The world has gone bananas: the culinary world, that is. Rich, sweet and naturally creamy, bananas are being used in lots of new and unexpected ways, from banana-based vegan ice cream and banana flour to, most recently, banana milk.
If that sounds strange, consider how well bananas pair with cold and hot cereals—is there anything better than sliced fresh banana on your favorite crispy bowl? Exactly! That’s what’s so great about banana milk.
Unlike dairy milk, banana milk doesn’t have calcium or protein, but one banana has about as much sugar as one cup of milk and is a good source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, biotin, and copper. It’s also vegan, lactose free, and nut and grain free.
Although commercially available banana milk from Banana Wave includes grains and seeds, it’s cheap and easy to make a home version without them. If you’ve tried making nut milks, have no fear: Banana milk is much easier. There’s no soaking or straining; just blitz one peeled banana, a cup of water and a tiny pinch of salt in a blender, and you’re done.
If you’ve ever made a banana-based smoothie, you’re familiar with the fruit’s thickening properties. Like smoothies, banana milk is best served right away; otherwise, the milk will separate. For ice-cold banana milk, chill or freeze the banana before blending. The amount of banana milk will depend on the size of the banana you use, of course, but in general, one banana and one cup of water makes roughly one and a half cups of banana milk.
In addition to pouring banana milk over cereal, try using it as a substitute for dairy milk in pancakes or waffles. But because it’s fairly sweet and (not surprisingly) tastes like bananas, it’s probably not right for coffee. And don’t snub the idea of drinking it straight up—it’s just the thing to wash down baked goods like muffins, cookies and, of course, banana bread.
Want to monkey around with your banana milk? Add the following right before blending:
① For protein banana milk, add two tablespoons of creamy almond butter.
② For golden banana milk, add half a teaspoon of ground turmeric.
③ For vanilla banana milk, add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
④ For hot spiced banana milk, add a quarter teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg, then heat in the microwave.
Amy Sherman is a San Francisco-based writer, recipe developer and cookbook author who never says no to a warm doughnut. Follow her culinary escapades on Instagram at @cookingwithamy.