From Breakfast to Dessert: Creative Banana Recipes to Satisfy Your Cravings
Like many fruits, banana is a nutritious snack that can be enjoyed raw, so no cooking is required. But, thanks to its natural sweetness, the exotic fruit has garnered the attention of bakers and cooks alike. In other words, there's no shortage of banana recipes to use up your bunch (or a cupful of freeze dried bananas) whenever the mood strikes.
However, while classics like banana bread can be a safe choice, modern twists, that use the fruit differently, can be just as tasty. So, in honor of National Banana Day(1) (April 19th), we rounded up five banana recipes that run the gamut from traditional to creative. This way, cooks of all levels and aspirations can enjoy another (cooking/baking) side of the fruit. Ready to go bananas when you are!
1. Banana Bread
No baked good is as linked with the exotic fruit as much as banana bread. So, chances are you already have your go-to recipe, whether it comes from a parent, grandparent, or a close friend. But if you want to create a slightly different loaf for a change, this banana recipe is all you need.
- 1/2 unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 2/3 cups freeze dried bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the bananas and 3 cups of warm water to a bowl. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350oF and spray a 10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and combine. Whisk in the eggs and bananas and mix once again to combine. Stir in the baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Add the flour and whisk until combined (no clumps in the batter).
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool, and cut into slices.
2. Banana Pudding
Second only to banana bread, banana pudding is an excellent way to put the exotic fruit to good (baking) use. This recipe calls for made-from-scratch vanilla pudding, but it's definitely worth the extra work. It's enough to feed a family (but not a crowd). So, in case you have people over, you can double the measurements.
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp butter
- 8 oz condensed milk
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups freeze dried bananas
- 1 11-ounce box Nilla Wafers
- Add the bananas and 4 cups of warm water to a bowl. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
- Add the whole and evaporated milk to a saucepan and simmer.
- Mix in the cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks until smooth.
- Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl and mix quickly to prevent the yolks from cooking.
- Return the pudding to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it turns thick, whisking constantly.
- Add the butter and beat with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Stir in half the condensed milk and transfer the pudding back to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely.
- Add the remaining half of the condensed milk and heavy cream to a bowl and whip with a hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Arrange a layer of Nilla Wafers at the bottom of a small baking dish, top with a layer of banana chips, and then 1/3 of the pudding. Repeat until you're out of ingredients. Refrigerate for 4 hours and serve cold.
3. Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Frozen Truffles
Even though truffles are usually reserved for the holidays, there's no reason why you shouldn't make a batch any time of the year. This truffle recipe combines a classic flavor combo (banana-peanut-butter-chocolate) for a swooning midday snack that still feels indulgent.
- 1 1/2 cups freeze dried bananas
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup milk chocolate
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Add bananas and 3 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid, transfer to a Ziplock bag, and freeze for an hour.
- Remove from the freezer, transfer to a food processor, and add the peanut butter. Pulse until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and freeze for another hour until firm.
- Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the bowl from the freezer and form balls of the mixture using a cookie scoop. Place them onto the baking sheet. Transfer to the freeze for another 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate by microwaving it in 20-second intervals, stirring between the intervals. Once melted, stir in the coconut oil.
- Remove the sheet from the freezer and dip the truffles into the melted chocolate. Place them back onto the baking sheet and freeze for another 5 minutes. Remove from the freezer and enjoy!
4. Banana Avocado Toast
Avocado toast was hot for a minute a few years back. But even though it's not as popular as it used to be, it doesn't mean you can't still enjoy its health benefits. More than that, this banana recipe adds a little more fiber and a touch of sweetness to the mix for a filling and tasty breakfast.
- 2 bread slices (preferably sourdough)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup freeze dried bananas
- 1-2 tbsp maple or agave syrup (optional)
- Add the bananas and one cup of warm water to a bowl, and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and transfer to a bowl.
- Halve, pit, and peel the avocado and add to the bowl. Coarsely mash the banana and avocado with the back of a fork. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sweetener if using.
- Toast the bread slices and spread the banana-avocado spread on top of them. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of syrup, and enjoy!
5. Banana Fritters
Bursting with sweet bananas and aromatic spices, these fritters take inspiration from Jamaican cuisine. You can even add them to a big bowl of salad to both sweeten and round out your meal.
- 2 1/2 cups freeze dried bananas
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Add the bananas and 4 cups of warm water to a bowl. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and transfer them back to the bowl.
- Mash them using a fork and add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until well combined.
- Pour vegetable oil into a medium pot until 1/3 full. Heat the oil over medium heat. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pot in batches. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Then, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer to a plate with a paper towel to drain. Serve the fritters plain, in a salad, or with a small bowl of your favorite sweet spread(jam, choco-hazelnut spread, etc.).
Which of these banana recipes would you like to try? Let us know in the comment section down below!
- Kyriaki Chatzistavridou