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Seven ways to use up leftover bananas

Versatile bananas are the UK’s favourite fruit: we buy more than 5 billion every year*, yet 1.4 million of them are wasted every day – that’s about 10%! Read on for tips to keep them at their best, and some fresh ideas for overripe bananas that go beyond classic banana bread.

  1. Store them right

    Store bananas on their own as the gases they produce will cause other fruit to ripen and spoil more quickly. Keep them at room temperature too – refrigerating will make the skin turn black, and the bananas will transfer their smell to the rest of the fridge’s contents. For a 15-minute breakfast treat, grab a banana and use in these easy almond, berry and banana breakfast tacos.

    Store them right
  2. Peak condition

    When they ripen, bananas soften and change colour as the starch breaks down and is converted to sugar. Unripe green bananas aren’t particularly appealing when raw, but can be used for cooking – try frying slices and adding to a grain salad. Soft, overripe bananas are perfect for mashing into tender pancakes for an easy brunch. Top vegan pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup, or layer up a stack of fluffy banana, spelt and blueberry pancakes with a juicy blueberry compote.

    Peak condition
  3. Make friends with the freezer

    Peel ripe bananas and freeze whole or in slices. They can be used straight from the freezer and are particularly good in smoothies, for a cold, thick drink. Try these bold banana and blackberry smoothie bowls, topped with fresh figs and a scattering of seeds, for a colourful start to your day.

    Make friends with the freezer
  4. Get baking

    Banana bread is the classic solution to a rapidly ripening fruit bowl. Overripe bananas are perfect for baking, as they add natural sweetness and a springy texture. Choose between a simple vegan banana bread, a hearty banana breakfast loaf, or an unusual avocado and banana bread with creamy yogurt icing.

    Get baking
  5. Snack time

    Bananas make a great portable snack just as they are, but if you’ve got too many to get through at once, you can bake them into simple on-the-go snacks instead. Crunchy ginger banana chips are the perfect grab-and-go handful, whilst kids will love banana cupcakes in a packed lunch or as an after-school treat.

    Snack time
  6. Instant ice cream

    Turn your spare fruit into the easiest ice cream you’ll ever make. Freeze very ripe bananas, sliced, then blitz with a little lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Scoop into bowls and sprinkle with toasted, chopped nuts to serve or, for a true summer treat, layer up in these fruity banana ice cream sandwiches.

    Instant ice cream
  7. Perfect puddings

    Though they work well in simple cakes and bakes, bananas can also be turned into seriously impressive desserts. Follow our step-by-step recipe for a sticky toffee banana tarte tatin for a tropical twist on the French classic. Or impress guests in summer with a fruity barbecue feast by making griddled pineapple with smoked bread and banana ice cream, an unusual but irresistible combination.

    * According to Banana Link

    Perfect puddings

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