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4 Uses for Overripe Bananas (Besides Bread)

Bananas are a staple on my grocery list each week, but without fail I usually end up with a spotty, overripe banana or two left on my kitchen counter by the end of the week. While you can never go wrong with a fresh loaf of banana bread, sometimes you have to mix it up a bit. Here are four of my favorite ways to put those leftover bananas to good use.

1. Cookies: As a banana ripens, its starch turns to sugar making it mushy and super-sweet. Adding just one ripe banana to these oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies provides light banana flavor and enough sweetness that you can cut back on added sugar. View Recipe: Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Oatmeal: My go-to oatmeal bowl toppings are sliced banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a drizzle of local honey. When my banana is overripe, I mash and stir it right into the hot oatmeal instead of slicing. It gives the oatmeal a creamier texture and sweeter flavor.

3. Ice Cream. If you haven't tried one-ingredient ice cream yet, you're missing out. When tossed in a food processor or blender, frozen bananas turn into a smooth, creamy, soft serve-like treat. Here's how to do it: Slice overripe bananas, and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toss frozen slices into a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy. It's great on its own, but even better with a little honey, peanut butter, or chocolate chips added right into the processor. Or, find inspiration in the above image and top with espresso, peanuts, and chocolate curls. Yum!

4. 3-Ingredient Pancakes for One These single-serving pancakes are a bit more like the custardy center bite of French toast: fluffy, eggy, and golden delicious. They come together in a flash, making them a fun weekday treat. Watch how to make them in the video below.

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