While one medium banana contains 110 calories, it has no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Additionally, a banana provides 3 g of fiber and is a strong source of potassium and vitamin C. These attributes mean that you can bake with bananas to make light recipes. Use bananas in place of butter, shortening or oil to cut down on the recipe's total amount of fat, saturated or trans fat and cholesterol. You can also use bananas to replace sugar or eggs. However, you might need to take certain measures to maintain the proper consistency of the recipe.
Baking with Bananas
Mash peeled bananas with a spoon or potato masher, or use a food processor, to achieve a banana puree. Choose bananas that are ripe, but not overripe with brown spots.
Use the equivalent amount of banana puree as the butter or shortening called for in the recipe. Use the banana puree in recipes like cake, cookies and muffins.
Add more sugar than the recipe calls for to counteract the denser texture caused by the reduced amount of fat. Experiment with the amount of sugar until you find the texture and flavor you are looking for.
Replace whole eggs called for in the recipe with beaten egg whites; gently fold them into the batter. This will also help make up for the extra density of the bananas.
Use cake or pastry flour, which is softer than all-purpose flour, to also counteract the density of the bananas.
Additional Uses for Bananas
Replace high-sugar syrup with banana puree for recipes like pancakes, waffles and French toast.
Use ripe bananas in place of all or some of the sugar in flour-based dishes like banana bread and pancakes. The bananas add an abundance of sweet flavor, making the full amount of sugar unnecessary. Replace the sugar completely or only some of it, based on your flavor preference and how healthy you want the recipe to be.
Use bananas in place of the eggs in a recipe if you are trying to cut down on cholesterol or you are a vegan. Use one banana in place of one egg; mash the banana before adding it to the batter. This substitution will create a denser baked good than if you use eggs, so if you want a fluffier texture, add 1/2 tsp. baking powder in addition to any baking powder called for in the recipe.
Use bananas as a replacement for only one ingredient at a time. For example, if a recipe includes sugar, butter and eggs, only use bananas to replace one of those ingredients.
To keep the recipe close to its original consistency, Mayo Clinic suggests using pureed fruit in place of half of the fat in a recipe instead of all of it. However, this method will contain some fat.
Instead of bananas, you can replace the fat in a recipe with applesauce, apple butter or pureed prunes. The latter works especially well in chocolate dessert recipes.