What to do with overripe bananas…

…freeze them.

Oh, that wasn’t helpful? You want to know what to make with frozen bananas?  Well, there is always banana bread*, but given the number of languishing overripe bananas that grace my counter top and make there way into the freezer…well there is only so much banana bread one can eat. That’s where this banana smoothie recipe comes in. It’s addictive and delicious as is – simplicity is a beautiful thing – but it also makes the perfect blank canvas for a delicious and healthy shake (freshly grated nutmeg, espresso + chocolate, vanilla bean…).

Despite the fact that this recipe has only two ingredients – bananas and milk – it doesn’t taste overly banana-y.  Don’t get me wrong, you probably won’t like this shake if you hate bananas, but I find the flavor to be reminiscent of soft serve with just a hint of true banana flavor.  That’s why it makes such a good base for additions (though it’s truly delicious on it’s own).  The frozen banana adds body and creaminess to this smoothie and while I love berry smoothies, this might just edge them out in my book (plus it’s a lot more economical to make).  Now if you just make a habit of tossing those ripe bananas into the freezer you’ll have a simply delicious breakfast (or snack) ready to go – even if the fridge is looking a wee bit bare.  Onto the ridiculously simple “recipe”…

Place the frozen banana pieces into a blender.  Complicated, I know.

(I always break the ripened bananas into pieces before freezing which makes it a little easier on my blender.)

Add 1.5 cups of milk (preferably 2% for the extra creamy factor). This isn’t rocket science.  If you like a thicker (more soft-serve texture) use less.  Thinner?  More.  You can always add ice cubes to the mix to make it thicker without upping the banana factor but I don’t usually bother.

P.S. I kept wanting to call this a milkshake (because it’s made with milk!) but then that makes me think of a shake made with ice cream which this is most definitely not.  Although it kinda tastes like it…


Yup, it’s a pretty difficult recipe.  If you don’t have the world’s strongest blender, you might have to do the whole start-stop-stir thing.  Phew.  It’s hard work.

Now go pour yourself (and your friend) a glass and enjoy.  You deserve it after all that hard work you put into preparing the “recipe.”

Banana Smoothie (serves 2)

2 frozen bananas + 1.5 cups milk.  Blend.  Enjoy.

Thanks for bearing with my “recipe” – I just wanted to help inspire you out of a breakfast rut.  Speaking of which…any quick, delicious recipes for breakfast anyone wants to share?

*To make banana bread with frozen bananas, just let them thaw (or defrost them in the microwave) and add to your chosen recipe.  They may not look pretty once they’re thawed, but they work beautifully in bread batters.  Or pancake batters…


14 Responses

  1. Claudia says:

    This is just how my mom used to make them when we were kids, aside from the freezing part! Of course my mom’s English isn’t 110% perfect (although it’s pretty damn close to that!) she called them banana juice :P! It’s the best way, IMO…no sugar needed! Thanks for posting this :)

  2. Carine says:

    I can imagine how creamy this smoothie would be. I’m making them for supper….haha

    • Sarah says:

      Using a frozen banana instead of ice is definitely the secret to a creamy smoothie. Who says we can’t have smoothies for supper, eh?

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    I always have a stash of frozen bananas in the freezer for just this purpose. Well, that and making banana bread. The frozen bananas give any shake such body and richness. It’s a treat that only tastes decadent.

  4. stephchows says:

    mmmm it looks so thick and dreamy! Mine normally go to banana bread.. but maybe this next batch will go to this recipe!

  5. Carin says:

    Hej Sarah! Nu läser vi dina recept även här i Blåsmark, Sweden. Du är ju jätteduktig! Borde du inte starta restaurang =)

    • Sarah says:

      Hej Carin! Vad kul att du tittar på min matblog! Jag har hört att det är väldigt kallt hos er. Pröva min chai så håller du dig värm. : )

  6. Tara says:

    I saw this on Gawker a few weeks ago. I waited patiently for my bananas to ripen and then chopped and froze them (which I never would have thought to do). This morning was one of those hectic mornings and I remembered this recipe. I made it using half-and-half. O.M.G. It was sooooo lovely and smooth. My daughter drank almost 16 ounces of it and my husband and I had to share what little was left. Thanks so much for suggesting such a simple but amazing smoothie. I can’t wait to try it with a little peanut butter or mini-chocolate chips!

  7. Make Banana Bread…Put cream cheese on it before you eat it and you will have a real TREAT!

  8. Annie says:

    For years I have been making a breakfast shake with espresso, frozen bananas and chocolate almond milk. As it’s blending I also add some cinnamon, cocoa powder and flax meal. I sometimes add a little peanut butter in for a change of pace or frozen berries. Delicious & good for you, too!!

  9. Jaime says:

    Add nutella, peanut butter or chocolate chips for a delicious change!! :)

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