If you've ever tried banana flavored milk from the South Korean company Binggrae, you're in for a treat! This homemade banana milk recipe has the deliciously sweet flavor of the store-bought brand, but can easily be made at home in just a few minutes!
I first tried Binggrae's banana milk from my hometown's Asian grocer, Yi's Oriental Market, in Manhattan, KS. It was the first thing I bought from there and I was immediately hooked. It tastes like a banana milkshake in a carton!
My brother-in-law, Joosung, told me that most Koreans have fond memories of banana milk. Growing up there, he said usually when kids go to the sauna every Saturday or Sunday morning, their parents would buy them banana milk as a treat.
It's no wonder I was always looking for banana milk in convenience stores on my first trip to South Korea. It's so good, you can slurp down a whole carton in seconds. They're always stocked up in Korean grocery stores.
The downside is they do not offer a dairy-free option and it is loaded with added sugar and artificial flavors. I knew I had to make a healthier homemade version that used plant-based milk to enjoy this special treat again!
Why you'll love this banana milk recipe
- It's like a banana smoothie, with a sweet and subtle banana flavor.
- You only need a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand!
- Real bananas give this recipe the best flavor! The riper, the better!
- Easy to make, just blend and enjoy!
- Can customize to your taste preference by adding more sweetener.
This recipe only requires simple ingredients that are easy to find. That way when you're craving for Binggrae banana milk strikes and you don't have a Korean grocer nearby, you can make this in a snap!
Ripe bananas: The natural sweetness of ripe bananas are the star of the show! Make sure you use extra spotty bananas that are soft. It's like the same rules when making banana bread, overripe bananas are better than underripe.
Milk of choice: I like to use something creamier like oat milk or soy milk but any non-dairy milk will do! Almond milk, cashew milk, or even coconut milk work as well For coconut milk, just keep in mind that it will impart a coconut-y flavor.
Maple syrup: This is optional but highly recommended to help mimic the super sweet flavor of the popular Korean banana milk. Other liquid sweeteners like agave syrup are great, too, for adding a touch of sweetness.
Pure vanilla extract: To really round out the sweetness and add extra flavor, a splash of vanilla extract is a necessity!
How to make Korean banana milk
The process is really simple for making this easy banana milk.
Step One: Start by adding the ripe bananas to a high-powered blender.
Step 2: Add your choice of dairy-free milks, sweetener, and vanilla extract.
Step 3: Blend on high power for 30 seconds to 1 minute until completely smooth.
Pour into a glass with ice and enjoy!
If you wanted a thicker consistency, more like a banana smoothie, you can use all milk instead of half water for the liquid. Adding a handful of ice into the blender will also help with thickening. However, traditional banana milk is less thick and more watery.
The ripeness of the bananas you use matter most, so if they're not spotty yet try placing them in a paper bag to speed of the ripening process. Avoid using green or bright yellow bananas as they won't be sweet enough.
How to store
Banana milk is best enjoyed right away but if you can't drink all of it in one go, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Separation may occur so just make sure to shake or stir it before enjoying.
For long storage, you can pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it for a couple hours. Then transfer to a freezer safe bag. When ready to use you can add directly to the blender and blend it into a banana milk slushy.
More ways to enjoy banana milk
I love just drinking it on its own for a delicious sweet treat but it's also good added to other recipes!
Frequently asked questions
It's a banana flavored milk first introduced in 1974 by South Korean company Binggrae. It was originally made during a time when the Korean government was encouraging its citizens to drink more milks. Bananas at this time were seen as a luxury due to their expense so Binggrae introduced the flavor to entice people to purchase their milk for a taste of the fruit. It paid off and has since become a popular drink with over 800,000 bottles of banana milk sold every day in Korea.
According the Binggrae packaging: Milk, Water, Sugar, Skim Milk Powder, Whey Powder, Banana Juice Concentrate(0.32%)[Banana(100%)], Artificial Flavors, Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Annatto(for Color).
Other than a small percentage of banana juice, most of the banana flavor comes from artificial flavors.
More delicious banana recipes
Love bananas or have a bunch about to go bad? Check out these incredible banana recipes:
- Take banana bread to a whole new level with this Strawberry Banana Bread!
- For a simple and quick treat, try these 3-Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies.
- If you need something filling while you're on the go, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie is the answer!
Easy Korean Banana Milk
- 2 large bananas, ripe, peeled
- 1 cup oat milk, unsweetened
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or agave syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blender until smooth.