7 Ways to Use Ripe Bananas Beyond Banana Bread

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Got a couple of aging bananas lounging on your kitchen counter, practically begging for a small army of fruit flies to move in? Don’t pitch them yet! Brown bananas mean extra flavor, and every one of these recipes will be more delicious for it.

Banana “Ice Cream” Fakeout

When bananas start to turn brown, it’s time to make your move. Slice them up and store them in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Now you have the makings for Rachael Ray’s banana “ice cream”: Just blend your frozen bananas in a food processor, adding a little milk if needed.

Banana Cream Pie

Layered between a crumbly graham cracker crust and creamy pudding filling, ripe banana slices add the perfect punch of flavor to this easy pie.

Orange-Banana Smoothie

What better way to get a couple of servings of fruit in your day than a tall glass of a sweet and refreshing smoothie? Tip: If you’re not ready for a smoothie but your bananas can’t wait, pop them in the freezer, unpeeled and in a plastic bag.

2-Ingredient Banana-Oatmeal Cookies

So simple, so nutritious. My preschoolers make these banana bread cookies themselves, sometimes adding peanut butter, chia seeds or chocolate chips, and always loving the results.

Grilled Banana and Nutella Panini

If you have bananas, bread, Nutella and a pan, you can make these rich and gooey treats in minutes.

Banana Pancakes with Blistered Berries

Two mashed bananas make their way into these already fluffy pancakes. Your crew will never forget (or stop asking for! #warning) this breakfast.

Milk Chocolate Banana Pudding

What two ingredients go better together than chocolate and banana? Best of all, this delicious combination is made in advance for dessert.

Charity Curley Mathews is a mother of four small kids who’d devour every one of these. She’s a contributor to InStyle, eHow and Huffington Post, and founder of Foodlets, a site about teaching kids to love good food, with simple recipes plus tried-and-true tips for pulling it off. Most of the time.