14 Creative Banana Recipes Beyond the Typical Baked Goods

14 Banana Recipes Beyond the Typical Baked Goods

Bananas not only taste great in bread and smoothies, they also provide some pretty powerful nutrition. Each 110-calorie fruit offers vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Unfortunately, though, stats reveal that 1.4 million bananas get thrown away every day, because they’re spotty, bent or past their prime. That could be because they seem to miraculously go from underripe and green to eat me now to brown and mushy in about a day, making them all-too-easy to toss.

But we have the solution to saving: these 14 delicious banana recipes. Next time you have a less-than-perfect peel, rather than trashing it or stirring it into banana bread again, try one of these sweet or savory dishes. They’re so creative and delicious you’ll almost want your bananas to get too ripe too fast.

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14 Banana Recipes for Sweet and Savory Cravings

Banana Recipes: Banana Nutella Protein Muffins

1. Banana Nutella Protein Muffins

Think of these Nutella-stuffed muffins as banana bread with superpowers. Beyond the chocolate-hazelnut deliciousness, they’re hiding fiber from whole-wheat flour, protein by way of Greek yogurt and vanilla protein powder, and to top it off, healthy fats via flaxseeds and walnuts. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Banana Recipes: 3-Ingredient Healthy Paleo Pancakes

2. 3-Ingredient Healthy Banana Pancakes

Paleo, gluten-free and a single-serving, these flourless blender pancakes give oatmeal and scrambled eggs a run for their easy breakfast money. Simply whisk together eggs, bananas and cinnamon. Then pour the resulting batter onto a frying pan and you have a decadent, delicious and ridiculously easy morning meal in minutes. Photo and recipe: Blair Lonergan / The Seasoned Mom

RELATED: 23 Reasons You Need More Bananas In Your Life

Banana Recipes: Banana Thai Curry

3. Banana Thai Curry

You might associate coconuts with Thai food, more so than bananas, but this dish gets the yellow, potassium-packed upgrade. Mashing the fruit gives the dish a creamy kick, while helping to cut back on fat and calories. A mix of cashews, quinoa, chickpeas and sugar snap peas mean you also get a hefty dose of protein and fiber. Photo and recipe: Sarah Bond / Live Eat Learn

Banana Recipes: Frozen Banana Sushi

4. Frozen Banana Sushi

Spread a banana with nut butter, then coat it in a DIY magic shell, made from dark chocolate chips and coconut oil. Before it dries, sprinkle this sweet treat with any antioxidant-boosters you enjoy. Tasty options include chia seeds, chopped pistachios, bee pollen or pomegranate seeds. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Life by Daily Burn

RELATED: 25 Insanely Delicious Chocolate Recipes That Are Still Healthy

Banana Recipes: Banana Oat Smoothie

5. Banana-Oat Protein Smoothie

Anyone who’s tried “nice cream” knows that bananas have a remarkable ability to add a creamy, thick texture to almost any recipe. Toss a couple in this muscle-building protein smoothie, along with some oats, protein powder, almond milk and cinnamon, and you get a filling post-workout meal. And simply halve the formula if you’re looking for more of a snack. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

Banana Recipes: Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Cookies

6. Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Cookies

This sweet-tasting cookie has about as much sugar as quarter cup of figs (8 grams). So we’ll consider this dessert a health food. Half of a banana replaces some of the sweet stuff, while also lending moisture to the chocolate cookie dough. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

RELATED: 9 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Banana Recipes: Strawberry Banana Sushi Rolls

7. Strawberry Banana Sushi Rolls

Nut butter, yogurt, berries and granola all make an appearance in this colorful and sweet tortilla wrap. It’s like a yogurt parfait you can eat with your hands! So simple; so delicious. Photo and recipe: Dr. Sonali Ruder / The Foodie Physician

Banana Recipes: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Maple Tahini and Banana

8. Stuffed Sweet Potato with Maple Tahini

Instead of a cold sandwich or salad, combat sad desk lunch by packing a baked sweet potato that you can load up with an Instagram-worthy (not to mention yummy!) mix of toppings like banana slices, berries, granola and tahini. Photo and recipe: Leah /  Love Me Feed Me 

RELATED: 5 Delicious Sweet Potato Toast Recipes

Banana Recipes: Peanut Butter Banana Bread Oatmeal

9. Peanut Butter Banana Bread Oatmeal

Similar to a granola bar with the texture of cake, this baked oatmeal recipe calls for mashed bananas and peanut butter for moisture and cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup for dessert-like flavor. Top with a drizzle of even more melted PB for the easiest-ever “icing.” Photo and recipe: Laura Sandford / Joy Food Sunshine

Banana Recipes: Avocado Date Smoothie

10. Avocado-Date Smoothie

For the creamiest all natural (and sweet!) smoothie, blend a frozen banana, half an avocado, a cup of milk and dates. Top with nuts, cacao nibs, coconut or granola for a breakfast that’ll leave you satisfied. Photo and recipe: Katja Heino / Savory Lotus

RELATED: 25 Cheap and Easy 3-Ingredient Smoothie Recipes

Banana Recipes: Paleo Glazed Banana Bread Donut Holes

11. Paleo Glazed Banana Bread Donut Holes

Turn your banana bread into a healthy bite-sized doughnut. These baked breakfast sweets pack even more flavor and offer a few mini upgrades. A drizzle of a honey-vanilla glaze made ultra-creamy thanks to coconut oil, plus chia and flax seeds, make this paleo recipe one you’ll want to enjoy every weekend. Photo and recipe: Chrissa Benson / Physical Kitchness

Banana Recipes: Black Bean Banana Brownies with 2-Ingredient Ice Cream

12. Black Bean-Banana Brownies with Two-Ingredient Ice Cream

Tahini — the sesame seed paste that’s found in nearly every hummus recipe — teams up with almond meal for a subtle nuttiness in these good-for-you brownies. Mashed banana and black beans give the batter its rich, fudgy texture. With cocoa powder and dark chocolate in the mix, you won’t be able to taste the beans one bit. Promise! Photo and recipe: Katie Culpin / Delightful Vegans 

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Banana Recipes: Banana Cinnamon Rolls

13. Banana Cinnamon Rolls

Baked banana slices stand in for the bread in this cinnamon roll snack, made of 100 percent fruit. Sweet-as-candy dates create the all-star filling, making this fiber-rich treat as guilt-free as can be. This just might be your new favorite dessert. Photo and recipe: Natalie Thomas / Feasting on Fruit

Banana Recipes: Bananas Foster Pudding with Coconut Milk

14. Bananas Foster Pudding with Coconut Milk

A four-layer dish that goes like this: homemade pudding, followed by banana slices, then more pudding. Plus, chopped nuts and a drizzle of coconut oil caramel on top. A fully-loaded parfait, this mix makes an excellent breakfast, snack or dessert. And it features all of the flavor components of bananas foster, in a more health-friendly package. Photo and recipe: Alexa Schirm / Simple Roots Wellness

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