10 Banana Substitutes That You Should Definitely Try

No matter where you go in the world, you are likely to see bananas in almost every family’s kitchen. They are easy to digest, sweet, and full of important vitamins and minerals that you need to stay healthy. However, sometimes depending on the season and where you go in the world, it may be difficult to access bananas.

Some of the best banana substitutes are:

  1. Avocado
  2. Plantain
  3. Apple Sauce
  4. Canned Pumpkin
  5. Silken Tofu
  6. Soaked Cashews
  7. Mashed Sweet Potato
  8. Soaked Chia Seeds
  9. Coconut Cream
  10. Greek Yogurt 

Each of these substitutions will be good for a different recipe and has its pros and cons regarding texture and flavor.


One of the reasons that bananas are so widely consumed is because they are such a versatile food. Like most fruits, one of the most popular ways that bananas are consumed is on their own as a snack. 

In addition to that many people add them to breakfast foods such as cereal, oatmeal, and smoothies for extra sweetness and nutrition.

They can also be used in baked goods to help hold them together and give the food a boost of flavor. Some of the most common baked goods that people add bananas to are banana bread, muffins, and cakes.

Why Substitute Bananas?

There are a few different reasons why someone may decide to substitute another food for bananas. Quite possibly the most common reason is that they just don’t like them. Although bananas are extremely popular, some people do not like the texture or flavor of bananas.

In addition, although it is uncommon, there are some people who are allergic to different fruits, including bananas. 

In these cases, someone may decide that they would like to substitute a different ingredient for bananas in a recipe.

What Can I Use Instead of Bananas?

Depending on the recipe that you prepare, you will want to use different substitutions for bananas. In the case of a sweet recipe, you may be able to substitute something like applesauce. However, in the case of a savory recipe, something like avocado or egg whites may make a better substitute.

1. Avocado

One of the most popular substitutions for bananas is avocado. Avocados have a very mild flavor with a creamy texture which makes them a great substitute for many ingredients, not just recipes including bananas.

One of the best uses for avocado is in smoothies. Since avocado has a mild flavor, it won’t significantly affect the flavor of the smoothie when you use it as a banana substitute. It also has the benefit of giving the smoothie an extremely creamy texture that also mimics that which a banana provides.

Keep in mind that if you use avocado in a smoothie, you may want to increase the amount of other sweet fruits that you include. Avocado does not naturally contain sugar so it could result in a smoothie that isn’t as sweet as what you’re used to with a banana.

2. Plantain

A good option, if you like the flavor and texture of bananas but simply don’t have access to them, is plantains. Plantains are a fruit that is in the same family as bananas and looks very similar. However, they are more often prepared in savory dishes and typically need to be cooked before you consume them.

If you choose to use them as a substitute in a sweet recipe, make sure to select a very ripe plantain. The flavor won’t be the exact same, but it is still close enough to be a good substitute.

3. Apple Sauce

Another one of the most popular substitutions for bananas, especially in baking, is applesauce. Bananas are frequently used as an egg substitute in baking. However, if you don’t have bananas, applesauce can also work very well.

If you use apple sauce in baked goods, they will come out moist and sweet with just a hint of apple flavor.

One cool benefit of using applesauce as a banana substitute is that it comes in several different flavors. Some of the most popular applesauce flavors include unsweetened, cinnamon, strawberry, and blueberry. You can pick your applesauce based on the recipe and it can enhance the flavor of whatever you’re cooking.

4. Canned Pumpkin

One of the best options for baking is using canned pumpkins. Oftentimes, recipes like pancakes or muffins will call for bananas. This is not only to provide the pancakes or muffins with a good flavor but also to help hold them together and give them a moist, light texture.

The addition of pumpkin will achieve a very similar result and has the benefit of adding a delicious pumpkin flavor to whatever you’re cooking. Just add in some pumpkin pie spice along with the canned pumpkin and you’ll have super easy pumpkin pie muffins or pancakes.

Just like with avocado, if you want to use canned pumpkin make sure to taste your batter before cooking. Since it is not as sweet as bananas, you may need to add in extra sugar.

5. Silken Tofu

Now, this option might seem a little weird, especially compared to the others on this list, but it actually functions very well in the place of a banana. Tofu is a product that is made from soybeans and then pressed into a cake. Compared to other types of tofu, silken tofu has an extremely smooth texture and can rapidly be whipped into a light, fluffy mousse. 

In general, plain tofu has an extremely mild flavor that can be seasoned to go with various flavors. Although it is traditionally used in savory dishes, you can recipes that utilize the texture and versatility of tofu in desserts.

Another benefit of using silken tofu is that it will significantly boost the protein content of whatever you’re preparing. Bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals, but they are mainly made up of carbs. Silken tofu can be a great option for people who are trying to reduce the number of carbs that they consume.

6. Soaked Cashews

After they are soaked and blended, soaked cashews can make a great banana substitute for your daily smoothie or favorite recipe. They have a very mild flavor and, if you get the unsalted version, won’t significantly alter your recipe.

Soaked cashews are another great option for people who are trying to avoid carbs. They are mostly fat which makes them calorie dense, but very filling.

If you use soaked and blended cashews in your baked goods you may need to reduce some of the oil or butter. This will ensure that your batter does not become oversaturated with fat and lose its light, fluffy texture.

7. Mashed Sweet Potato

Another great banana substitute for your favorite baked goods is mashed sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have the benefit of having a similar nutritional profile to bananas, so you can know that you’re not losing nutrients with this substitution. 

They are also naturally sweet, unlike some of the other replacements for bananas on this list. This meanest that you won’t have to worry about adjusting your recipe and adding extra sugar.

To use sweet potato as a banana substitute you’ll first need to either bake or boil the sweet potatoes until they are soft all the way through. After they’re soft you’ll cut them into chunks and either roughly mash them or blend them depending on the texture you need. Once they’re ready you’ll just add them to whatever recipe you would normally add bananas too.

8. Soaked Chia Seeds

This next banana replacement can be used for both smoothies and baked goods as long as you prep them correctly. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and contain large amounts of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

No matter how you’re using them, you’ll want to make sure you soak your chia seeds for at least 30 minutes before using them. Preferably, you’ll want to soak them overnight to give them as much time to soften as possible. 

When you soak chia seeds, you will notice that they become almost gelatinous in texture. This makes them easier for your body to break down and will also make the texture easier to manage.

Once they’re fully soaked you can simply add them to your recipe for a nutritional boost and a great banana substitute.

9. Coconut Cream

One substitute for banana that not a lot of people think about is coconut cream. Yes, the flavor is not similar however, it can help to enhance the creamy texture of your smoothies in a similar way to bananas. It is also a good substitute if you are trying to reduce the number of carbs in your smoothies.

To use coconut cream as a banana substitute you’ll simply add a couple of spoonfuls to your favorite smoothie then blend away. Coconut cream is also mildly sweet which can enhance the flavor of your smoothie.

For an extra tropical treat, try mixing your coconut cream with frozen pineapple for a pina colada inspired smoothie.

10. Greek Yogurt

One last substitute for banana is greek yogurt. This can help to provide a creamy texture to your meal and give you some added protein. Greek yogurt also contains lots of probiotics which can help to maintain your gut health and allow you to better absorb the other nutrients in your meal. 

Greek yogurt also comes in many different flavors, including bananas. This will allow you to add extra flavor to whatever you’re preparing without having to add lots of extra ingredients. If you’d like to keep the impact on flavor minimal, find unsweetened, plain greek yogurt.

To use greek yogurt you’ll just add a couple of spoonfuls to your recipe until it reaches the right texture. If you’ve chosen to use unsweetened greek yogurt, you’ll probably need to add in some extra sweetener to counteract the slightly sour taste of the yogurt.

Final Thoughts

Bananas are one of the most versatile fruits available. Not only can they be eaten on their own as a snack or part of a healthy meal, but they are also ingredients in many delicious recipes. Some of the most common recipes that bananas are used in are breakfast foods such as oatmeal and smoothies as well as desserts like banana bread.

So the next time you reach for a banana and find yourself out of them, just use one of the substitutes on this list and you’ll be on your way to a delicious meal.