To a KCL like myself, the word “waste” is like nails on a chalkboard! So when I see that last sad brown spotted banana in my fruit bowl, I never think about throwing it away because I know it still has a lot of love to offer. Here are several quick and healthy ways to put that lonely and nutritious mushy banana to good use:

1. Boost Baked Goods

The first thing that comes to mind when using a banana is baking with it. Bananas can be used as a healthier substitute for eggs in almost any baked good! Take half a banana for each egg the recipe calls for, mash that sucker up and throw it in your favorite bread, muffin, pancake or cake recipe.

2. Chocolate Pudding

You can use your banana to make a healthy and delicious chocolate pudding! Blend together one ripe avocado, 4 ripe bananas (this recipe will need that sad banana and some of its friends), 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa and a few splashes of milk (whatever you have on hand is fine) until smooth. Chill before serving. The avocado is undetectable and the pudding is so good you won’t even know it’s healthy!

3. Skinny Banana Pudding

This is a quick way to make a healthy rendition of banana pudding: blend together ½ cup of cottage cheese, 1 ripe banana, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, ½ tablespoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1–2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Chill before serving. I serve this as a side for breakfast and my family thinks it’s so cool that I’m letting them have pudding first thing in the morning!

4. Chocolate-Chip Bananas

Melt a few dark chocolate chips and mix together with a mashed banana. I also add nuts sometimes for that extra crunch (not to mention a nutrition boost).

5. Cinnamon-Banana Mash

Mix some honey and cinnamon with a mashed banana. My husband says it reminds him of apple pie (hey, whatever gets him to eat it!).

6. Smoothies

Throw that mushy banana in a smoothie. This is good for almost any fruit smoothie combination. I like to add berries or mango to mine for a quick, healthy breakfast!

7. Ice Cream

Did you know that bananas make a great base for healthy “ice cream?” This is my favorite recipe: 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree, 1 cup of milk (I like to use vanilla soy milk for that extra-nutty flavor, but whatever you have on hand is fine), 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Blend everything until it’s smooth and pour into an ice cream machine (or I freeze mine in ice cube trays).

8. Cookies

Make banana cookies by mixing one cup of quick oats, two ripe bananas and some cinnamon. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15–25 minutes.

9. Banana Pops

Cut bananas into slices and put one slice at the bottom of a cup or ice cube tray. Pour your favorite fruit juice in the cup and stick a popsicle stick in the banana (the banana serves as a base for the stick). Freeze and enjoy!

This is a guest post by Kristy from Thibodaux, LA

9 Delicious Ways to Use Overripe Bananas