Go Bananas: 6 Ways to Use the Frozen Fruit

Frozen bananas are great to have on hand, but can also take up valuable freezer space. Thankfully, there are a number of refreshing treats that enlist our bundles of frozen fruit and we’ve rounded up six of them for you today. From soft serve to smoothies to chocolate dipped bananas to peanut butter bites, we think you’ll find a recipe in this list that strikes your fancy, and maybe even more importantly, frees up your freezer.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

1. Banana Soft Serve

Our first recipe employing the use of frozen bananas is a dessert favorite among healthy eaters because it allows them to have their ice cream and eat nutritiously, too. Banana soft serve requires just one ingredient – bananas! – and it can be whipped up in mere minutes. There isn’t even a real recipe for this banana bliss (it’s that easy) but we’ll direct you to The Kitchn’s tutorial, just in case. You won’t believe how creamy and decadent tasting a simple frozen banana can taste when thrown in the food processor, and even better, the topping choices you have to add to your banana soft serve are also endless.

Ingredients:

Bananas

Directions: Peel your bananas first.  Cut them into small pieces.  Freeze for just 1 to 2 hours on a plate. Once frozen, blend in a high-power food processor — scraping down the bowl when they stick. Continue processing until smooth and then enjoy as ice cream.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Banana Bread Milkshakes

Another recipe that requires the use of a good food processor blender is this one for banana bread milkshakes from PBS.org. Because just because you can’t bake your banana bread, doesn’t mean you can’t blend it. For a refreshing summer treat that will cool you down without overly filling you up, make this milkshake that only calls for a frozen banana, skim milk, almond butter, and a handful of spices. You won’t miss your warm quick bread for a second once you have one slurp of your carb favorite as a frozen drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • additional ice if desired

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Serve with a cookie on the side!

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

3. Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Bananas

You also have the option of keeping your frozen bananas whole and not turning on your food processor at all. Chocolate-dipped frozen bananas are the perfect summer treats because they are easy to make, easy to eat, and not even half bad for you, and Food Network has the perfect formula for these fruity treats. Chocolate and banana is a match made in heaven, and if you’re feeling really crazy, feel free to add peanut butter, nuts, or even sprinkles to the mix.

Ingredients:

  • 8 medium bananas, peeled
  • 8 wooden popsicle sticks
  • 32 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions: Dipping decorations: Prepare granola, chopped nuts, sprinkles, jimmies, crushed cookies, and toasted coconut. Line a sheet pan with waxed paper. Cut 1-inch off the end of each banana. Insert a popsicle stick into the cut-end of each banana, pushing the stick halfway in, leaving the other end exposed for use as a handle. Place the bananas on the sheet pan and freeze 1 hour.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Arrange the dipping decorations on several flat plates. Working with one banana at a time, dip it in the chocolate and turn to completely coat (spoon some on, if needed). Roll the dipped banana in the desired decorations, transfer to the sheet pan, and return to the freezer. Once frozen, store the bananas in an airtight container.

Serving suggestion: To serve at a kid’s party, paint a hunk of styrofoam and stick the banana handles in the top, so they stand upright.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Peanut Butter Banana Bon Bons

Speaking of peanut butter, Joy the Baker has a different spin on the chocolate dipped frozen banana trend, and her recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bonbons is just as mouthwatering. Take a second to imagine peanut butter sandwiched between two banana slices, and then take it one step further and add chocolate and coconut oil to the daydream. What you come up with are frozen banana bites that taste like heaven. All you have to worry about is teeth freeze.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe and large bananas
  • about 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jiffy)
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped honey roasted peanuts
  • small popsicle sticks (or pretzel sticks)

Directions: Peel bananas and slice into medium-thick round slices. Spoon peanut butter into a piping bag fitted with a small star tip attachment. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter onto half of the banana slices. Top each peanut butter topped banana with a plain banana slice and press down just slightly.

To insert the popsicle sticks (or pretzel sticks) into the banana sandwich, place your thumb and index finger over and around the banana sandwich. firmly press the stick into and through the banana slices, but use your thumb and index finger to hold the top banana slice in place during the pressing. Place peanut butter pops on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer to harden for at least 30 minutes.

While the pops harden, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Place 2 inches of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a medium heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and stir together chocolate and coconut oil as it melts. Stir until completely melted.

Transfer melted chocolate mixture to a glass with a mouth wide enough to dunk the banana sandwiches. A shallow bowl will make the banana sandwiches hard to dip and completely cover. Dip the slightly hardened banana sandwiches completely in chocolate. Return them to the parchment paper and immediately sprinkle with honey roasted peanuts. After dipping all of the bananas, return to the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving. Bananas will last for a week or two in the freezer. You can also wrap them individually for storage in the freezer.

Source: thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

5. Frosty Banana and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Conversely, if you’re trying to come up with a recipe enlisting frozen bananas that you can serve at a party, check out this recipe from Back to Her Roots for Frozen Banana and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie. All the usual suspects (peanut butter, chocolate, banana) are accounted for, but this time they’re bundled up in pie form, and what started as a snack has now transformed into a decadent dessert. Whoever said frozen bananas don’t belong in cake definitely hasn’t tried this recipe, but we have confidence that after they do, they’ll forever be convinced.

Ingredients:

Topping

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon safflower or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 3 large, ripe bananas (about 1-1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional, only add if bananas aren’t ripe)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and peanuts. Pulse until mixed thoroughly and peanuts are well-chopped. In a spouted measuring cup, combine milk, egg yolk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. With the processor running on low, slowly stream the liquid into the dry ingredients. Process until combined and crumbly.

Turn out mixture onto a floured surface and form into a mound, then into a flat disc. Roll out using a rolling pin until crust is about 12-inch in diameter. Transfer crust to an ungreased pie pan, trim crust to about 1-inch from edge. Fold under and pinch, creating a fluted edge. Poke bottom of crust with fork to create steam vents. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges and center are just golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.

For the Filling and Topping: In a blender, combine all filling ingredients and blend on high until very smooth. Be sure to check for banana chunks before stopping. Pour filling into pre-baked crust. Top pie with chocolate and peanut topping. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until filling is solid and cold. If frozen for longer than that, let rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes to soften before cutting and serving.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Banana Split Smoothie

Last but not least, we end on a healthy note. Banana Split Smoothies might not sound like health food, but a quick glance at their ingredient list proves that frozen bananas can be nutritious, and taste great, too. Take this recipe from Fitnessista and round up your fruit, almond milk, yogurt, chocolate chip, and protein powder of your choice. It’s time to slurp down a smoothie that is both delicious and nutritious, and further prove our point that frozen bananas are the ticket to satisfying summer sweets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 pack or 1 heaping tablespoon of your favorite protein powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (can use vegan yogurt or goat’s milk yogurt, too)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon(ish) chocolate chips
  • -Stevia or honey to taste (optional)
  • -1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • -sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions: Blend ingredients until smooth.

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