The banana is a widely popular fruit that is grown in regions with warm, tropical climates, like India and Africa. Bananas are healthy, nourishing, and full of vitamins.
Bananas thicken smoothies and health shakes and give these drinks a unique flavor. Mashed bananas often feature in baking recipes for cakes, muffins, pancakes, and banana bread.
Bananas add a tropical flavor to baked goods, and bananas help to bind dry ingredients together. Bananas contain natural juice, which adds moisture to baked goods.
You can use other fruits and vegetables as a banana substitute in baking recipes, because other fruits and vegetables add flavor and moisture, and act as a binding agent.
Best Substitute for Bananas: Applesauce
The best substitute for bananas in baked goods is applesauce because applesauce has a similar texture to mashed bananas. Applesauce adds moisture to baked goods.
The flavor of applesauce is different from the flavor of bananas, but applesauce works as a banana substitute in cakes, muffins, and pancakes because applesauce and bananas are both sweet.
You can use applesauce as an alternative to bananas in banana bread. Applesauce adds a different flavor that should taste as good as the banana flavor, and applesauce won’t affect the texture of the ‘banana’ bread.
Use ½ cup of applesauce as a substitute for 1 mashed banana in baked goods.
You can use ready-made applesauce, or you can make applesauce yourself with apples and water. Golden delicious apples have the best flavor for applesauce, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavor notes.
Follow these steps to make applesauce:
- Peel and core 6 apples
- Cut the apples into chunks
- Place the apples in a saucepan with ¼ cup of water
- Boil the apples over medium heat until the apples are soft
- Leave the apples to cool, and blend the apples into a smooth paste using a blender
Pour the applesauce into sterilized glass jars, and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Other Banana Substitutes, Alternatives, and Replacements
Below, you can find a list of ingredients that you can use in place of bananas in baked goods and smoothies.
Banana Substitutes in Baked Goods
Pureéd prunes are a great substitute for bananas in baked goods because pureéd prunes are sweet and have natural moisture. Pureéd prunes also have a similar consistency to mashed bananas.
You can use ready-made pureéd prunes, or you can use prunes that are intended for use as baby food. Use ½ a cup of pureéd prunes in place of 1 mashed banana.
Pureéd Cooked or Canned Peaches
Peaches can be used as a banana substitute because they contain natural juice, which adds flavor and moisture to baked goods.
You can use canned peaches in place of bananas, or you can cook fresh peaches and pureé the cooked peaches. If you use canned peaches, you should drain the excess juice and pureé the peaches with a blender.
If you use fresh peaches, follow these easy steps:
- Peel 6 peaches and remove the stones. (You can choose any variety of peach, depending on your preference.)
- Slice the peaches and place in a saucepan
- Add ¼ cup of water
- Bring the peaches to the boil, and simmer over low heat until the peaches are soft
- Allow the peaches to cool, and pureé the cooked peaches with a blender
Pour the pureéd peaches into a sterilized glass jar and store in the fridge for up to a week. Use pureéd peaches as a 1:1 banana substitute in baked goods.
Mashed or Canned Pumpkins
Cooked, mashed pumpkins have a similar texture to mashed bananas. Pumpkins contain natural sugar and moisture.
Mashed pumpkins work as a banana substitute in banana bread, cakes, muffins, and pancakes, because mashed pumpkins act as a binding agent, and add moisture to the dry ingredients. The natural sugar in pumpkins adds sweetness to baked goods.
Use cooked, mashed pumpkins as a 1:1 banana substitute in baking.
Mashed Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable that is traditionally used in soups and stews. Often roasted or baked, sweet potato is served as a side dish to the main course.
You can use cooked, mashed sweet potatoes as a banana substitute in baked goods, because mashed sweet potatoes have a similar texture to mashed bananas, and mashed sweet potatoes add moisture to the ingredients.
Sweet potatoes aren’t as sweet as bananas, so you should add extra sugar to the recipe to compensate for the lack of sweetness.
A yam is a root vegetable that’s similar to a sweet potato but is more starchy and drier than a sweet potato.
Canned yams are cooked yams preserved in water. You can mash canned yams and use the yams as a banana substitute in baked goods, but you should add extra sugar to the recipe because yams don’t contain natural sugar.
Use mashed canned yams as a 1:1 alternative to bananas in baked goods.
Eggs work well as a banana substitute in baked goods because eggs add moisture and act as a binding agent.
Eggs don’t have a distinct flavor when used in sweet bakes, so you should add extra sugar to compensate for the eggs’ lack of flavor.
Use 1 egg in place of 1 banana when baking muffins, cakes, pancakes, and banana bread.
Egg Whites and Flaxseed
Flaxseed is a healthy seed with a high nutritional value. You can add 1 teaspoon of flaxseed to 2 egg whites, and use the mixture as a replacement for 1 mashed banana in baked goods. Flaxseed won’t give the flavor of banana, but flaxseed adds the same bulk to sweet dishes as a banana.
Silken tofu is made from soybeans and has a soft, jelly-like texture. You can use silken tofu as a 1:1 banana substitute in baking because silken tofu has a similar consistency to mashed bananas.
Silken tofu has no flavor. When adding silken tofu to a recipe in place of bananas, add extra sugar, honey, or maple syrup for sweetness and flavor.
Avocados are a highly nutritious source of vitamins. Mashed avocados have the same creamy texture as mashed bananas.
Avocados contain natural oil. You can use mashed avocados as a substitute for mashed bananas in baked goods because mashed avocados add moisture and bind the dry ingredients together.
Use 1 cup of mashed avocados to replace 1 cup of mashed bananas. Avocados aren’t as sweet as bananas, so you should add extra sugar to the recipe to compensate for the lack of sweetness.
Banana Substitutes in Smoothies and Shakes
Bananas are a popular ingredient in many smoothie and health shake recipes. Bananas add flavor and thickness to smoothies and shakes.
Every fruit has its own unique flavor, and no other fruit tastes exactly the same as bananas. However, there are fruits that offer a similar texture or creaminess to bananas.
Aside from fruits, there are other ingredients that can be used as banana substitutes in smoothies and shakes.
Mangoes have a distinctive tropical flavor and a similar creamy texture to bananas. Mangoes work well as a banana substitute in smoothies because mangoes help to thicken the drink and add a sweet, tart taste.
Use ½ cup of chopped mangoes or frozen mangoes in place of 1 medium banana.
Pineapples can be used as a banana substitute in smoothies because pineapples have a sweet flavor with a sour tang. Pineapples add flavor to smoothies and help to thicken the drink.
When using pineapples as a banana substitute, use frozen pineapple chunks for a smoother texture. Use ½ a cup of frozen pineapple chunks in place of 1 medium banana.
Avocados have a rich, creamy texture, which makes them ideal as a banana substitute in smoothies. Avocados are less sweet than bananas, so you should add sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten the drink.
Use 1 small avocado as a substitute for 1 medium banana.
Nut butter made from cashews, almonds, or peanuts works as a banana substitute in smoothies. Nut butter is full of flavor, and the creamy texture of nut butter gives smoothies a thick consistency.
Use 2–3 teaspoons of nut butter in place of 1 medium banana.
Softened Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts have a rich flavor. You can soak cashew nuts to soften them, and use cashews as a banana substitute in smoothies.
Soak ½ a cup of raw, unsalted cashew nuts in hot water for 10 minutes before adding the cashews to a smoothie mixture. Blend for a few seconds for a creamy, nutty-flavored smoothie.
Rolled oats work as a banana substitute because oats thicken a smoothie and add fiber to the drink. Rolled oats don’t have a strong flavor, so you should add sugar or honey for extra sweetness.
Use ¼ of a cup of rolled oats in place of 1 medium banana.
Coconut cream is a thick cream made from coconut milk. You can use coconut cream as a banana substitute in smoothies because coconut cream is rich and creamy, and gives smoothies a creamy texture.
Coconut cream is unsweetened, so you should add extra sugar, honey, or maple syrup to the smoothie for extra sweetness. Use 2 tablespoons of coconut cream as a substitute for 1 medium banana.
Chia seeds are a superfood that makes a great substitute for bananas in smoothies because the seeds swell when added to liquid, and act as a thickening agent.
Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to a smoothie in place of 1 medium banana. Add extra sugar or honey for sweetness.
Don’t leave the smoothie to stand for longer than 5 minutes before you drink it, because the chia seeds turn the smoothie into an almost solid consistency if the smoothie stands for too long.
Yogurt is made by adding a bacterial culture to milk. The culture thickens the milk, giving it a soft, pudding-like consistency.
Yogurt is a great banana substitute in smoothies and shakes because yogurt acts as a thickening agent and adds flavor.
Many yogurts are sweetened and made with fruit. Sweetened or fruit-flavored yogurts are the best substitutes for bananas,
If you prefer to use natural yogurt, you should add sugar or honey to smoothies for sweetness.