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Got rotten bananas? Make sweetened banana bread

Rotting- or overly ripe- bananas have amazing strength as a sweetener. Add them to a bit of flour, egg and oil and what would have been bread is really more of a cake. This recipe for sugar-free banana bread has quite a few optional ingredients because the bananas play such an important role.

While the distinction between the relative healthiness of fructose vs sucrose can be confusing, it’s important not to get bogged down in the battles over HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup). When the fructose hasn’t been processed and arrives in the form of whole fruits, it’s not something to worry about. 

While sweet, bananas offer not just tons of vitamins and minerals, but more fiber than most other fruits (about 3 grams per piece).

Not rotten, just ready to be baked

The next time you find yourself with a handful of nearly-rotting bananas, either get ready to bake or simply stick them in the freezer. Freezing will stop the ripening process. While the skins will turn black, the fruit will remain edible. 

When ready to make your banana bread (or fruit smoothie, etc), simply remove them from the freezer and let them thaw with their skins on. Once they’ve thawed, peel and use.

For a visual of this recipe see our video What to do with rotting bananas: sugar free banana bread.


  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (you can substitute the oil or butter with applesauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup flour (can be white, whole wheat, spelt, you can experiment here)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (* optional)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (* optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (* optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (* optional)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (* optional)
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Mash bananas in a bowl. 
  2. Add oil (or butter) and eggs and mix until creamy.
  3. Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Stir in the nuts.
  5. Oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. 
  6. Pour mixture into pan.
  7. Bake at 3250°F for 45 minutes to an hour. To check if it’s done, insert a knife or toothpick in center and if it comes out clean it’s cooked.
  8. Cool on a rack.
  9. Remove from pan and slice.