12 Great Ways to Eat Bananas


Bananas are one of the least expensive produce items on my grocery list at less than a dollar a pound. They're also an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, and folate. But who cares about nutrition when they taste so great? You can use bananas in a variety of recipes — from healthy to downright sinful — so check out this list for ideas from frozen to grilled.

1. Banana Ice Cream

I've seen a lot of banana ice cream recipes online, but this peanut butter and jelly mix is the most creative. Oh, and did I mention it contains only three ingredients? Frozen bananas, peanut butter, and jelly. Blend the peanut butter and bananas together first, then fold in your jelly. Enjoy immediately.

2. Banana Bread

Whenever you find yourself with a bunch of browning bananas, make banana bread. When the fruit is very ripe, it's especially tender and sweet. This recipe calls for 1-â…” cups all purpose flour, but consider subbing in some whole wheat (maybe around a half cup) for more nutrition.

3. Banana Cream Pie

I first came across this rich banana cream pie recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. Novice pie bakers might like to know that pate brisee, which is listed in the recipe, is a type of shortcrust pastry. You can skip this step and use a store-bought pie crust if you like.

4. Banana Brownies

These banana brownies will satisfy your sweet tooth in a major way. And they're gluten-free to boot. After you bake the moist brownie base with the best dark chocolate you can find, you'll whip up a chocolate ganache made with avocados.

5. Banana Pudding

The author of this vanilla wafer banana pudding recipe claims the dessert will make you famous. Combine one vanilla pudding packet with milk and sweetened condensed milk. Fold in Cool Whip and four bananas. Then top with lots of vanilla wafers.

6. Banana French Toast

When I was eating vegan many years ago, I used to make banana French toast all the time. Even non-vegetarians can appreciate this healthed-up brunch recipe. The banana "egg" mixture is surprisingly convincing and contains banana, almond milk, flax meal, and cinnamon. Dip, soak, cook, and enjoy with lots of maple syrup.

7. Banana Cake

Give your guests a blast from the past with Ina Garten's old-fashioned banana cake. There are a few ingredients in this recipe that take it over the top, including sour cream and orange zest. To finish, blend together a delicious cream cheese frosting. You can substitute Neufchatel cheese to cut down on fat.

8. Banana Boats

These banana boats are a unique dessert perfect for grilling and camping season. In the peel, slice your bananas lengthwise. Stuff with chocolate and peanut butter chips. Top with marshmallows. Cook on your grill until bananas have softened and peel has blackened, around 10-15 minutes.

9. Banana Oats

Here's a solid banana oatmeal recipe you'll want for breakfast each morning. Just cook oats on the stove before adding sliced bananas, honey (or maple syrup), brown sugar, and milk. Or feel free to leave out the brown sugar for a more balanced breakfast.

10. Banana Smoothie

Low on other types of fruit? Make this simple banana smoothie that's nothing more than bananas blended with ice and milk. You can also substitute yogurt for the milk. I'd use Greek yogurt for added protein power.

11. Banana Naan

This banana naan is perfect for dipping into hummus, soups, sauces, and more. You'll need just one half of a mashed banana. Mix it together with yeast, water, flour, and salt. After a half hour rise, cook on your stovetop to achieve a golden brown finish.

12. Banana Granola

Here's a snack that's low in calories and fat — honey banana granola. You'll blend the honey and banana together and then coat the oats in the mixture to bake. I recommend lining your baking pan with parchment for this recipe to avoid a sticky mess. The granola should stay fresh for around a month.

What's your favorite way to enjoy a banana?

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