When you’re making desserts a little more nutrient-dense through the use of fruits, there are a few common tricks to be aware of.
Applesauce can be substituted on a 1:1 ration for sugar in many baked goods. It can replace about half of the sugar and works particularly well in quickbreads and cakes. It can also reduce liquid oil in the same way, but generally, you only want it to reduce either sugar or oil, and for most people and diets, reducing the sugar is a bigger win for nutrition.
Anytime we use bananas in a dessert or smoothie, we strongly recommend that they be very, very brown for the best flavor. Overripe bananas have a higher sugar to starch ratio. Put them in a paper bag to hasten ripening. Whether you’re baking with them or making banana “nice” cream, storing them frozen is the most convenient way to keep aggressively ripe bananas on hand. Once they’re ripe, peel them and store them whole in a freezer bag, ready to be sliced, mashed, or pureed for the application of your choice.