Alternatives to Cooking With Bananas

Last updated: June 2022

Bananas are an excellent, versatile fruit used in many recipes in many different ways. Bananas are the most consumed fruit in America! However, if you live with diabetes, bananas might not be the best fruit choice for some people due to their high sugar content and amount of carbohydrates.1

Those watching their sugar and carbohydrate intake may avoid bananas, especially since they can cause a blood sugar spike. So, what ingredients can you use in place of bananas in baked goods, smoothies, and more?

Bananas and type 2 diabetes

Despite how much bananas are consumed, they are a strangely controversial fruit. Some people consider them healthy, while others consider them one of the worst fruit choices for health.

The most commonly consumed banana in the United States is the Cavendish variety, the classic yellow type found in nearly all grocery stores. Although there are about 1,000 different types of bananas, this article will be referring to the Cavendish variety.2

Nutritional components of bananas

Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin C.

1 banana is considered a single-serving and contains about 110 calories. It has 15 grams of sugar, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of fat.2

Bananas are generally considered healthy food based on their nutritional contents. However, the sugar and carbohydrate content could be problematic for those with type 2 diabetes.

Substitutes for baking

Bananas are great for baking and impart a delicious flavor, a natural source of sweetness, and keep things like muffins and bread moist.

You have a few options if you want to avoid using bananas in baked goods! Try chopped apples or berries instead of bananas when baking bread or muffins. If bananas are used in a recipe to provide more moisture to a baked good, you can use chickpeas, tahini, or coconut oil instead.

Creamy banana-free smoothies

Bananas provide a creamy texture and sweetness when added to a smoothie. To keep that same creamy texture but lower the sugar and calorie content, try freezing avocado, zucchini, or cauliflower and blending them into your smoothie. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, and zucchini and cauliflower are fiber-rich and contain large amounts of vitamin c.

Alternative snack options

Bananas are a quick snack that is easy to have on hand and tastes especially great with a drizzle of nut butter. If bananas aren't friendly to your blood sugar levels, try a half of a green apple with a side of peanut butter. Or, opt for another quick snack of no-sugar-added yogurt with fresh berries. Some people may find that eating half of a banana with nut butter is a balanced snack that doesn't cause too many blood sugar spikes.

There are many options besides bananas

Although bananas are generally considered healthy, this may not be the case for those with type 2 diabetes. As one of the most popular fruits in America, bananas are found in many recipes and are a common snack. There are many ingredient substitutes available to replace bananas.

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