Bananas are an athlete staple. They pack a nutritional punch with high levels of potassium, vitamin B6 and fiber and (despite common belief to the contrary) they score low on the Glycemic Index, meaning they won't spike your blood sugar. They're also versatile and can be used in everything from smoothies to sandwiches. Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this yellow super-fruit.
Blender Banana Ice Cream
A healthier alternative to its sugar-laden original, you can whip up this frosty treat in no time for a delicious and cool post-workout snack. Keep frozen bananas in the freezer for this recipe and for morning smoothies.
Blend 1 and a half frozen bananas in your blender or food processor. Scrape down the sides regularly and pulse until it reaches a smooth, ice cream-like consistency. For a protein punch, add two tablespoons of natural peanut or almond butter and a pinch of cinnamon to taste. Enjoy immediately or freeze again in a freezer-safe container.
Banana Breakfast Sundae
Mix it up in the morning with a little something different: a banana breakfast sundae! Slice banana lengthwise and lay flat on a plate (or better yet, in a sundae dish), top with a few spoonfuls of vanilla Greek yogurt and then top with whatever suits your fancy: blueberries, strawberries, granola or nuts for crunch or even a drizzle of melted chocolate for extra decadence.
Berry Banana Smoothie
Beat the winter blues with a tropical smoothie for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Blend frozen banana chunks (1 banana), a cup of frozen mixed berries, a handful of fresh kale, a cup of water, a quarter cup of orange juice and a dollop of vanilla yogurt (or a teaspoon of honey instead) until well mixed. Add your favourite protein powder or serve with a hard-boiled egg to round out this snack.
Banana Fruit Dip
Dip strawberries or pineapple into the rich, but healthy banana fruit dip. Blend a banana, half a cup of plain Greek yogurt, two tablespoons of natural peanut butter and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla. Add honey to sweeten to your taste.
In a pinch, these can be tossed in your bag for an on-the-go snack post-workout. Combine two cups of uncooked quick oats, 2 (ripe) bananas, 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon to taste. Grease or line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of dough and flatten into rounds. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are browned (approximately 30 minutes). Let cool completely before removing from sheet with a spatula. These won't last long, but store those you don't eat right away in the fridge in an airtight container.