Bananas are a great source of nutrition and can be used in many recipes, from smoothies to desserts.
But what do you do when the bananas you have on hand aren’t ripe enough or if you don’t have any at all?
Fortunately, there are plenty of banana substitutes that can work just as well in your recipes.
From applesauce to pumpkin puree and even avocado, here are eight of the best substitutes for banana that will help make your dishes taste delicious without sacrificing flavor.
What are bananas?
Bananas are a type of edible fruit that is widely cultivated in tropical climates all around the world.
They have a long, curved shape and bright yellow skin when ripe.
They have an incredibly sweet flavor, making them one of the world’s most popular fruits.
Bananas are rich in essential nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin B6, manganese, dietary fiber, and Vitamin C.
Eating bananas can help with digestion due to its high dietary fiber content.
The flesh of the banana also contains prebiotics which helps to feed beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome while promoting healthy digestion overall.
Bananas can be eaten raw or cooked into various dishes like smoothies and desserts for an added sweetness and texture boost!
The 8 Best Substitutes For Banana
Bananas are a popular fruit, but they may not always be available.
If you’re looking for an alternative to bananas in your recipes, here are eight great substitutes:
1 – Applesauce
Applesauce is a popular food item made from cooked and pureed apples.
It has a sweet and tart flavor that is unique to itself, yet it is reminiscent of apple pie.
Applesauce can be a viable substitute for bananas in recipes such as banana bread, smoothies, and cakes.
Its texture gives these dishes the same moistness found with bananas while providing a slightly different taste; one more distinctively flavorful than regular mashed bananas.
Additionally, it works as an effective binding agent along with keeping the dish on the sweeter side due to its natural sugars present in applesauce.
2 – Plantain
Plantain is a unique type of banana.
It’s found mostly in the Caribbean and Central America and looks like a regular banana with its yellow or black skin but it’s much bigger and stronger.
The taste of plantain is much starchier than a regular banana when eaten raw.
However, once cooked, it has an intense sweetness that pairs well with various dishes, ranging from savory Latin American recipes to sweet treats like cakes and crepes!
When looking to substitute banana with this delicious ingredient, you should think about cooking methods: if your recipe calls for frying or grilling then plantains are definitely better suited as they hold their shape quite nicely due to their starchy texture while bananas become too mushy in these types of cooking methods.
Plantains are also great for mashing as they create a thicker texture compared to mashed bananas – perfect for breads, pies etc.
3 – Avocado
As a fruit, avocados are creamy and savory with subtle notes of nuttiness.
The texture of an avocado can be quite different than other fruits as most avocados have a soft but not mushy texture to them.
It would make sense to use avocados in savory dishes or baking recipes where banana just wouldn’t taste right – think guacamole or avocado brownies.
You could also mash ripe avocado and spread it on toast or crackers for a delicious snack that’s full of healthy fats.
4 – Canned Pumpkin
Canned pumpkin is a hugely popular ingredient for cooking and baking – particularly around the holiday season.
It has a slightly sweet taste, with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and other spices.
When it comes to using canned pumpkin vs. bananas as an ingredient in recipes such as smoothies or muffins, there are definitely benefits to both!
For example, bananas make great calorie-free replacements for sugar while adding a creamy texture.
On the other hand, canned pumpkin puree can offer tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber that aren’t typically found in bananas.
In addition to this lovely nutritional boost (especially when compared to banana), it also gives recipes more flavor and sweetness without having to add extra sugar or butter/cream!
If you’re looking for nutrient-packed smoothie ingredients or low-fat baking options that still provide lots of flavor then opting for canned pumpkin would be best instead of using banana.
The same could be said if you want a deeper autumnal flavor in your savory dishes too – giving them a warm comfort-food feel due its delicious spicy undertone.
5 – Mashed Sweet Potato
Mashed sweet potato is quickly becoming a popular ingredient across many kitchens, thanks to its incredibly versatility and delicious flavor.
Not only does it taste incredibly good when mashed with butter and spices, but some even swear that it tastes better than mashed banana!
This ingredient’s starchiness makes it perfect for savory dishes.
For example, you could mash the sweet potatoes with shallots, garlic, and cumin in soups or stews; this will add body as well as plenty of flavor to the dish.
The sweet earthy quality of mashed sweet potato also makes them great for baking – adding richness and natural sweetness.
When substituting mashed banana in recipes like smoothies or muffins, you can use half a cup of creamy mashed sweet potato instead; this will help to make your dish more nutritious while still giving taste an incredible flavor boost.
Ultimately, it really depends on what type of recipe you’re making as both have their strengths and weaknesses depending on what they are called to be used for!
6 – Mashed Butternut Squash
Mashed Butternut Squash is quickly becoming one of the most popular ingredients in cooking due to its versatility, creaminess and pleasantly sweet taste.
The squash has a subtle nutty flavor that adds richness to any dish.
Its smooth texture makes it a great alternative for mashed potatoes or banana puree in recipes such as pancakes, breakfast bake and burgers.
Mashed Butternut Squash can be used instead of bananas if you’re looking for something different from the usual sweetness from bananas found in dishes.
The natural sweetness provides far less sugar than processed fruit sources, this making it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a healthier option when adding sugar to their dishes.
7 – Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has become a popular ingredient in cooking for its thick and creamy texture that adds a crave-able, decadent feel to many dishes.
Its silky smooth flavor is also similar to sour cream which gives it an extra boost of deliciousness.
The difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt comes down to the straining process.
Greek yogurt has been strained several times which produces a much thicker and velvety consistency.
It also contains higher levels of protein which makes it an ideal alternative when you want something slightly more filling than banana.
Greek yogurt taste like regular yogurt but with more tanginess due to added tart flavors that are not found in other yogurts.
Plus, since the amount of liquid is lower, it has less natural sweetness compared with traditional yogurts making it perfect for adding a dose of creaminess without overly sweetening your food item.
When would make sense to use Greek Yogurt instead of banana?
If you’re looking for some added protein or fat content (or if you’re planning on baking), using plain Greek yogurt is the way to go!
The tart flavor will also add a pleasant tanginess to your dish, while the thick and creamy texture will create a delicious, indulgent experience.
If you want something sweet, you can add a bit of honey or agave syrup to the yogurt before using it in your recipe.
8 – Mashed Ripe Pears
Mashed ripe pears have become incredibly popular in cooking and baking lately, mainly because they are so versatile.
They can be used as a healthier replacement for eggs or sweeteners, like banana.
They’re also a great substitute for butter when baking cakes and muffins.
When to use them instead of banana will entirely depend on what you’re creating.
Ripe pears are generally much sweeter than bananas, so if your recipe calls for something that isn’t quite as sweet – such as granola bars – then pears won’t overpower the flavors of other ingredients.
Pears also happen to be slightly denser which makes them more ideal for dense treats like fritters and cookies compared to mashed banana.
While both work well in baked recipes – it’s all about getting creative with flavors!
What fruit is comparable to bananas?
If you’re looking for a fruit that is comparable to bananas, the best option would be plantains.
Plantains are closely related to bananas, but they have a thicker skin and firmer texture when ripe.
Additionally, plantains are starchier than their banana counterparts and can be cooked like potatoes or served as chips.
When green, they’re often included in savory dishes such as stews and stir-fries.
They also provide great nutrition with high amounts of vitamins A and C plus dietary fiber and essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
What is the healthier alternative to a banana?
A healthier alternative to a banana would be a kiwi. Kiwis are rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
They also have fewer calories than bananas and contain more potassium.
Additionally, kiwis are high in prebiotic fiber, which helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Eating kiwi can help reduce inflammation and improve digestion while providing essential nutrients like magnesium and copper.
Furthermore, they are low on the glycemic index, making them an ideal snack for those who want to manage their weight or blood sugar levels.
All these benefits make kiwis an excellent substitute for bananas when looking for a healthy snack option!
How do you substitute bananas in baking?
Bananas are a common ingredient in baking, but there are times when you may need to substitute them.
Fortunately, there are a few options that can be used as replacements for bananas.
Applesauce is one of the most popular substitutes because it has a similar texture and sweetness.
You can also use mashed pumpkin or squash for added flavor and nutrition.
For something even sweeter, try using pureed dates or dried fruit like raisins.
If the recipe calls for banana extract instead of actual bananas, you can easily substitute with other extracts such as almond, coconut, or vanilla extract.
Depending on the type of dish you’re making and how sweet you want it to be, you could also add some honey or maple syrup to get that desired flavor profile without having to use bananas at all.
The 8 Best Substitutes For Banana
- Canned Pumpkin
- Mashed Sweet Potato
- Mashed Butternut Squash
- Greek Yogurt
- Mashed Ripe Pears
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.