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Seven inventive banana recipes you should try

Whether you enjoy them as a breakfast on the run or an afternoon pick-me-up, a sweet, ripe banana makes a great choice for a burst of energy when needed. Beyond just snacking though, bananas are great additions to a whole host of sweet and savoury recipes and can be cooked in a number of inventive ways. Our banana recipes below will show you how to get the most from this fruit by baking, barbecuing and even adding to curries.

  1. Breakfast of champions

    Beloved by athletes and gym-goers alike, bananas are a great, high-energy food to kick-start your day. This could be as simple as slicing over porridge or yogurt, or go one better and incorporate it in your favourite breakfasts. Use to thicken overnight chia pots, blend into a beautiful fruit parfait bowl, or mash into a quick Bircher muesli if you’re short on time. For a weekend treat, try mixing bananas into pancake batter to make a delicious stack of sweet, fluffy pancakes the whole family can enjoy.

    Breakfast of champions
  2. Drink up

    One of the easiest ways to enjoy bananas is to whizz them into drinks. Smoothies are a really versatile breakfast option, as creamy bananas work as a great base for all sorts of fruit (and veg) combinations. Try with fresh berries in summer, or tropical pineapple and mango for a burst of sunshine. This dairy-free banana and peanut butter extra thick smoothie recipe makes a filling breakfast option as it’s packed with oats and almond milk, too. Bananas aren’t just for kids or breakfast though, try an adult milkshake for a refreshing treat – this coffee and coconut milkshake is great fun to drink and has a real kick from the freshly brewed espresso.

    Drink up
  3. Keep it sweet

    As they’re so naturally sweet, bananas are great to use in baking alongside, or even in place of, traditional sugars and sweeteners - look out for bananas with blackened and brown skins as the sweet flavour intensifies as the fruit ripens. Their soft texture can also help to bind ingredients and add moistness to the final bake. It’s not always a straightforward swap when baking, but have a go with some of these easy recipes as a starting point. These ultimate healthy flapjacks contain only naturally occurring sugars and no butter, instead using the squidgy banana to help bind the oats, fruits and nuts with a little coconut oil and honey. For something a little more special, these berry banana cupcakes use only bananas and fresh berries to achieve their sweet flavour.

    Keep it sweet
  4. Beyond banana bread

    When it comes to easy bakes, you can’t beat classic banana bread. This simple loaf is a favourite with kids and adults alike and the perfect way to use up those brown bananas lingering at the bottom of the fruit bowl. It’s also the perfect recipe to get creative with: add sultanas, nuts or chocolate chips to the cake, or top with a tower of peanut butter frosting or chocolate ganache. For a healthier take, try this avocado banana bread recipe, with richness from the creamy avocado and ground almonds. Hummingbird cake offers a fruity twist, combining juicy pineapple alongside the bananas. For those with less of a sweet tooth, this easy banana soda bread will tick all the right boxes.

    Beyond banana bread
  5. Frozen treats

    If you’re worried about your bananas going brown but you haven’t got time to bake a cake, turn to your new best friend: the freezer. Chop into chunks and pop in a freezable bag so you’ve always got a handy ingredient for whizzing into refreshing smoothies or milkshakes. For an even cooler option, turn into an easy frozen treat – simply whiz with honey for an instant low-fat dairy-free ice cream, no churning necessary! Or have a go at the easy chocolate version below. Alternatively, try making some fun banana and yogurt ice lollies that the kids will love.

  6. Just desserts

    If a bit of indulgence is just what you need, the humble banana is a delicious addition to desserts. The classic French dish tarte tatin is traditionally made with apples, but bananas add even more sticky sweetness, boosting the rich caramel sauce on top of the crisp pastry base. Topped with whipped cream and warm chocolate sauce, a retro banana split is likely to bring back childhood memories. Give it a modern makeover for summer with this barbecued banana recipe for a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. You could also use the barbecue for an easy banoffee recipe, hot and fudgey, it's sure to be a winner.

  7. Warming curries

    It’s easy to see that bananas work well in any number of sweet dishes, but don’t be put off trying in a savoury dish, too. Cooking is often about balancing sweet and savoury, and sweet ingredients often work well with spicy or sour foods as a contrast. There’s no better dish to try than a curry – this chicken and banana korma is a great place to start as the bananas melt into the creamy korma sauce, while this gently spiced vegetarian banana curry is incredibly quick to cook and made even more fruity with the addition of apple and sultanas.

    Warming curries