Bananas are popular edible fruits, valued for their taste, flavor, and nutritional value. Who can forget the fulfillment of gulping down a glass of sweet banana smoothie or the aroma of delicious banana bread? Bananas always make us happy. They are good for everyone; kids and adults.
But what if you run out of them? Do you think you can have the goodness and taste of bananas without using bananas? The answer must be in the affirmative (otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, right?).
There is an array of banana substitutes that you can use to test your mettle in recipes that call for bananas. Wondering which are substitutes? Some of the best banana substitutes are plantains, avocado, applesauce, sweet potatoes, and eggs.
Imagine you are desperately trying to get your hands on making the best banana smoothie, banana brownies, or upside-down banana monkey bread.
You don’t want the misfortune of being devoid of banana substitutes, right? If you are a total newbie and are amazed that there are substitutes for bananas, this article is written just for you.
What's In The Post
Quick Peek: Banana
Let us have a really quick look at bananas, their culinary uses, and health benefits before moving on to its substitutes.
Bananas In The Culinary World
Did you know banana is actually a radioactive berry? Well, speaking botanically, of course! Who cares about botany anyways? I bet you are intrigued by the ‘radioactive part.’ Hold the thought for a while.
Banana is an edible fruit that was initially cultivated years ago as a source of fiber. Yes, you heard it right. If the stems of other trees we know are made of wood, the stem of a banana is made of fiber.
The yellow fruit has a sweet flavor that gets intensifies when it ripens. It has soft and juicy flesh with thick, fibrous skin. It comes in green, yellow, red, purple, and brown colors.
Bananas are used to prepare snacks, bread, ice creams, shakes, smoothies, desserts, pancakes, muffins, salads, etc. They thicken and render a unique flavor to whatever you are brewing or baking.
Bananas On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Bananas are really healthy. They are rich in potassium, calcium, iron, and fiber. They can boost digestive health by being a good source of probiotics.
They can also improve your heart functioning and help you in your weight loss journey. They are one of the recommended foods for athletes to consume after intense workouts.
Also, if you want to know the breakdown of the nutritional values of bananas, I have it right here.
1 Cup Bananas (mashed)
Why Should We Substitute Banana?
Bananas have plenty of uses when it comes to the world of cooking. But that doesn’t mean it is treasured by many. There are many who, despite loving bananas, are allergic to them *sympathetic sighs*.
As always, a couple of ingredients can simulate the magic of bananas. No, I am not talking about finding foods to replace bananas in your daily diet. Let us look into some ingredients which can replace bananas and add richness and thickness to your recipes.
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15 Best Bananas Substitutes
The 15 best banana substitutes are as follows:
Plantains are fruits that belong to the family of bananas. They are green to yellow in color with a hard skin, which is the perfect stage for consumption.
They look like bananas but are thicker and larger in structure and appearance. Unripe plantains need to be cooked before being eaten, unlike bananas which can be consumed raw.
Plantains also have higher starch content and sweet taste, which helps us prepare creamy, yummy smoothies, making them one of the ideal substitutes for bananas. You may not get the actual flavor of bananas with plantains, but texture-wise, plantains are great substitutes.
Avocado is also known as alligator pears or butter fruit. It is a green-colored fruit with greenish-brown skin. It is also a powerhouse of essential nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats.
I remember when my friend surprised me with a milkshake using avocados (replacing bananas, of course). It was incredible.
Avocado has a creamy, sweet flavor with a soft texture and thus becomes a great substitute for bananas. It gives a rich and thick consistency to your shakes or smoothies. You may want to double up the sugar since avocado isn’t as sweet as bananas.
Applesauce is made by slow-cooking apples in water or apple cider (optional sugar). It also has a thick, creamy texture and a light, chunky consistency and can be a perfect substitute for bananas.
If you add applesauce as a banana substitute, you can expect your dish to be fresh and moist. Applesauce can be sweetened, unsweetened, or made using cinnamon. In every way, it is a show stealer when it comes to substituting bananas!
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family of plants. These are root vegetables that have large, tuberous roots full of starch. These are true to their name and are naturally sweet in flavor.
Sweet potatoes are actually consumed as a staple food in many countries. They are a healthy bunch of vegetables rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.
Sweet potatoes have a mild, starchy flavor, almost emulating bananas in smoothies or milkshakes. Just cook and mash these potatoes for that rich texture!
Eggs have been for long considered an important ingredient for rendering texture and structure to baking recipes. They have a hard describe flavor, but they can absorb the flavors of whatever they are put into.
Swapping bananas with eggs isn’t always a recommended option. Simply because eggs won’t give you the sweetness of bananas in whatever you are baking apart from ensuring texture, flavor, structure, and consistency. Therefore, a cup of sugar should be near at hand for the sweet flavor in your recipes.
Oatmeal, made using processed oats and liquid (either milk or water), is usually a great addition to baking recipes. When crushed and used, it gives a mild, whacky flavor and a luscious, creamy texture to your cakes, bread, or smoothies.
Consumption of oatmeal can promote weight loss, reduce blood sugar levels and mitigate the risk of heart diseases as it is low in calories and rich in antioxidants and other vital nutrients.
If you are looking for a healthy banana substitute that renders a thick texture, grab a pack of oatmeal and get your cooking done.
Mango is a tropical, edible, and yummy fruit with a sweet flavor that is addictive. It is also a readily available substitute for bananas. Ripened mangoes have a sweet taste, and the unripened mangoes taste sour.
Mangoes have a juicy, yummy inner portion and a vibrant yellow outer skin with a single seed. They have a floral, citrusy, tart flavor that will let everybody know about their presence in your kitchen!
For salads, desserts, or smoothies, mangoes will give you that succulent sweet flavor alongside texture while replacing bananas.
8. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious black and white seeds that are now famous as the prime source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They have a very mild flavor – in fact, they hardly contribute their own aroma or flavor to the recipes they are used in.
Chia seeds are nutritious, edible seeds that can be used as a substitute for bananas, a very healthy substitute, I might add.
They can be added as they are but are usually soaked in liquid before gracing your recipe. It works as a thickening agent in desserts and puddings. It also assures a mild, nutty flavor to your baking recipes.
9. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is also known as strained yogurt or yogurt cheese. Greek yogurt is simply regular yogurt that undergoes a straining process to remove the whey. It has a thick texture and a sour taste.
Greek yogurt assuredly gives you a thicker and creamier texture than regular yogurt when used to replace bananas. But it has a unique tangy flavor and less sugar. This necessitates the use of additional sweeteners to emulate the sweetness of bananas.
Pumpkins are a type of winter squash vegetable which are orange-colored. They have thick skin with sweet, juicy flesh inside. They are good sources of many essential nutrients – vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, copper, fiber, folate, and manganese.
Pumpkins are plump, edible, and highly nutritious fruits with less caloric value. They have a heavenly earthy and sweet flavor akin to bananas.
Canned pumpkins can act as a sweetener and moisturizer, all the while ensuring your cakes or smoothies have a creamy texture and getting the job done as the best substitute for bananas.
11. Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is a type of thick cream made using coconut milk. It tastes very much like coconut but not with any sweet flavor. When added to desserts, salads, or cakes, coconut cream enhances the richness, flavor, and moisture.
Coconut cream, with added sugar, has the goodness and essence of bananas, making it a worthy substitute.
12. Silken Tofu
Also known as bean curd, tofu is a derivative of soy made by pressing curdled soy milk into thick, solid slabs. It doesn’t have a flavor, making it a perfect ingredient in recipes to absorb flavors.
Silken tofu, also called Japanese tofu, is a variety of tofu with a jelly-like texture. It has an extremely soft structure that requires care while handling. Talking about its flavor, it has a distinctive creamy flavor with an incredible mouthfeel that is hard to resist when used in recipes.
Silken tofu has no major flavor to contribute, and thus it can be used to replace bananas for a similar consistency.
13. Soaked Cashews
Are you a fan of those kidney-shaped nuts which are well-known for their flavor, versatility, and health benefits? If yes, you have got the next banana substitute ready with you!
Cashews have a mild, creamy, buttery flavor and a rich texture. They are low in sugar but rich in fiber, plant protein, and healthy fatty acids.
Soaked cashews are more healthy than regular cashews. By soaking, phytic acid is discarded, helping us fully enjoy these nuts’ nutritional benefits. When added to recipes, they have a creamy flavor and render a thick texture.
Cashew cream cheese, obtained from grinding soaked cashews, is a considerable substitute for bananas in terms of texture and rich flavor.
Quinoa refers to those edible seeds of the quinoa plant rich in nutrients, especially highly enriching protein. These are, in fact, pseudo-grains that are devoid of gluten. They have a mild taste, firm texture, and a nutty flavor.
Quinoa seeds can be used in lieu of bananas in smoothies due to their flavor and health benefits.
I get it… that’s a whole lot of substitutes and their details. Let me give you some points to remember the details on banana substitutes easily.
Flavor: Plantains, avocado, applesauce, and sweet potatoes are the best banana substitutes in terms of flavor.
Texture: Plantains, avocado, applesauce, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt are the best substitutes for bananas in terms of texture.
Availability: Avocados, sweet potatoes, yogurt, pumpkin, and oatmeal are easily available alternatives for bananas.
Believe it or not, bananas make an essential component in many recipes. It is hard to match the uniqueness of its taste. Even then, you have been presented with the best substitutes that are easily available to swap them.
Adding sugar becomes necessary depending on the type of substitute you choose. That is the only factor that requires you to be mindful. If you use any of these substitutes, let me know in the comments if everything worked out for the best. I’ll see you next time. Until then, happy eating!
How To Use Banana Substitutes In A Recipe
- Sweet Potatoes
- Chia Seeds
- Greek Yogurt
- Coconut Cream
- Silken Tofu
- Soaked Cashews
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What are the best substitutes for bananas in baking?
Applesauce, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, eggs and silken tofu are the best substitutes for bananas in baking.
What are the best substitutes for bananas in pancakes?
Applesauce, almond milk, lemon juice, maple syrup and oat flour are the best banana substitutes in pancakes.
What are the best substitutes for bananas in smoothies?
Avocado, oatmeal, chia seeds, frozen fruit, yogurt, and silken tofu are the best substitutes for banana
What is the substitute for mashed bananas in baking?
Mashed bananas can be replaced by puree of any fruit but applesauce is the most preferred substitute for mashed bananas in baking.