Achieving perfect banana ripeness is no mean feat, and maintaining it for more than a day? That's near impossible! One minute they're hard and green, the next, soggy and brown. Once they're passed their best it's tough to know what to do with them!
While they might not taste all that great as a snack - yellow mush? No thanks - there are plenty of things that overripe bananas can be used for. From tasty treats to health and beauty remedies, discover our interesting range of ways to use bananas, no matter how ripe they are.
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How to use overripe bananas in your beauty regime
Bananas, overripe or not, are full of nutrients. This makes them a go-to ingredient for many DIY, natural beauty treatments. Try some of the following recipes to nourish your body from the outside in.
1. Make a banana scrub
Although overripe bananas may look ugly, their rich nutrients will make you look anything but. Bananas are high in vitamins A, B, E and also full of potassium, making them an ideal base for a face scrub.
2. Banana teeth whitener
Have you joined the teeth-whitening craze yet? Get brighter, whiter teeth at home with the help of a banana skin.
Remove the fruit (save this for later) and cut a square from the skin. Rub the square along your teeth for two minutes before brushing normally. Repeat every few days to see a noticeable change in the shade of your teeth.
Check out 23 more surprising ways to whiten your teeth in Colleen's article.
3. Pamper yourself with a banana face mask
The high vitamin content of overripe bananas make them the ideal choice for a natural face mask. You don't need many ingredients to knock up a seriously hydrating concoction that will do wonders for skin. Mix together:
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 overripe medium banana
Apply a thick layer to skin and sit back and relax for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
4. Banana foot softener
Let feet get too dry, and cracks may appear. These can be painful, so it's best to treat dry feet fast.
A great way to use up overripe bananas is to make a foot mask. Take half an overripe banana, add a few drops of honey, and apply to feet. Wrap your feet up in clingfilm and sit back for 10 minutes.
Wash off to reveal supple and soft feet.
Find out how to remove hard skin and get even softer feet in my other article.
5. Acne treatment
Similarly to the fruit itself, banana skin is also high in nutrition. The vitamins, along with potassium, zinc, iron and manganese help to soothe skin and reduce acne.
Lie back and place squares of the skin onto affected areas to treat them.
Find out how to prevent and treat a breakout in my other article.
6. Banana hair mask
Here at Expert Home Tips, we like to keep things as simple as possible. We loved Bellatory's ridiculously easy, two-ingredient hair mask. It promises to nourish and revive dry and damaged hair, in just 15 minutes!
If you're looking for a way to use overripe bananas and have some olive oil to hand, this nourishing, natural beauty treatment is for you.
Uses for overripe bananas in cooking
Overripe bananas can be used for a surprising amount of things in our kitchens. Grab your sorry looking bunch and get making something delicious from the list of ideas below.
7. Make a delicious dessert with your overripe bananas
Looking for a healthy dessert idea? Then that bunch of overripe bananas is just the thing!
Slice bananas in half lengthways, sprinkle with cinnamon and a tsp of honey, then bake at 190°C for 10 minutes. Serve with natural yoghurt for a delicious, guilt-free treat.
8. Banana ice cream
'A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips' - with banana ice cream, that's never the case!
Banana ice cream is amazingly easy to make, and a wonderful way to use overripe bananas.
Peel and slice the banana, then pop into a sealable bag in the freezer. Once frozen, throw the pieces into your blender and blast until smooth. You can add a tsp of peanut butter if you want an even more indulgent treat.
9. Use overripe banana to bake this delicious banana bread
It's a classic, and it's no wonder. Banana bread is an amazing treat any time of time, especially when toasted and served with a generous blob of butter.
101 CookBook's, one bowl banana bread recipe is a seriously delicious way to use up all those overripe bananas. You won't believe how incredible they taste!
10. Banana smoothies are a delicious treat
Overripe bananas are always a welcome addition to smoothies. They will bring natural sweetness to your green shake, not to mention a whole lotta energy.
Try blending half a banana, a handful of strawberries, a large handful of spinach and some ice for a healthy but yummy snack.
11. How to make banana pancakes
Have you tried banana pancakes yet? These delicious 2-ingredient pancakes are another sensationally simple way to use up those overripe bananas.
To make, mash up one banana, mix in two whisked eggs and a pinch of baking soda. Heat a pan, add a generous spray of oil, then ladle small circles of the mixture into a hot pan. Cook for one minute on each side and serve.
12. Try this flapjack recipe using overripe bananas
Who doesn't love a flapjack? Not only are they tasty, but the right recipe will provide your body with a slow release of energy throughout the day.
Speaking of good recipes, Free From Fairy has a 6-ingredient, healthy flap jack recipe that calls for an overripe banana. These naturally sweet yet indulgent treats will be gone in no time, so you'd better make two batches!
13. How to make 2-ingredient banana cookies
Overripe bananas may be shunned as a snack, but they're surprisingly useful in baking. Many vegan recipes, which omit eggs, rely on overripe bananas as a binding ingredient.
Even if you're a meat eater, you'll be amazed at how delicious vegan cookies can be. Not to mention, they're incredibly cheap and healthy too.
To make your own:
- Mash 2 overripe bananas in a large bowl.
- Blitz 2 cups of porridge oats in a blender, then stir into the bananas.
- If you fancy, you can add a sprinkle of spices like cinnamon, and also 1/2 cup of tasty additions such as raisins, chocolate chips and chopped nuts to give extra texture and flavour.
- Place large tablespoons of the mixture onto a lined and greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180°C until the cookies have set and are golden in colour.
14. Your dogs will love these banana dog treats
Not convinced by these uses for overripe bananas? I know someone that will be - your pup.
17Apart has a ridiculously good-looking dog biscuit recipe that calls for overripe bananas. Make up a big batch, freeze, and you'll have delicious doggy treats on hand whenever you need them.
How to use overripe bananas to enhance your health
Bananas are full of nutrients that have a highly beneficial impact on our health. Here are just some of the ways overripe bananas can help you.
15. Bananas ease heartburn
Bananas are alkaline which make them a useful treatment for sufferers of heartburn or acid reflux. When ingested, they have a neutralising effect on high levels of acid in the stomach.
Just another reason to use some of your overripe bananas in the recipes above!
16. Overripe bananas make quitting smoking easier
It sounds too good to be true, but bananas can reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This is due to their high vitamin content, along with magnesium and potassium. These nutrients help the body to overcome the effects of quitting smoking.
17. Banana skin soothes sunburn
Love the sun, hate the burn? If you overdo it in the heat, rub the inside of a banana skin onto sensitive areas to soothe it.
18. How to sleep better
They often say we shouldn't eat after 8pm, but if you are finding yourself hungry late at night, a banana is the perfect choice.
The magnesium and potassium in bananas help to relax muscles, which tryptophan helps calm the brain. Zzzzz, I'm falling asleep just thinking about it.
Are your daily habits ruining your sleep? Read Colleen's article to find out!
19. Remove warts using an overripe banana peel
This is a bit of a bizarre one, but we're up for trying anything where warts are concerned!
Many people claim to have seen a significant improvement in warts after using a banana skin. To try it, tape a small square of banana skin, flesh side down, onto the wart. Sleep with the peel in place and wake up to reduced symptoms.
20. Banana tea works wonders for depression
Could bananas be the key to curing depression? Megsanity claims there are many benefits to drinking tea made from banana peels, and even shows you how to make it on her blog.
If you've got overripe bananas lying around, why not give it a go?
21. How to use overripe bananas on splinters
Splinters can be painful, no matter what age you are! Don't mess around with tweezers - you could make matters worse.
Instead, grab one of those overripe bananas, cut a square from the skin, and tape it, flesh down, over the splinter. Leave it there overnight, and the banana will actually draw the splinter out.
How to use overripe bananas around the home
These uses for overripe bananas just keep on coming! Not only are they nutritious, but their texture makes them ideal for cleaning and numerous other things.
22. How to polish plants using a banana peel
What better way to clean nature than with nature? Dusty and dull plant leaves can soon be revived with the inside of a banana skin. Rub it over to lift dirt, dust, and give your plants a sparkling sheen.
23. Deter aphids
Having aphid issues in your garden? Don't let these bugs ruin your plants - deter them with the help of banana skins.
Cut banana peel into pieces and bury them near your plants to keep aphids away.
There are loads of other natural ways to keep bugs at bay. Read about them in our other article.
24. How to repair a scratched CD using an overripe banana
There's nothing more annoying than a skipping CD. Grab an overripe banana to get it playing smoothly again.
Rub a freshly cut banana flesh over the scratches, then wipe with the inside of the banana peel. Wipe with a clean cloth, dry with some toilet paper, and enjoy your songs skip free.
25. Give compost a boost with overripe bananas
If your bananas are well and truly past their best, a great idea is to throw them into compost. Cut peels into smaller pieces to speed up the composting process.
Your plants will love you for it!
26. How to ripen an underripe avocado with an overripe banana
Now this is a life hack to remember! Bananas release ethylene which speeds up the process of certain other fruits and vegetables. One of these is avocado. Put the two together, and that hard avocado will soon be ready to mash on tomorrow's toast.
27. Write cute messages
Cards? No thanks. Leave your loved one a cute surprise by writing a message on an overripe banana. Far from being off-putting, the brown speckled on the skin will actually add to the cuteness.
This a truly unique way to brighten someone's day.
28. Tenderise meat
Tough meat can completely ruin a meal.
This life hack using overripe bananas will ensure it stays succulent, even if you're not a great cook!
Place a banana peel on top of meat in the roasting pan, and it will be deliciously tender come suppertime.
29. Clean shoes using banana peel
Once you've finished making one of the delicious treats above with your overripe banana fruit, be sure to utilise the peel too.
Much like plant leaves, using the inside of a banana skin on wiped-down shoes will give them a gorgeous polished sheen - try it!
Who knew there were so many uses for bananas? Which one will you be trying first?