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Five Ways to Use Overripe Bananas

I love bananas, but it seems that every time I buy a bunch they turn brown before they’re eaten—what a waste of food and money!  Check out these five ways to use overripe bananas (ripe, yellow bananas will work too) around the house, garden and kitchen:

  1. Shoe Polish: If your dress shoes are looking a little scuffed,  buff them using a banana peal. Banana peels contain oil and potassium—two of the main ingredients in shoe polish. But unlike store-bought shoe polish, a banana peal is cheap, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Place your palm against the peel and rub it all over the exterior of a leather shoe. Use a clean, soft cloth to remove any excess oil, banana pieces, and those stringy things (FYI: in case you’re ever a contestant on Jeopardy, the technical name for the stringy things inside bananas is phloem bundles.)
  2. House Plant Fertilizer: Put a banana peel in 12 ounces of water to make “banana juice.” Add one part “banana juice” and five parts water to your watering can. Use this solution to water your houseplants as normal. The banana-fortified solution contains phosphorous and other beneficial compounds.
  3. Rosebush Fertilizer: Add banana peels to the soil around a rosebush soil as non-toxic fertilizer. The peels, just like store-bought garden fertilizer, contain potash and phosphorous to nourish your delicate flowers. To make fertilizer, finely chop the peels and then spread the pieces around the base of the rosebush. Sprinkle some dirt on top to promote decomposition. Water.
  4. Smoothie Base: When making smoothies, have you ever added crushed ice to the blender only to end up with a watery, diluted smoothie? That’s because the ice melts during blending process. For a creamy, non-diluted smoothie, use slices of frozen, overripe banana instead of ice. Cut your  peeled banana into bite-sized slices. Lay out the slices on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and freeze them for 40 minutes. When the slices are frozen, place them in a freezer bag for storage. This method prevents the slices from sticking and also allows for single portions.
  5. Baked Goods: Overripe bananas taste as good as ever in baked goods. Mash the peeled bananas with a fork and transfer to freezer bags. Label with the number of mushed bananas. To use, defrost and use as you would regular banana. I’m partial to the following simple, scrumptious recipe:

Simple Banana Bread

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Oven Time: 1 hour


  • 4 frozen, overripe bananas, mashed (or 4 ripe bananas, mashed)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Then mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and mix. Pour the mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove bread from pan and slice to serve.

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11 thoughts on “Five Ways to Use Overripe Bananas”

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you have a wart on your foot, place a piece of banana peel over the wart, put on socks and let sit over night.   I’ve done this a couple of times on my children.  Sometimes it works over night sometimes it take a few nights.  Cheaper than compound W and quicker in my experience thus far.

    • I did this on my hand. I had like 7 warts on it and my aunt told me to rub  a banana peel on it every time I ate one or any one in my house ate one, and in about a week they were gone, it’s crazy! it’s been about 18 yrs and my warts have never came back, bet of all, they didn’t leave a scar! 

  2. My husband likes them in his pancake recipe. Not my favorite but he likes it and I don’t throw them away. 

  3. No need to mash bananas to freeze first.  Peel the banana and wrap in foil.  When I accumulate enough bananas I make banana bread or cake.  I have frozen the entire banana without peeling, but then it is more difficult to remove the strings.

  4. catsmeow77777 says:

    I freeze my banana’s and then when i am ready to bake, out they come, they get mushy really fast and make the best banana bread!!

  5.  I also sometimes stick the banana on a stick and freeze it then dip it in home made yogurt, roll it in peanuts and coco. YUM.

  6. The Healing Power of the Banana
    Bananas can be used for more than just baked goods and smoothies. Mix two bananas in a blender until they form a paste. Apply the banana concoction on freshly washed heels. After leaving it on for about 10 minutes, wash the paste off with lukewarm water. The best results can be seen if this process is done once a week.
    Read more: Home Remedy for Dry, Cracked Feet |

  7. I’ve tweaked my mom’s banana bread recipe over the years, and my husband LOVES it! he intentionally lets bananas get overripe to force me to make it. yum!!

  8. I made ice cream with overly ripe bananas! It’s really good and there are no other ingredients! You peel the bananas, cut in slices about an inch thick, put in freezer for an hour or two (line tray with parchment or waxed paper if on hand). You then blend or puree the frozen slices, scraping the bowl and stirring until a creamy consistency. Takes like banana ice cream!

    •  I do this too! It is delicious! You can also mix in other ingredients with it or top it with topping just like icecream!  I sometimes mix in coco powder, peanut butter, nuts, or chopped cookies!

  9. Julia says:

    This is my banana bread recipe. Everyone loves it and it is easy to make! I make one for work whenever I have some overripe bananas. -2 cup flour-3/4 tsp baking soda-salt-1 tabl cocoa powder-1 tsp cinnamon-1 cup sugar-1/4 cup butter-2 eggs-1.5 cup mashed bananas (3 bananas) -6 oz plain yogurt -1 tsp vanilla-walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)
    1. 350 f and grease loaf pan-cream sugar and butter-add eggs-add banana, yogurt, vanilla-add flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon -put into a loaf pan-bake 75-90 min