Want a recipe with a little more sweetness? This 5-Ingredient Microwave Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie from Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, dietitians in private practice and personal trainers in New York City, features chocolate chips as well as brown bananas.
Nutrition per serving (1 cookie): 89 calories, 4g total fat, 2g protein, 14g carbohydrates, 2g fiber
8. Blend Brown Bananas and Sweet Potato Into a Refreshing Smoothie
Frozen brown bananas are game changers for smoothies because their sweetness erases the need for added sugar and their coldness means you don’t have to use ice. Try this Sweet Potato Smoothie from Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, a media dietitian in New York City and the author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You From Label to Table. Bonus: “This recipe is a good source of calcium, derived from the almond milk and Greek yogurt,” Taub-Dix says. And with the sweet potatoes, you get an extra dose of fiber. Freeze your bananas a few hours before you need ’em: Just peel, slice, and stick in a zip-top freezer bag.
Nutrition per serving (1 cup): 300 calories, 3.5g total fat (0.2g saturated fat), 21.8g protein, 49.5g carbohydrates, 8.5g fiber, 19g sugar, 316mg sodium
9. Bake Mini Banana Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting
Puree those brown bananas, then combine them with low-fat plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened cocoa powder, and other ingredients. “Chocolate Banana Mini Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting are a great way to rock through those brown, overripe bananas,” notes Julie Hartigan, a chef in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Nutrition per serving (1 mini cupcake): 58 calories, 1g total fat (0.6g saturated fat), 2g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, 5g sugar (3.1g added sugar), 113mg sodium
10. Flip Up a Batch of Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Brown bananas easily sweeten up a batch of Healthy Banana Oatmeal Pancakes without any need for added sugar. Made with walnuts and whole grains, this wholesome breakfast also happens to be naturally gluten- and dairy-free.
11. Roll Up These Banana Energy Balls
Energy balls are all the rage these days — not only are they easy to make, but they don’t require any oven time. This simple Banana Protein Balls recipe delivers on those fronts, plus they have Medjool dates for a burst of sweetness (without refined sugar). The half cup of mashed banana brings the sweetness too, so you’re in for some decadent bites.
Nutrition per serving (serves 20): 105 calories, 5g total fat (2g saturated fat), 3g protein, 14g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, 28mg sodium
12. Add Bananas to Homemade Salted Peanut Butter Cups
Store-bought PB cups have nothing on these sweet and salty homemade treats, courtesy of Abbey Sharp, RD, a culinary nutritionist in Toronto. Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Cups With Banana and Dark Chocolate are naturally sweetened with brown bananas rather than sugar. “You get healthy fats, protein, and fiber from the nut butter and lots of potassium from the bananas — all in a totally decadent treat,” Sharp says.
Nutrition per serving (2 mini peanut butter cups): 95 calories, 7g total fat (3.1g saturated fat), 2g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 4.4g sugar (3.6g added sugar), 29mg sodium
13. Add Chia and Banana to Pudding for a Filling Breakfast
If you have chia seeds in your pantry, you can make this Peanut Butter Chia Pudding from Rebecca Clyde, RDN, who is in private practice in Salt Lake City. Whether it’s for an energy-boosting bite in the morning or afternoon, this recipe is sure to do the trick. To cut back on the total fat and saturated fat in the recipe, consider adding a teaspoon of peanut butter rather than a tablespoon.
Nutrition per serving (serves 1): 288 calories, 15g total fat (5.2g saturated fat), 8g protein, 35g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 16.1g sugar (65.6g added sugar), 54mg sodium
14. Blend a ‘Nice Cream’ With Salted Chocolate Chips and Banana
Frozen brown bananas make the best base for fruity “nice cream.” Consider this no-churn recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Ice Cream, which is vegan and contains no nuts or gluten.
Nutrition per serving (serves 6): 167 calories, 5g total fat (2.8g saturated fat), 3g protein, 35g carbohydrates, 5.1g fiber, 17.9g sugar (3.3g added sugar), 206mg sodium
15. Make Banana Pancakes With Peanut Butter Ricotta
Looking for a recipe with chocolate chips? Opt for Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Pancakes. “The optional peanut butter ricotta topping will boost the protein of your pancakes, making them a great satisfying meal to start the day,” says Mandy Enright, RDN, a food blogger and dietitian in Neptune, New Jersey.
Nutrition per serving (1 pancake and 2 tbsp ricotta topping): 240 calories, 7g total fat (4g saturated fat), 7g protein, 36g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 352mg sodium
16. Make Homemade Mango Sorbet With Bananas
For a refreshing dessert, blend together just two ingredients — mango and banana — for this simple Mango Banana Sorbet With No Added Sugar. “This no-added-sugar sorbet is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without leaving the house!” says Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, a food blogger in private practice in San Diego.
Nutrition per serving (serves 8): 63 calories, 1g total fat (1g saturated fat), 1g protein, 16g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1mg sodium
17. Enjoy Banana Bread Cookies
If you love a soft, melt-in-your-mouth kind of cookie, you’re in luck with this Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Cookies recipe from Maggie Michalczyk, RDN, a Chicago-based nutritionist and the founder of Once Upon a Pumpkin. With ingredients like ripe bananas (of course!), chocolate chips, oat flour, and cinnamon, you know they’re going to be good. Plus, Michalczyk said she created the recipe so that the cookies would have a similar texture to banana bread. Yum!
Nutrition per serving (serves 18): 146 calories, 8g total fat, 3.8g protein, 16.4g carbohydrates, 8.1g sugar, 136mg sodium
18. Mix Brown Bananas Into Oatmeal and Add Chocolate
Use ripe bananas to sweeten an overnight oats recipe. Or combine them with zucchini, unsweetened cocoa powder, and oats for a delicious oatmeal-based bread. “This Chocolate Zucchini Bread Oatmeal is one of my favorite oatmeal recipes because the sweetness from the ripe banana and the richness from the cocoa allow you to sneak in some veggies,” says Jessica Cording, RD, who is in private practice in New York City.
Nutrition per serving (serves 1): 287 calories, 7g total fat (0.8g saturated fat), 10g protein, 51g carbohydrates, 11g fiber, 8.9g sugar (0.1g added sugar), 9mg sodium