19 Best Substitutes for Bananas

Best Substitutes for Bananas
Photo by Claudio Schwarz

Bananas are one of the most popular and beloved fruits in the United States. More than 100 million pounds are consumed every year.

This is according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics. But some can’t eat bananas due to allergies or medical conditions.

For example, allergies like gluten intolerance or celiac disease, which means they need substitutes for bananas.

Whether it’s in smoothies, ice cream, or even bread, here are some of the best substitutes for bananas as a food.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Should We Substitute Banana?
  2. Substitutes for Bananas
    1. Avocado
    2. Applesauce
    3. Oatmeal
    4. Chia Seeds
    5. Mango 
    6. Dates
    7. Pineapple
    8. Peaches  
    9. Pear  
    10. Greek Yogurt  
    11. Apricot  
    12. Kiwi  
    13. Grapefruit 
    14. Papaya
    15. Soaked Cashews
    16.  Frozen veggies
    17. Quinoa
    18. Eggs
    19. Plantain
    20. Cherries

Why Should We Substitute Banana?

One of my favorite foods is bananas. It’s delicious, and I have grown up with them being in my life. I’m sure you’ve heard bananas are good for you, but you may not know why bananas can benefit your health.

Here are some of the banana’s benefits: 

  • Banana fiber can aid in digestion. -Banana has potassium which helps lower blood pressure 
  • Banana’s antioxidants can help prevent heart disease 
  • They taste delicious.

Moreover, the only problem with bananas is they sometimes go wrong before we get a chance to eat them all. This can be especially true if you buy them in bulk and let them sit around too long.

For instance, I am keeping them because they don’t ripen enough. So that brings me to today’s post: substitutes for bananas as food.

Substitutes for Bananas

Avocado

Avocados are one of nature’s perfect substitutes for bananas. They are packed with fiber, healthy fats, and plant sterols that all work together to promote cardiovascular health. Another benefit is that many recipes can use avocados in place of bananas.

For example, to add a creamy texture and boost the nutritional value. This substitution is often seen in desserts such as ice cream and smoothies. Baked goods replace bananas with avocados to get added flavor and nutrition. 

Also, you could mash up avocado instead of buying pre-made guacamole. In terms of portion size, you’ll want about 1⁄4 cup mashed avocado per banana called for in your recipe.

Applesauce

Applesauce is famous among substitutes for bananas. They are readily available and taste great! If you add cinnamon to it, it can taste even better.

Furthermore, applesauce also has more fiber than bananas, making you feel fuller faster. It can also help suppress cravings, meaning you’ll likely consume fewer calories.

And if your applesauce includes sugar or high fructose corn syrup, make sure to compare calories. This is to make sure you don’t mistakenly think applesauce is healthier than bananas.

Oatmeal

Unlike bananas, which lose their flavor if not consumed quickly, oatmeal will stay good to eat even when left overnight. Make banana-oatmeal cookies by combining unsweetened applesauce with whole-wheat flour. 

Also, add baking powder, cinnamon, and walnuts or pecans. Or add a cup of oats to your favorite pancake recipe.

Furthermore, consider using it in place of one of your fruit servings at breakfast time. After all, it’s loaded with fiber, and you can get an equivalent amount of potassium.

Amongst the substitutes for bananas, oatmeal gives an equal amount of potassium nutrients that you’d typically get from two bananas.

Chia Seeds

Did you know that chia seeds can stand out among the substitutes for bananas when baking? Chia seeds have twice as much fiber and protein as bananas and also higher levels of antioxidants. 

Also, they are straightforward to find in health food stores! They have even been proven to lower blood pressure, improve heart health, reduce arthritis symptoms, etc.

In addition to all these great qualities, they make fantastic substitutes for bananas in recipes! Replace one egg with one tablespoon of ground chia seeds. To your recipe, you can add one teaspoon of water per tablespoon of chia seed.

Mango

Mangoes are also suitable substitutes for bananas. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. It has antioxidant properties that lower the risk of cancer. Mango can keep you full for hours. Therefore, they are excellent substitutes for bananas. 

Furthermore, the pulp from mangoes makes great milkshakes and smoothies when blended with milk or ice cream. One small mango has more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

It is excellent for maintaining healthy gums and teeth plus supports wound healing. To lose weight quickly without starving yourself, include mango in your diet at least twice or thrice a week!

Dates

While you can’t simply swap bananas with dates, since they have different flavor profiles, one can use one in place of another.

With only 50 calories and 3 grams of fiber per date, dates are higher in fiber and potassium than bananas. In addition, they’re also high in iron and manganese.

Consider adding them to oatmeal or smoothies where they’ll offer a similar consistency and comparable nutrition.

If your recipe calls for a shredded banana, purée pitted dates instead to yield more even results. Dates can also work well if you’re looking to make banana bread.

Pineapple

Pineapples have been used to flavor foods like cakes and ice cream since pre-Columbian times. In addition to being delicious, they are also very healthy and can serve as excellent substitutes for bananas in many dishes.

The pineapple flesh adds moisture, sweetness, and fiber to your foods without adding extra fat or calories. Pineapple is also very easy to work with, making it an ideal ingredient for any cook who doesn’t want to spend hours fussing over recipes.

Whether you’re looking for a way to sneak some more fruit into your diet or want something tasty to eat on a hot summer day, try adding pineapple next time you make banana bread or other treats!

Peaches

As you may know, peaches are considered one of the top foods rich in anti-aging properties. Peaches also provide essential nutrients, including vitamin A, potassium, and dietary fiber.

There are numerous health benefits from eating peaches regularly. They are also suitable substitutes for bananas as food in your diet.

Pear

We all know that banana is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, iron, and dietary fiber. All these nutrients are in pears also but in a lesser amount than those present in bananas.

So if you are afraid of getting calories and carbs from bananas, replace them with pear fruit. It will save your health from being overweight or obese.

You can prepare fruit salad or dessert with pears or design a cereal bar at breakfast time with pears slices. There are many other ways to use them as substitutes for bananas, like preparing muffins by using 1/3 cup pears instead of 1/3 cup bananas, porridge recipe by using pear instead of banana, etc.

Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is also one of many substitutes for banana foods that can be used in some of our recipes in place of bananas.

Because yogurt, like other dairy products, contains protein and fat, it may help you feel full sooner. Yogurt may also have some health benefits not found in bananas.

It’s loaded with probiotics and proteins that help boost your immune system and strengthen your bones—which means you’ll be able to do more with less energy after eating yogurt.

Due to its high protein content, bodybuilders use it to build muscle mass. At the same time, they cut down on their calorie intake.

But remember: Like any food, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Please limit yourself to one serving of yogurt each day so you don’t gain weight instead of losing it!

Apricot

Although it’s not technically a banana substitute, the apricot is one of many fruits to make our list. A medium-sized ripe apricot has about 31 calories and packs quite a bit of fiber: 2 grams.

You can use pies or muffins instead of apples as an alternative to bananas. The flatter bottom of an apricot makes it easy to stack on top of other ingredients when baking, so go ahead and use them like bananas in bread or cakes too! Apricots contain vitamin C and are also rich in phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Kiwi

Fresh kiwi is pretty easy to come by; they’re available year-round at grocery stores and make an excellent alternative to bananas in recipes.

The kiwi flavor is unique, combining sweet, sour, and bitter. Cut into a banana shape, and you’ll have your substitution ready in no time. Like bananas, kiwis are best eaten when ripe (bright green on one side).

They should be firm but not stiff—feel free to give them a little squeeze before eating. Once mature, they can be stored in their skins for up to two days. If you want to use them beyond that period (and who doesn’t?), slice them or cut off their tops and freeze!

Grapefruit

Many people have never tried eating a grapefruit in place of bananas. While many other foods are used to replace bananas, few are healthier or taste better than grapefruit.

It is better served by itself with no added sugar. The grapefruit will not only give you more energy and health benefits than bananas, but it also has its unique flavor to satisfy your taste buds.

Papaya

Did you know that one medium papaya is only 87 calories? Papayas also provide healthy fat, antioxidants, and protein. For example, they are high in vitamin C.

Do you know that one medium papaya is only 87 calories? Papayas also provide healthy fat, antioxidants, and protein. For example, they are high in vitamin C.

Do you know that one medium papaya is only 87 calories? Papayas also provide healthy fat, antioxidants, and protein. For example, they are high in vitamin C.

Do you know that one medium papaya is only 87 calories? Papayas also provide healthy fat, antioxidants, and protein.

Soaked Cashews

Cashews are rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and B-complex vitamins. They are also high in calories.

A cup of cashews has 160 calories and 15 grams of fat – which is why they are suitable substitutes for bananas. One medium banana has about 105 calories, which means that by substituting one cup of cashews for one banana, you’ll reduce your caloric intake by about 40 calories.

This may not seem like much, but in addition to helping you lose weight, it can also help with overall cholesterol levels.

Frozen veggies

Though frozen vegetables can’t quite match ripe bananas in terms of nutrition (bananas are loaded with potassium and fiber), they still deliver valuable amounts of vitamins A, C, and K; folate; thiamin; and niacin.

According to one study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating about 11⁄2 cups per day of green leafy veggies—like broccoli or spinach—can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, helping you control blood sugar.

Plus: Frozen veggies won’t spoil overnight. Eat them plain or add them to omelets, soups, pasta dishes, stir-fries, you name it!

Quinoa

Though quinoa is one of nine species of goosefoot, it is often described as a grain seed from some varieties eaten whole or ground into flour.

Still, most people are familiar with quinoa as an ingredient in gluten-free products like crackers, pasta, and pancake mixes. When cooked and cooled, quinoa is an excellent substitute for bananas.

Quinoa has a mild flavor that blends well with fruit purees to make creamy desserts. Use 1 cup of water or milk to 1 cup of rinsed quinoa; boil over medium heat and then simmer until grains have expanded but still retain their shape (about 15 minutes). Cool quickly in the refrigerator (20 minutes should do) before using recipes.

Eggs

Eggs are versatile. You can serve them in several different ways, and they’re also good to cook with or eat raw. When you want to make some banana bread, the egg is an ideal substitute.

You may need to add extra sugar to your recipe when using eggs. But they will give you some additional protein while satisfying your craving for sweets.

Plantain

Plantains are also substitutes for bananas. They are starchy, green bananas. So you can cook and mash them up as substitutes for bananas in most recipes.

They don’t taste quite like bananas, but they have a similar consistency, so you shouldn’t notice much difference. For example, try using plantain instead of banana when making muffins or banana bread. The baked goods will be denser than they would be with bananas, but they’ll still taste good!

Cherries

Like bananas, cherries are high in pectin and soluble fiber, so they are suitable substitutes for bananas. Both types of fiber lower cholesterol levels and help prevent blood-sugar spikes after meals.

Cherries also contain polyphenols (plant compounds) that reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Cherries may also be effective in preventing kidney stones.

A recent study found that eating 11⁄2 cups of fresh or frozen cherries can have anti-inflammatory effects. Comparable to those of ibuprofen—without any gastrointestinal side effects.

Conclusion

While bananas are incredibly nutrient-dense and can make an excellent addition to your diet, they’re not exactly cheap. That makes them one of those snack foods that are okay to substitute. Therefore there are many substitutes for bananas.

For example, if you have banana bread on hand and fresh fruit is off-limits, use applesauce or yogurt in its place instead. The taste won’t be identical, but it’ll get you by when money is tight.

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