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6 tasty ways to use up overripe bananas

Nutrient-rich bananas are a staple in most fruit bowls. In fact, Countdown lists bananas as their number one grocery list item, with Kiwis buying a whopping 18kgs of bananas per person last year.

Unfortunately according to Love Food Hate Waste, we also throw away 18 million bananas in New Zealand every year because they get ripe too fast. We look at six easy ways you can keep overripe bananas out of the bin.

1 Bake it

It may seem like a no-brainer, but your weekend baking will always benefit from a dose of overripe bananas. Add to your next banana cake or batch of banana bread, use to sweeten up muffins or keep cookies and biscuits moist and chewy.

2 Blitz it

Want a creamy, sweet smoothie without adding any naughty ingredients? Look no further than the humble banana. Use an overripe banana in this cranberry and apple pie smoothie that has all the flavours of a sugar, dairy-ladened milkshake, without the nasties.

3 Put it in a pud

Move over chocolate, there's a decadent new dessert star. Use overripe bananas to create this indulgent self-saucing pudding or give bread and butter pudding a sweet boost.

4 Start your day with it

Bananas and eggs are the key to creating these easy two-ingredient pancakes. Spread with peanut or almond butter and enjoy!

5 Bottle it

While we don't often think of pairing banana with savoury dishes, this ferociously good banana chutney is here to prove us wrong. Leave for a week for the flavours to develop then serve with jerk chicken, curry or pan-fried fish. Heaven!

6 Whizz it into the healthiest ice cream ever

Creating homemade ice cream is a daunting task, except when you have an overripe banana or two on your hands.

Simply slice your bananas, place on a baking paper lined tray and pop in the freezer for at least 25 minutes or until frozen.

Once frozen, add your banana slices to a food processor (or blender) along with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder and process until smooth like soft serve.

Voila! Dairy-free, gluten-free, naturally sweetened ice cream in a snap.

Try this recipe for dairy-free roasted strawberry and banana ice cream.

Create [healthy 'ice cream'](http://www.foodtolove.co.nz/recipes/roasted-strawberry-and-ginger-ice-cream-35839|target="_blank"|rel="nofollow") with bananas.
Create healthy 'ice cream' with bananas.

Top tip

Freezing your overripe bananas is an excellent way to prevent wastage. Freeze whole in the skin, peel, chop and freeze in portions, purée and freeze - there's an option to suit you.

Feature image via: 123rf.com

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