What to do with overripe bananas?
Updated: Jul 9
We've all gone to the grocery store, seen a bunch of just-nearly perfectly ripe bananas, and set them in our baskets with plan to eat them. But, three days later, you look at your fruit bowl and find ick! mushy, spotty bananas. You know that they'd be perfect for cooking, but you just don't have the time for them today and toss them into the compost, a little angry with yourself over such a waste.
But, no! Don't toss out those brown and black bananas, pop them into the freezer. You'll have the perfect baking bananas on hand when you do have the time to bake. And, if you make this bread, that's not much time at all. This recipe takes only five to ten minutes to mix up in a stand mixer. However, it does take about one hour and fifteen minutes to bake.
Overripe bananas can do double duty in baked goods, keeping them moist while adding subtle flavor and subtle sweetness without additional sugar. Banana bread recipes often call for more than one cup of added sugars. In this recipe, I supplemented with no-sugar-added applesauce to add more fruity sweetness so that I could decrease the amount of added sugar.
Tips for Using Frozen Overripe Bananas
Let them defrost at least partially before cooking with them. You may wish to place them in the refrigerator overnight or set them on the counter for an hour or two before baking with them.
Peel them over the sink while the warm water is running. I have found this makes it easier to remove the peel when they are still a little frozen.
When in the freezer, the bananas will continue to turn entirely brown, but don't worry, they still bake normally.
Freeze one banana at a time or the whole bunch. This is a great way to "save up" your old bananas until you have the right amount of the recipe you wish to bake.
1 cup cane sugar
½ cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup no-sugar-added applesauce
3 medium or about 1½ cups overripe bananas
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Move oven rack to the lowest position. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Place bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until smashed. Add sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and applesauce to the bowl and mix on a low-setting. Pour in cream slowly as it mixes. In another bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to stand mixer bowl as well and combine into a wet batter. Then add in walnuts, and stir allowing the nuts to break apart a bit.
Scrape the batter into the greased pan with a rubber spatula. Cook in preheated oven for one hour and fifteen minutes to one hour and twenty minutes. You may use the toothpick test to check for doneness. Allow to cool completely before removing the loaf from the pan.
Janae J. Almen is a professional music instructor, composer, sound artist, and writer. She has a BA in Music/Education from Judson University and a MM in Computer Music/Composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She is the founder of Perennial Music and Arts and is passionate about sharing her love of music and arts.