal to make a facemask, or with cream (or yoghurt) & a little honey to make a hair conditioner.

But any other suggestions what I can do with the remaining couple once I’m pampered to oblivion? And any natty suggestions for using the peels?

(Photo by pzado – mine are considerably browner than these!)

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21 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle very brown bananas?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    The first thing I would say is prevention. Once bananas get to the make bread stage and you see you are not going to make it, then freeze them.

    If you fail to freeze them, then use the banana peels for your roses. Dig a little spot near your rose, lay the banana there, then cover up. It will provide potassium for the soil.

    • Rosalind says:

      Good for tomato plants also – and presumably other members of the solonaceae family such as peppers and aubergines.

  2. Malva says:

    I freeze mine once they’re brown all over. So way over ripe.

    Slightly thawed bananas is all I ever use to make banana bread. When you get them out of the freezer, they’ll be completely black. When it’s time to add your cup of mashed banana (or whatever your recipe calls for), just cut a slit from one to the other and sqeeze the mush out and mix. No need to mash anything.

    • Sara says:

      I like to discard the skins first (compost!) and then freeze them. They taste really yummy when their slightly thawed (just enough until they’re not stine hard) and add Splenda and cinnamon. Also good with frozen blue berries (and really healthy!).

  3. K says:

    I always make banana bread or cake with really over ripe bananas. Maybe i’m doing it all wrong…

  4. John B says:

    the liquid obtained from simmering 1lb of over-ripe bananas in 1 pint of water for 20 minutes then straining through a double thickness of muslin, can be added to a fruit wine recipe (to replace an equal amount of water). This will give the wine a fuller body.

  5. Mosaik says:

    Banana fritters eg
    The skins end up in the compost.

  6. Helen Simonar says:

    You can cut the bananas in 5 – 6 pieces and freeze. Later you can mix them in a blender with plain yogurt and berries (frosen or fresch) maybe add a little fruit juice and drink for breakfast. I like that breakfast it last long and is healthy.

  7. Delusion says:

    From the Friends of the Earth Tip of the Day!

    “For a rich and natural face pack for dry winter skin, mash 1 egg yolk, 2tsp almond oil and 1 ripe banana into a paste. Apply to your face and leave for 10 mins, then remove with cool water and pat dry.”

  8. Ariana says:


    From “Zero Hour”, an epic poem of Central America’s history, by Ernesto Cardenal:

    And the bananas rotting in the railroad cars.
    So there’ll be no cheap bananas
    And so that there’ll be bananas cheap,
    19 cents a bunch.
    The workers get IOUs instead of wages.
    Instead of payment, debts,
    And the plantations are abandoned, for they’re useless now,
    and given to colonies of unemployed.
    And the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica
    with its subsidiaries the Costa Rica Banana Company
    and the Northern Railway Company and
    the International Radio Telegraph Company
    and the Costa Rica Supply Company
    are fighting in court against an orphan.
    The cost of derailment is $25 in damages
    (but it would have cost more to repair the track).

    And congressmen, cheaper than mules, Zemurray used to say.
    Sam Zemurray, the Turkish banana peddler
    in Mobile, Alabama, who one day took a trip to New Orleans
    and on the wharves saw United throwing bananas into the sea
    and he offered to buy all the fruit to make vinegar,
    he bought it, and he sold it right there in New Orleans
    and United had to give him land in Honduras
    to get him to break his contract in New Orleans,
    and that’s how Sam Zemurray came to appoint presidents in Honduras.

  9. jgodsey says:

    saute with butter, sugar and perhaps some walnuts….and serve with CREPES!!

  10. Nancy says:

    A past-its-prime banana banana is perfect for a milkshake! Peel it, freeze it, cut it into 1″ cubes, add 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and blend. Yummy!

  11. Pat says:

    You can make a fruit fly trap with an old banana, put a chunk of banana in the bottom of a jar, leave it a couple hours and the fruit flies will be in the jar. Put the lid on quickly and flush them with water. I once threw an old banana at an escaped potbelly pig who was rooting in my flowers. He ate it and then was chased away by the neighborhood kids trying to capture him.

  12. Banana Lover says:

    I always freeze mine then make choclate overed banana’s out of them. You can buy a choclate banana making packet at the store for like 2 bucks. IT has directions and everything plus their really really goood!

  13. jess says:

    Banana Bread is much moister and yummier with dark brown bananas!!

  14. karen says:

    i use my banana skins to wipes the dust off my swiss cheese plant and some other houseplants.
    the leaves are lovley and shinny

  15. Janet says:

    When you have eaten your banana, and are left with the skin give it to your guinea pigs, or rabbits they love them.

  16. Ruti says:

    I like to use squidgy bananas in porridge to sweeten it as it’s probably better than refined sugar. When in a semi squidgy state (not liquid!) they can be used to bind cookie mixture together, great if someone you know has an egg allergy, plus you can use less sugar in the recipe.

  17. Ruti says:

    oh yes, and we use the banana skins in our nappy bin – it masks the smellI’ve seen paper made of banana skin too, but I don’t know how.

  18. jay says:

    freeze them. then shove them through a blender with a long mixing stick. do this long enough, and you will start to see the banana mix turn into a creamy sort of texture, like soft serve. this, my friend, is the best banana treat you’lll ever have, and you can use the brownest bananas: banana ICE CREAM. if you have even a decent blender, you should be able to mimic very closely the texture of ice cream without all the cow breast milk (i’m not comfortable with breast feeding from a barnyard animal, i don’t even breast feed from my own mother anymore, most adults don’t. but i guess all people look at are 2 things a. can i eat this without dying? b. what vitamins and minerals does it have. and they neglect c. what are the possible harmful things it does for your body, and d. where else can you get those same vitamins and minerals.)

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