Bananas are a versatile and healthy ingredient swap that will satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your well-being. This tropical fruit is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Bananas are an excellent potassium source, supporting healthy blood pressure levels and heart health. The fiber in bananas aids digestion and increases feelings of fullness, making them a fantastic choice for those trying to manage their weight.
Additionally, they are packed with antioxidants, like vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and protect against cellular damage.
In this article, we'll tantalize your taste buds with healthy banana desserts that will make you forget about their less nutritious counterparts. From velvety banana chocolate mousse to irresistible chocolate chip banana muffins, we’ve got you covered.
Get ready to satisfy your sweet cravings while nourishing your body with these healthy banana recipes that are yummy enough for the whole family.
How to Use Bananas in Baking
Fresh or frozen, bananas add a natural sweetness and moisture to baked goods.
Bananas work well with a variety of flavors and ingredients in baking. You can add them to classic breakfast recipes like banana bread, muffins, or pancakes. They also make a great addition to traditional dessert recipes like cookies and cake.
Bananas can often be used as a lower-fat substitute for traditional ingredients like butter or oil in baking. Replacing oil or butter with banana decreases saturated fat, giving you a dessert that’s better for your health.
To replace these ingredients, use mashed bananas in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you can substitute it with 1 cup of mashed bananas.
When adding mashed bananas to a recipe, it's important to make slight adjustments to other ingredients. Since bananas add moisture, you may need to reduce the liquid in the recipe. You might also want to decrease the amount of sugar in the recipe since ripe bananas are naturally sweet.
Believe it or not, you can also use frozen bananas in baking. Let the bananas thaw, remove the excess liquid, and mash them up.
Tips to Freeze Ripe Bananas
Here are some quick tips and tricks for freezing ripe bananas:
- Peel the ripe bananas and cut them into chunks or leave them whole.
- Place the banana chunks or whole bananas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the bananas freeze for two to three hours or until completely frozen.
- Once frozen, transfer the bananas to a freezer-safe bag or container, remove excess air, and seal tightly.
- Label your freezer bags or containers with the date you froze the bananas to keep track of their freshness.
Frozen bananas can be stored for three to four months, but for the best taste and texture, try to use them within one to two months.
Using Frozen Bananas in Recipes:
Add frozen banana chunks to your favorite smoothie recipes for a creamy and naturally sweet base. They also eliminate the need for ice cubes.
Thaw the frozen bananas at room temperature or in the microwave until they become soft and mashable. Mash the bananas and use them in your banana bread recipe as you would with fresh bananas.
Thaw the frozen bananas, mash them, and use them in your pancake batter. The bananas will add moisture and a hint of sweetness to your pancakes.
Banana Ice Cream
Frozen bananas can be the key ingredient in making deliciously creamy and healthy banana “nice cream.” Simply blend the frozen bananas in a food processor or blender until smooth, and enjoy the guilt-free dessert.
Can Bananas Be Too Ripe?
Bananas can never be too brown for baking, especially for banana bread. The more ripe the banana, the sweeter and more moist the banana bread. It’s important to know that ripeness can alter the flavor of your final product.
Black bananas are perfectly edible and ideal for baking, despite their appearance. While bananas start off yellow with brown spots, they can darken to a completely black hue and still be used for baking.
If your bananas are growing mold, have an off-putting smell, or have liquid coming out of them, they are not safe to use and should be discarded.
15 Healthy Banana Dessert Recipes
Healthy Banana Bread Recipes
Indulge in this delectable carrot cake banana bread with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The moist and fragrant carrot cake combined with the sweet and ripe bananas creates a unique banana bread that's truly irresistible. The velvety cream cheese frosting is generously infused with aromatic cinnamon, lending a rich and comforting touch to every bite.
The whole wheat flour and oats used in this recipe make it packed with fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion, prevents blood sugar spikes, lowers cholesterol, and keeps you full for longer. The recipe calls for coconut sugar, but you can omit this ingredient for a lower-sugar alternative and slightly less sweet option.
For the frosting, you’ll need cream cheese, powdered sugar (you can use Swerve as a calorie-free option), cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla extract.
One slice has about 210 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber.
This mouthwatering treat combines the richness of buttermilk with the sweetness of ripe bananas and the burst of tangy blueberries. Whether enjoyed as part of breakfast or as a satisfying afternoon snack, this recipe will surely please your taste buds.
The whole wheat pastry flour, bananas, and blueberries add to the fiber in this loaf. Blueberries are also high in antioxidants.
For 278 calories per slice, you’ll get 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 49 grams of carbs. If you want to reduce the amount of carbs in this recipe, you can use a calorie-free brown sugar replacement such as Swerve or Lokanto.
You won’t believe how moist this cinnamon swirl is inside this healthy banana bread. Plus, it’s topped with a delightful cinnamon crunch! You won’t need any butter, eggs, or grains, and it’s healthy enough to have for breakfast.
The whole recipe only has two tablespoons of sugar, and if you want to, you can use sugar substitutes to make it completely free of added sugars.
This bread is fairly low-calorie and high in protein, so if you’re concerned about weight loss, this one is a good option for you. One slice has 12 grams of protein and only 142 calories.
Banana Muffin Recipes
Blender muffins are unique because they are easy and quick to prepare with minimal mess. These healthy double chocolate banana blender muffins are gluten-free, amazingly delicious, and your blender does all the work. The chocolatey muffin base and dark chocolate chips definitely satisfy your craving for brownies.
The oats and banana in this recipe give you lots of fiber – which, as we won’t stop celebrating – keeps you feeling full and your blood sugar levels stable.
One muffin has about 160 calories, 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 27 grams of carbs.
These muffins are so yummy and irresistible because they’re bursting with banana flavor and sweet apple chunks. This recipe is egg-free and dairy free, so it’s suitable for vegans, too.
At just 171 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein, these muffins make a great on-the-go snack that won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar.
Need a gluten-free option for using up those over-ripe bananas? Look no further because these muffins are so light, moist, and fluffy that they almost taste like banana cake. You’d never know they were gluten-free and low-carb.
One muffin is only 160 calories and boasts 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein!
Banana Bars Recipes
These banana bread blondies are a delicious, high-fiber way to use up those ripe bananas! They’re loaded with the classic banana bread flavor but made into the perfect handheld treat! You can add nuts and chocolate chips for a delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert!
These banana bread blondies are healthy and packed with protein and fiber, which will help prevent blood sugar spikes and keep you feeling full for longer.
One slice is about 270 calories, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, and 14 grams of fat.
These banana bread protein bars are high in protein and banana flavor, plus they’re vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. Ensure your bananas are extra ripe and spotted to give the bars optimal sweetness without the added sugar.
One bar is about 170 calories, 8 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber.
These flavorful energy bites are super easy to make and require no baking. They are made with creamy peanut butter, banana, heart-healthy walnuts, oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and a delicious drizzle of chocolate. The recipe can easily be made vegan or gluten-free, and they’re the perfect snack or breakfast for on-the-go.
One chia banana bread energy bite makes for a great afternoon pick-me-up or an after-dinner treat at just 130 calories, 4 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber.
Banana Smoothie Recipes
Smoothies are a great option for a quick, nutrient-packed breakfast or a snack on the go. This healthy banana peanut butter smoothie recipe is one you’ll look forward to drinking. Thick, creamy, and naturally sweet, this tasty smoothie reminds me of a milkshake; it’s that good.
The bananas make this smoothie high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Peanut butter has protein and healthy fats, too. You can also substitute almond butter if you prefer.
One smoothie has 380 calories, 20 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber.
This particular smoothie is slightly higher in calories, but there are ways to make smoothies lower-calorie and better for weight loss.
This creamy spinach banana smoothie is easy; you only need four ingredients to make it! This smoothie is vegan-friendly, naturally sweet, and loaded with nourishing green goodness. The combo of Greek yogurt and soy milk makes it high-protein and perfect for before or after a workout.
It’s deliciously easy, and there’s plenty of room to customize and make it your own. One smoothie has about 250 calories, 20 grams of protein, 35 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fiber.
The brightly colored fruity smoothie is an excellent way to use up those frozen bananas that are almost past their prime. It’s packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants, so it’s a great way to start your day!
Each smoothie has 230 calories, 20 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fiber.
Other Banana Recipe Ideas
Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies
You won’t find an easier way to use your old bananas than these 3-ingredient oatmeal banana breakfast cookies. You only need two medium-ripe bananas, quick oats, and walnuts. Each cookie is under 100 calories and has 15 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.
These flourless banana cookies also make a great snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Feeling a bit fancy? Why not try your hand at this banana creme brûlée? Unlike your average creme brûlée, this one contains protein from nutrient-packed hemp seeds, fewer sugars thanks to the natural sweetness of bananas, plus a serving of fruit!
This one isn’t the healthiest of all banana recipes, but it is a healthier version of creme brûlée.
Don’t miss out on this super easy, mouthwatering, and healthy avocado banana cacao mousse.
Avocado might sound a bit weird as an ingredient for a dessert, but it brings a luxurious creaminess to this recipe like nothing else could. It’s full of healthy fats, too. Just make sure your avocado is buttery ripe.
Cacao adds the chocolate flavor to this mousse and many antioxidants that protect the cells and prevent premature aging and disease. You can add a little extra sweetness with maple syrup or coconut sugar, or you can leave it out, as the ripe bananas will add a touch of natural sweetness.
The whole recipe is only 287 calories, 45 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of protein.
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Recipes snippet with healthy banana dessert recipe ideas:
Frozen Banana Bites: Slice ripe bananas and freeze them. Dip the frozen banana slices in melted dark chocolate and sprinkle with chopped nuts or shredded coconut. Freeze until the chocolate hardens for a delicious frozen treat.
Banana "Nice Cream": Blend frozen bananas with a splash of non-dairy milk until smooth and creamy. Customize your "nice cream" by adding toppings like berries, nuts, or a drizzle of honey for a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream.
Baked Banana with Cinnamon: Slice a ripe banana lengthwise and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in the oven until the banana is soft and caramelized. Enjoy it warm as a simple and flavorful dessert.
Banana Oat Cookies: Mash ripe bananas and mix them with rolled oats, a pinch of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of nut butter. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. These cookies are a healthier alternative to traditional baked treats.
People Also Ask section:
What can I do with extra bananas?
- Make banana bread or muffins.
- Blend them into smoothies or milkshakes.
- Slice and freeze them later in smoothies or as a frozen snack.
- Add them to oatmeal or yogurt for a nutritious breakfast.
- Make banana pancakes or waffles.
- Use them in fruit salads or as a topping for desserts.
Is it good to eat bananas for dessert?
- Yes, bananas can be a good option for a healthy dessert. They are naturally sweet, contain essential nutrients, and can be used in various dessert recipes or enjoyed independently. They provide fiber, potassium, and vitamins, making them healthier than many processed desserts.
What does baking bananas do?
- Baking bananas can enhance their flavor and texture. The heat caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit, resulting in a sweeter and softer consistency. Baking can also make bananas easier to mash or blend, making them suitable for use in baked goods or desserts.
What do you put on bananas?
- Bananas can be enjoyed on their own or paired with various toppings, such as:
- Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter)
- Honey or maple syrup
- Cinnamon or other spices
- Chopped nuts or granola
- Chocolate or caramel sauce
- Fresh berries or dried fruits
- Whipped cream or coconut cream
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