Category : Uncategorized

Healthy Banana Smoothie Recipes to Jump Start Your Day Or Recover from a Workout

It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, this is because when you wake up your body has been without food for (hopefully) eight hours, so you need to refuel and get ready for the day ahead of you. The same goes for after a good workout, it is essential to get the proper nutrients to fuel your body’s recovery. Smoothies are a delicious way to do exactly that, with very little time and effort! All you need is the right ingredients and a blender. The elements of a great smoothie for after you have finished exercising include protein and carbohydrates. These two macronutrients are essential first thing in the morning or after any workout because they help fuel your body for the day and can aid in recovery after exercise by slowing the breakdown of muscles and actually helping the growth of new muscle. Here are a few delicious smoothie recipes that include our one and only smoothie staple: bananas!! It is worth mentioning that the trick to a delicious smoothie with the perfect consistency, is waiting until your bananas are nice and ripe before chopping them up and throwing them in the freezer.

Banana, Kale & Chia Smoothie

Recipe from Skinny Taste

This smoothie has nutrient packed ingredients, both kale and bananas contain fiber which will keep you full for hours, as well as potassium which , and tons of other vitamins that have many other benefits. Kale is also known to contain chlorophyll which is believed to help with detoxification, immune health and gut health.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Frozen Banana

1-2 Pitted Dates

⅕ Tbsp Chia Seeds

¾ Cup of Chopped Kale Leaves

1 Small Handful Ice

½ Cup Milk or Milk Alternative

(Optional): 1 Serving of your favorite protein powder

Instructions:

  1. First pit your dates or make sure you have an already pitted date and chop up your kale leaves for easier blending.
  2. Next, add pitted dates, chopped kale leaves, frozen banana, chia seeds and milk then blend on medium for about 15-20 seconds until fairly smooth.
  3. Then, add ice and blend on high for a minute or until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy (:

PB Banana Smoothie

A peanut butter lovers dream! This smoothie is full of filling carbs and healthy fats from the peanut butter. Feel free to substitute other types of nut butter, if peanut butter isn’t your thing. This is a recipe that is so simple it can be whipped up in just a couple of minutes and is so delicious you’ll think it’s unhealthy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Frozen Banana

1 Tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter

1 Handful Ice

¾ Cup Milk or Milk Alternative

(Optional): 1 Serving Protein Powder

PB Banana Smoothie

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Then pour into a glass.

Banana, Cinnamon, Almond Smoothie

Recipe from Cookie + Kate

This smoothie recipe is a bit more complex with more ingredients, but it is well worth it! Not only is it full of healthy fats from the almonds and sugars from the dates, but the almond extract adds a special touch that makes this smoothie taste just like cake batter! However, if you aren’t too keen on the almond extract, try adding vanilla extract instead.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Frozen Banana

1-2 Pitted Dates

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 Tbsp Almond Butter

½ Tsp Almond Extract

1 Dash of Cinnamon (to taste)

1 Small handful of ice

(Optional): 1 Serving Protein Powder

Banana, Cinnamon, Almond Smoothie

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and let is blitz until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into a glass and add a dash of cinnamon and a few almond slivers for garnish.

Banana Lassi

This banana twist on the classic Indian Lassi is delicious and super simple to make, in fact you likely have the ingredients to make this treat already at home! Here’s a tip when it comes to this recipe: If you’re bananas aren’t quite ripe enough, add a bit of honey or a couple of dates for sweetness. After a sweaty workout or on a hot summer day we recommend adding some ice cubes for an extra chilly and refreshing lassi.

Banana Lassi

1 Cup Plain Unsweetened Yogurt

1-2 Chopped Overripe Bananas

½ Cup Whole Milk or Full Fat Milk Alternative

1 Dash of Ground Cardamom

Optional: Honey (To taste)

Optional: Ice Cubes

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth
  2. Pour and enjoy!

Tropical Berry Banana Smoothie

If you’re looking for a sweeter, fruitier smoothie look no further. This tropical berry banana smoothie is sure to be the perfect refreshing treat to satisfy your sweet craving after a tough workout. To make this smoothie even more delicious, try adding a couple scoops of plain yogurt for a richer, creamier smoothie!

Tropical Berry Banana Smoothie

1 Frozen Banana

1 ½ Cup Berries of choice

½ Cup Pineapple

½ Cup Pineapple or other fruit juice

1 Small handful ice cubes

(Optional): 2 Large scoops of plain yogurt

Hopefully these recipes have given you some inspiration to get out there and make some healthy and delicious smoothies. Of course, you can mix it up and add whatever you feel like or substitute things for ingredients you may not like, it’s all up to your imagination. For a more protein rich smoothie, add your favorite protein powder, or if you want more superfoods in your smoothie you can add ingredients such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, goji berries or acai for additional vitamins and antioxidants. When life becomes busy, it can be easy to just skip a meal or choose to eat a quicker and less nutritious option. Smoothies are a great, time efficient way to ensure you are giving your body the best fuel that it needs to keep you active and well functioning. So the next time you wake up with little time to spare or get home from a workout and are craving an easy, low effort snack, come back to any of these recipes. You can even meal prep these smoothies by preparing all of the ingredients ahead of time and storing them in a tupperware or plastic in the freezer, then when you’re ready just grab the ingredients and blend!

Should I Eat Bananas Before Or After a Workout?

Nowadays there are so many different things we are told to do when it comes to working out and reaching our fitness goals. We constantly hear new ideas of what exercises are best, what time of the day we should work out, what to eat before we work out, what to eat after a workout, and so much more. But it is so hard to know which advice you should actually listen to and follow to better yourself and your workouts. What you consume before and after you exercise can have a great impact on how your body recovers and how you perform during your workout sessions. There are a lot of conflicting arguments about what you should eat to compliment your workout and whether it is more beneficial to eat it before or after you are finished working out. While there are a lot of new supplements and fad diets that come up seemingly every day, something as simple as a banana can be the perfect pre or post workout snack.

Should I Eat Bananas Before Or After a Workout?

As the world of fitness has expanded over time, we have notoriously depended on sports drinks and other man made supplements to get the necessary carbs, protein and electrolytes in before and after working out. However, bananas are packed with all kinds of nutrients that fuel your body, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, phytonutrients and antioxidants which come from nature and are in their purest form. Eating a banana before or after your workout can provide many benefits that may help fuel your body better for a workout or help your body better recover from an intense gym session. Let’s first talk about the nutritional benefits of eating bananas, period. This delicious yellow fruit is comprised of mostly carbs, but also has a good amount of fiber, 3.9g to be exact, which is about 12% of your daily value. The carbs in bananas help to fuel our bodies for exercise as the natural sugars in this fruit help give our bodies energy, while the fiber in bananas helps to keep our blood glucose levels stable so that we don’t experience the sugar high, and the unfortunate crash that can come along with it. It is widely known that bananas have a lot of potassium, which is said to have many health benefits, but not everyone really knows what they are. Most well known, is the belief that the potassium in bananas can help with cramping. While this is true, it isn’t as simple as that. Potassium is an essential electrolyte for the body’s nervous system and helps to regulate the contractions in our muscles in balance with other electrolytes such as calcium and magnesium. If any single electrolyte is at an abnormal level (too high or too low) this can create the conditions for a muscle cramp, therefore, having too much potassium could be harmful for your body if consumed before you workout. 

Before a workout your body can greatly benefit from carbohydrates because this macronutrient is known best for keeping us full longer than its counterparts, proteins and fats. Bananas are also high in sugars (which is a carb) and natural sugars can help give our bodies energy without the intense crash we might get from artificial sugars like candy and other processed, non-fibrous foods. As mentioned earlier, bananas also contain a good amount of fiber, which can help to slow the absorption of sugars in your body and as a result prevent a spike in your blood glucose levels, which is why we don’t experience a sugar high from this fruit. This is important for workouts lasting longer than 30 minutes. Any workout intended to last longer than 30 minutes should include a moderate amount of fibrous carbs before exercising, about 30-50grams. If you’re planning on a longer workout such as a long bike ride, or a day-hike, your body will need to consume carbs continually throughout the period of exercise, about every 20-30 minutes. This is to prevent feeling tired, or the “come down” from physical exhaustion. So bringing a banana with you if you intend to exercise for a longer period of time is a great idea, and can help you stay more energized for the duration of your workout!

After a workout, your body needs the nutrients necessary to sustain and promote muscle growth and help in the recovery stage. The carbohydrates in bananas paired with a good source of protein can be perfect to help your body recover after an intense workout session and keep you full for a few hours until your next meal. Check out some Healthy Banana Smoothie Recipes to Recover from a Workout (link to other article) to get some fun and healthy, and delicious smoothie ideas that include great sources of protein and carbs to help you refuel! Feel free to add your favorite protein powder or any superfoods such as chia, goji, acai, hemp and more for an even better post workout treat! But remember, it is very important to make sure that you eat as soon as possible post workout, and include the right balance of proteins and carbohydrates, to ensure that your body can begin to repair your muscle.

What we’ve learned so far is that it is important to eat both before and after you exercise so that your body has the necessary sustenance to prepare for a workout and to recover after you’ve had a good workout. Whether you choose to eat bananas, before or after is truly up to you and what you feel is best for your own body. There are benefits that your body gets from this nutrient dense food regardless of if you eat them before or after exercising, but you may notice a difference between the two. Try experimenting yourself, eating a banana before your workout, then the next day try eating a banana after your workout, then compare how you felt. We are all very unique and our bodies react differently to exercise and what we eat so find what feels best for yourself.

Four Healthy Banana Recipes for Kids

Back to school season is here which means busy mornings, packed lunches and afternoon snacks. In the midst of a hectic day, it can be easy to grab a sugary granola bar or send the kids to school with lunch money. 

But, if you’re like us, you know just how valuable it is to feed your kids healthy, nutrient-packed food. After all, they’re growing more and more every day and they need all of their vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and strong. 

To help you out, we’ve found four recipes starring organic bananas as one of the main ingredients. Not only are they delicious, but they’re easy to make and perfect on the run. So, take a sip of your post-carpool morning coffee and check out these yummy, kid-friendly recipes.

 

Banana Bread Muffins

We’re starting off with a classic banana recipe, converted into a lunchbox-friendly version. Muffins have long been a staple in our children’s diets. After all, they’re yummy, packaging-free (most of the time), and easy to eat on the go. 

This recipe takes two of our great loves, banana bread and muffins, and combines them into one perfect lovechild. The best part? These muffins are only made with the good stuff and none of the bad stuff. So, at the end of the day, you’re a happy mom and your kids are none the wiser. Heck, you’ll probably want to make a few extra for your own secret stash. 

Start by breaking out those spotty bananas that have been sitting in the fruit bowl for just a little too long. Add three of them to a bowl and mash into a pulp with a fork. 

In a large bowl, combine ⅓ cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, 4 tablespoons of butter, and 1 cup of sugar. Mix well and incorporate the mashed banana, 2 eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a pinch of salt.

Over your mixing bowl, sift and mix all of your dry ingredients: 1.5 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

When spooning the batter into the muffin tin or cupcake liners, make sure to only fill them up about ⅔ of the way. You’ll want to cook them at 350 degrees until they turn golden brown (about 15 minutes). 

Get the full recipe and ingredients list here

Tip: To make this recipe healthier and reduce your refined sugar intake, replace 1 cup sugar for 1/2 cup honey. Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and reduce your baking temperature by 25 degrees and you’re set!

 

Breakfast Banana Split

Summer may be coming to a close but this ice cream inspired recipe isn’t going anywhere. And no, there isn’t any ice cream in this recipe. While we all want to be the cool mom, we know that feeding kids dessert in the morning is a no-go.

Nonetheless, we think this is a fun breakfast treat for the weekends and we love how creative this confection is. Although it’s mostly composed of fruit, the mere presentation will give your kids the satisfaction of having indulged in an actual banana split. Don’t be surprised if word gets back to you that the kids on the playground are jealous that your kids get to eat “ice cream” for breakfast 😉 

Start by taking a peeled banana, butterflying it open, and placing the flat sides up. Start by scooping your ice cre- err,  vanilla yogurt across the bananas. While the amount is up to you, we recommend sticking with a traditional serving size.

Next, the fun begins! Round up your littles and place a bunch of topping options in front of them. Some examples are nuts, fresh berries, granola, etc. If you’re feeling extra special, include a few treats in the mix like chocolate chips or rainbow sprinkles.

Let your kids deck out their “sundaes” and enjoy the five minutes of silence that follow. As fun as this recipe is, we also love how interactive it is. It encourages your kids to think about the healthy food choices they’re making and allows them to discover what they actually like. Sounds like one sweet deal to us. 

Check out all the details here.

 

Strawberry Banana Smoothies

Some mornings are more hectic than others and sometimes there isn’t merely enough time to eat a proper meal before school. The saying goes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so we’re here with a solution to those crazy mornings.

Smoothies are one of our go-to’s in the morning. On some days, you have to optimize your routine by drinking your breakfast instead of eating, we get it. But, something tells us that our kids aren’t going to exactly be excited over one of those vegetable-packed green smoothies that are all over Pinterest. 

So, we found a kid-friendly version that’s simple to make in a hurry and will give your littles enough energy to power through recess. 

Take a couple of handfuls of frozen strawberries and a fresh, peeled banana and drop into a blender. Add a splash of liquid (milk, water, juice, or whatever you have on hand) and a bit of honey for sweetness. Blend well until there are no lumps.

We recommend taking the responsibility of taste tester to make sure the smoothie is up to your kids’ standards. If it seems like it’s too thick, water it down with some more of the liquid component. If it’s a little too runny, chuck in a few more frozen strawberries or ice cubes. 

And just like that, another morning survived. Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it.

For full recipe details, follow this link.  

 

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bars

We love the convenience of granola bars and our kids love the flavor of them. The only issue? Many of them contain a ton of sugar and, in some cases, you might as well be giving your kids a candy bar. Because of this, we much rather prefer to make our own so we know exactly what ingredients are going into them.

The best part about this recipe? It’s only 5 ingredients. All of which are fully up to super mom standards. These oat bars are the perfect after-school snack for your kids since they’re packed full of protein, slow-digesting carbs, and healthy fats. They’ll be fully prepared to power through a homework marathon without spoiling their appetite before dinner.

Hopefully you have a few more ripe bananas around because you’re going to need them. Begin by mashing 3 bananas with a fork in a bowl. Using a mixer, combine 1 cup of peanut butter (can be subbed out for any type of nut butter), a quarter cup of honey, and spices of your choosing. This recipe used a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon.

Once that is nicely incorporated, introduce your dry ingredients, 2 cups of oats and 1 cup of nuts or seeds of your choosing, into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a square baking pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Once cooled, cut them into even rectangles and store in an airtight container.

Follow this link for the full recipe. 

 

We hope you enjoyed these recipes we’ve shared. If you try any of them out, make sure to let us know how they went! If you have any other ideas for awesome kid-friendly banana recipes, make sure to drop them in the comments so we can check them out, too!