Among the top fresh fruits Americans consume, bananas are at the top of the list with an average of 30 pounds per person per year. You have heard the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well now add a delicious banana if you haven’t already because they are extremely beneficial to your health and can easily boost the nutritional value of your meals.
If you have been enjoying your daily dose of potassium through bananas then you are probably in need of creative fresh ideas to keep you from getting bored with them. Incorporate bananas into desserts (raw and baked), healthy snacks, or delicious smoothies. We can all agree their creamy rich flavors will never disappoint, but the best part is they are enjoyed by people of all ages from infants to the elderly.
Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, biotin, and copper. Adding them into your daily routine is not only convenient, but can also help improve:
- Cardiovascular Health
- Digestive health
- Blood Sugar Levels (Bananas are low in their glycemic index (GI) value)
Since they are easily portable, inexpensive, and easily digested athletes can enjoy them as a perfect snack before or after physical activity.
Start using bananas in a new way at least once a week. From vegan popsicles to muffins and summer treats to breakfast on the go. It is undeniable that bananas are a quick and healthy snack, so why not add them to any meal. Here are 5 of my favorite recipe ideas I love to incorporate bananas in for adults and kids that will leave your mouth watering.
1. Banana Boats
- 1 organic banana, almond butter, cacao nibs, unsalted sunflower seeds, crushed pistachios, goji berries, cinnamon, chia seeds, bee pollen, and desiccated unsweetened coconut.
- Slice banana twice; lengthwise and in the middle creating four equal pieces. Spread almond butter on banana boats and sprinkle toppings on. Can be made in less than 5 minutes and taste just like candy. Great idea to get kids to eat a snack packed with superfoods.
2. Banana sushi
- 1 organic banana, 1 whole grain tortilla wrap, almond butter, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, and desiccated coconut.
- Spread almond butter on wrap, no need to go all the way to the edges. Place banana at one end and roll the wrap up. Spread 1 tsp of almond butter in a thin straight line across the top of the wrap and sprinkle with toppings. Cutting into 1/2 inch thick slices and enjoy.
3. Banana Chia Pudding
- 1/2 organic banana, 3 Tbsp chia seed, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 cup almond milk, cinnamon, and star fruit.
- Blend banana, almond milk, and vanilla. Add chia into mixture and refrigerate overnight or 6-8 hrs. It will form a pudding consistency, in the morning stir, serve, and top with cinnamon and star fruit.
4. The “Healthy” Meal (MickeyD’s Alternative Happy Meal)
- 1 red and yellow bell peppers, 1 large apple, banana, strawberries, grapes, and nut butter of choice.
- Simply cut and slice as seen in picture and assemble. I only used 1/4 of the yellow pepper and 1/2 a banana. Research has found kids, specifically between the ages of 4 and 7 years are twice as likely to consume fruits and veggies when the meal is visually appealing. This is a fun and creative way to get your kids turned on to healthy eating.
5. Banana Ice Pops
- I continuously keep a stash of frozen bananas in my freezer to use for vegan (n)ice cream, raw desserts, and smoothies. It might be crazy to have as many bananas in the house as I do, but hey, I am a victim of their deliciousness.
I hope my vision of nutrition helped you find some fun and delicious recipes to try! These are all easy, quick, and vegan friendly. Never forget, food should be fun! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram, twitter, and tumblr @MyNutritionVision for more nutritious recipes. Nutrition services available are under the “Services” tab or you can email me with questions and inquires under the “Contact” tab. Thank you! Have a great Saturday!
❤ Rebecca Raymundo, RD, LDN