Health

15 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Bananas (+8 Delicious Recipes)

Bananas are an extremely versatile fruit. They can be enjoyed as a delicious addition to a healthy smoothie, for adding a touch of sweetness and moisture to a treasured family recipe or eaten as a nutritious, tasty snack.

Given the versatility of this tropical fruit, it should come as no surprise that bananas are one of the top five most popular agricultural fruits in the world with more than 100 billion bananas are eaten every year. They are a non-seasonal agricultural fruit, meaning they are produced year round in many countries, making it a fresh choice for year round consumption. (1)

Did you know that there are over 1,000 varieties of bananas, and they come in a vast array of colors, including red? However, the most common variety consumed by most of the population is the yellow Cavendish banana.

Bananas are the perfect generational fruit. Just as perfect for consumption by a toothless baby to the older generation who has trouble chewing and swallowing. They are one of the most readily available fruit for everyone.

Because bananas contain potassium, magnesium, and so many other essential vitamins and minerals, it’s a good thing that this delicious fruit is so popular!

Bananas are low in calories (one banana has approximately 100 calories), are a good source of Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, fiber, and magnesium, and they contain little if any fat, sodium or cholesterol.

Bananas offer a number of proven health benefits, some of which might surprise you. They are heart healthy, great for weight loss, help prevent disease and cancer, make your bones strong, help with digestion and eye health, chase away depression and help you sleep better, fight the symptoms of PMS, also known as premenstrual syndrome, and many more! Check out the list of 15 health benefits of bananas below.

1. Bananas Help Make Bones Strong

Extremely rich in fructooligosaccharides, this tasty, tropical fruit’s special compound helps nourish beneficial bacteria in your large and small intestines making your body better able to absorb bone strengthening nutrients like calcium and magnesium.

Bananas contain short chain fatty acids, also known as SCFA’s, in addition to fructooligosaccharides, making them two times as effective at making your bones strong because your body lacks the type of enzymes needed to break down SCFA’s.

Osteoporosis is estimated to affect approximately 200 million women worldwide according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. The potassium rich banana may help decrease the likelihood that you will be diagnosed with osteoporosis.

The potassium in bananas is believed to counteract the effects of a salty diet, loved by people around the world, by preventing bones from decaying at such a fast rate.

Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy alkaline pH, so your body doesn’t have the need to take calcium from the bones to decrease acidity in your system.

Bottom Line: Nutrient rich bananas are one of the best fruits for guaranteeing strong, healthy bones throughout your lifetime. Containing fructooligosaccharides, SCFA’s, potassium, and magnesium, the bone benefits of tasty bananas are outstanding.

2. Bananas Aid in Digestion and Protect From Stomach Ulcers

For centuries and throughout the world, bananas have been used to help suppress the secretion of digestive enzymes acting like a sweet, natural antacid to soothe upset stomachs.

Bananas contain protease inhibitors which help eliminate harmful bacteria in the stomach. In addition, these compounds help produce several organic compounds that help stimulate protective cells in the lining of our stomachs protecting the stomach from its strong digestive acids. (2)

Bananas contain starchy carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the digestive system, putting less strain on your stomach making it an easier food to digest.

This delicious tropical fruit is so gentle on your stomach that it is often recommended by doctors as a part of the B.R.A.T. (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet for those suffering from stomach ailments such as vomiting and nausea.

Because of their high levels of potassium and magnesium, bananas may also reduce inflammation in your stomach and bowel.

Bottom Line: Good digestion starts when you put food in your mouth and bananas are one of the best fruits to eat to aid the digestion process and soothe your stomach.

3. Bananas Help Decrease PMS Symptoms

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists at least 85 percent of women throughout the world deal with some form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in their lifetime. PMS symptoms can include bloating, cramping, moodiness, fatigue, headaches, and a multitude of other symptoms that are sometimes so debilitating they prevent women from completing regular activities and even from going to work. (3)

Bananas are loaded with vitamin B6 known for its anti-cramping properties, one the most common painful symptoms of PMS.

The sweet fruit is also full of potassium which helps reduce water retention and therefore bloating, a complaint of PMS sufferers.

The potassium in bananas works with sodium to cross cell membranes and regulate muscle contractions lessening the severity of painful contractions that cause cramping. (4)

Bottom Line: Evidence suggests that bananas may be a girl’s best friend during painful times of the month due to the nutritious effects the fruit can have on bloating, cramping, and other PMS symptoms.

4. Bananas May Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Bananas contain a type of starch known as resistant starch, and according to the Dublin University in Ireland, that resistant starch may assist the body in controlling spikes in blood sugar levels.

Fiber aids in slowing digestion which in return helps to slow down the absorption of carbohydrate produced sugars into the bloodstream.

Also rich in potassium and B vitamins, bananas help reduce stress on the digestive system and regulate metabolism, also factors that can affect glucose levels in the blood.

The resistant starch in bananas, treated more like a dietary fiber, may improve blood sugar levels and increase the body’s insulin response to foods making the body less prone to spikes in sugar levels.

One medium banana provides three grams of fiber and people, particularly diabetics, who consume high fiber diets have a lower blood glucose level than those who do not.

Bottom Line: Although research is limited, it is believed that bananas can have significant effects on maintaining good blood glucose levels and preventing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.

5. Bananas are Beneficial to Heart Health

Potassium, an electrolyte that is crucial to bodily functions, is found in high concentrations in bananas, assists the body in having optimal muscle contraction and relaxation, including the heart muscles.

Potassium, with the help of sodium, is vital in maintaining a normal, steady heart rhythm. The proper balance of the two allows for the proper transmission of nerve impulses that cause the heart to contract and relax.

Potassium rich bananas also help manage blood flow through the body maintaining proper hydration levels, both which help oxygen rich blood reach your body’s cells.

According to the Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas Hospital in Tennessee, a decrease in sodium intake and an increase in potassium intake are two of the most important actions a person can choose to take to reduce their risk of heart disease. (5)

Professors at Oxford University tracked the diets of half a million adults for seven years and discovered that a 100g portion of fruit a day, the size of one banana, can cut the risk of death caused by heart disease by a whopping one-third.

A study by Harvard University found that a high fiber diet, like the fiber found in heart healthy bananas, can help control cholesterol and reduce a person’s risk of heart disease by 40 percent.

Bottom Line: The fiber, potassium, and B6 content in bananas all support heart health. Making a choice to eat a potassium packed banana can be an important step towards a healthy heart.

6. Bananas Help Keep You Regular

Seventy percent of the fiber in a banana is made of an insoluble fiber that adds bulk to your food and helps move it through the digestive tract, all the way from your mouth until it leaves your body.

There are foods that help clean out your bowel system, and bananas are one of those foods according to the Texas Children’s Hospital. Bananas help keep you regular without causing uncomfortable diarrhea or painful heartburn. (6)

People should aim to have 25-30 grams of fiber per day, or five to seven servings of fruit, such as tasty, tropical bananas.

Fiber filled bananas are said to help push out stubborn stools and relieve constipation. Fiber helps bulk up the stool and stimulate the body’s peristaltic motion, the wavelike contractions of the intestines that are essential for moving the bowl.

Bananas are also a good source of soluble fiber which becomes a gel when mixed with food in your stomach. This gel can help promote a healthy intestinal tract by preventing bad bacteria from attaching to the intestinal wall.

According to research in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, the soluble fiber found in plantains, a close relative of the banana, can promote the health of the intestines by blocking the adhesion of bacteria, including salmonella.

Bottom Line: The fiber in bananas is beneficial to your body in many ways. It can help prevent constipation and lowers your risk of several diseases and disorders, including diverticular disease, a common intestinal disease.

7. Bananas Can Assist in Weight Loss

The dietary fiber found in tropical, sweet bananas is not only good for your digestive system, but it can aid in your weight loss efforts by making you feel full longer.

Bananas are low in calories, serving up only about 100-110 calories per medium sized banana. Great for those who are carefully counting calories for weight loss.

They are a pre-portioned, natural, and portable, healthy snack making them a good choice for anyone who is trying to decrease their calorie intake and still maintain a healthy diet while being on the go.

Bananas are full of fiber and have a high water content with a sweet taste that can help satisfy your body’s demanding sweet tooth without derailing your weight loss efforts. They can help you feel full longer too.

According to research, a medium sized banana contains only one-fourth the amount of calories found in a regular sized chocolate bar. In addition to being a low calorie snack, bananas contain zero fats making them an excellent diet friendly option.

The resistant starch found in bananas helps slow digestion giving you a full feeling longer and helps your body avoid spikes in blood sugar making your body more likely to burn its fat stores for energy.

Surprisingly, one medium sized banana also contains approximately 1.5 grams of protein which can help stave off hunger for longer periods than refined carbohydrate filled snacks.

According to the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, even smelling certain foods can convince your brain that you’ve already eaten them, tricking your body into feeling full. Bananas are one of those foods according to the study.

Bottom Line: Bananas are a useful addition to any weight loss plan due to their high fiber, low fat, and protein content. They are a portable and tasty snack that can help satisfy your sweet tooth with a healthy alternative to refined carbohydrate filled snacks.

8. Bananas Can Decrease Blood Pressure and Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Bananas are rich in potassium and potassium is important to maintaining proper blood pressure levels because it plays a role in vasodilation of blood vessels and arteries. By relaxing the tension in the arteries and blood vessels, blood can flow more smoothly throughout the body.

Because potassium and sodium play a role in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, the kidney’s use the banana’s nutrients to pull water from the blood and thus decreasing blood pressure.

The fiber in bananas also scrapes excess cholesterol from the arteries and blood vessels decreasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke causing blockage.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 5 percent of U.S. adults consume the daily recommendation of 4700 mg of daily potassium. Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 content in bananas are also supportive of good heart health.

Multiple studies have shown that an adult with low potassium intake has an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke. A person with high blood pressure is two times as likely to be diagnosed with a disease of the heart and six times more likely to suffer from a stroke.

Potassium helps blood flow increase through the body oxygenating organs more efficiently and increasing their ability to function properly. These heart healthy functions can help eliminate the risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

Bottom Line: Eating bananas as a regular part of a healthy, nutritious diet can cut the risk of a deadly stroke by as much as 40 percent according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. The nutrients found in bananas are heart healthy and may decrease high blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

9. Bananas Boost Energy and Assist Athletes

Bananas are high in carbohydrates while being low in fat. They contain three natural sugars, sucrose, fructose, and glucose, as well as a high dose of fiber. Due to these properties, a banana gives an instant, sustainable, and substantial natural boost of energy.

Research shows that two bananas provide nutrients that are able to sustain a 90 minute workout. Eating one banana post workout helps replenish energy stores that are depleted during a moderately hard workout.

Bananas are a proven source of magnesium. Magnesium helps protect the body from muscle spasms and cramps by promoting muscle relaxation as well as protein synthesis.

Magnesium also helps increase lean muscle mass by boosting lipolysis, a process your body uses to release fat from its internal stores.

Potassium helps your muscles recover and strengthens their development helping you work out longer, stronger, and more efficiently. Eating one-half of a banana every 15 minutes during exercise is just as effective as sipping a sugar filled sports drink throughout exercising.

Bananas are chock full of carbohydrates which help maintain the central nervous system improving the minds responsiveness and helping to keep reflexes intact. Gymnasts who consumed carbohydrates, such as those found in tasty, tropical bananas, were less likely to fall during their routines according to a study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. (7)

Vitamin C, also found in bananas, is important for strengthening muscles, tendons, and ligaments and keeping them healthy. It helps speed and promote the repair of wounds and soft tissue damage sustained in strenuous activities. Vitamin C also boosts the synthesis of adrenaline during exercise.

Bottom Line: Bananas contain magnesium, potassium, carbohydrates, and Vitamin C making them exceptionally good for athletes before, during, and after workouts.

10. Bananas Combat Depression and Boost Brain Function

Along with mood boosting Vitamin B9, bananas also contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, one of the most important brain chemicals because it fights depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well as multiple other mood and sleep disorders.

Bananas also contain norepinephrine which helps regulate our internal “fight or flight” response, consequently helping the body to regulate stress.

According to the National Association of Mental Health among people suffering from depression, many people in a recent study felt much better after eating a banana. Because the tryptophan in bananas converts to serotonin, a banana may help you relax and improve your mood.

The antidepressant effects of bananas come from their high levels of dopamine, tryptophan, and Vitamin B6.

Bananas contain folate, and recent studies have shown an elevated incidence of folate deficiency in 50 percent of patients with depression. Many doctors recommend increasing your folate intake if you’re taking an antidepressant.

The potassium in bananas is known to stimulate the nervous system, and nerve cell stimulation is known to aid in mood enhancement. Being a natural mood enhancer, bananas can assist with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as well as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

If your brain is deficient in magnesium, it becomes susceptible to foreign substances which can cause depression like symptoms. Magnesium also supports adrenal gland function, which is overworked during times of stress.

Bottom Line: Not only do bananas look like smiles, but they also help people get theirs back too! Due to B Vitamins and potassium bananas are a mood boosting superfood.

11. Bananas Promote a Better Night’s Sleep

Not only is the tryptophan found in bananas good for your mood, but it’s also good for sleep making bananas a tasty, sweet bedtime snack.

Tryptophan is a precursor to the natural hormone tryptophan, which promotes relaxation and helps regulate sleep. Tryptophan gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain, and then 5-HTP is converted to melatonin.

According to the National Institute of Health, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by sleep disorders, and only 14 percent of adults get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night recommended by most doctors. Approximately 5 percent of adults reported that they have never managed to get a full night of quality sleep.

Full of potassium and magnesium, these nutrients in bananas help promote sleep as well. A medium sized banana provides about 27 mg of magnesium and 422 mg of potassium.

Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants. Magnesium can help keep your body from waking itself during sleep while potassium and magnesium work to help your blood vessels and muscles relax.

Bottom Line: Most people don’t get enough magnesium or potassium in their diet, and many fail to get a quality night’s sleep on a regular basis. Bananas can boost your magnesium and potassium levels and improve your quality of sleep. Next time you need a midnight snack, try grabbing a sleep inducing healthy banana.

12. Bananas Can Help Prevent Anemia

So far we’ve mentioned the many vitamins bananas contain, but did you know they contain iron too? Bananas are a surprisingly iron rich fruit that can help prevent anemia.

Anemia and iron deficiency disorders affect over 30 percent of the world’s population. Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease of hemoglobin, or the number of red blood cells found in the blood, causing fatigue, shortness of breath, and often a multitude of other symptoms.

High in iron, bananas help to increase the production of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin helps transfer oxygen to your cells, therefore, playing a huge role in a person’s energy level.

Bananas also contain copper, another important element that helps in the creation of red blood cells. Increasing red blood cells improves oxygenation to the body’s organs optimizing their functionality.

Vitamin B6, also found in bananas, helps to regulate blood glucose levels, which can also help those suffering from anemia and iron deficiency.

Bottom Line: Bananas are a rich source of iron and can aid in fighting anemia by helping the body produce more hemoglobin which aids in oxygenating the body and optimizing organ function.

13. Bananas Boost Your Immune System

Bananas contain a surprising amount of Vitamin C which plays a vital role in the immune system function.

The prebiotic fiber found in bananas feeds the protective bacteria found in your digestive tract. These good bacteria are believed to help support and stimulate immune cell production according to the Dole Nutrition Institute.

Bananas contain antibiotic elements and antifungal compounds which can kill viruses. This makes bananas highly beneficial in fighting shingles, Epstein-Barr, lupus, and many other conditions caused by viruses. (8)

As your banana becomes riper, the antioxidant levels rise making them even more able to strengthen your immune system and help increase your white blood cell count.

Extremely ripe bananas (those with lots of dark spots) are eight times more effective than green bananas at elevating the fighting ability of white blood cells. Tumor Necrosis Factor, also known as TNF, found more abundantly in ripe bananas because it is produced by the dark spots on bananas, is a cytokine that assists in cell-to-cell communication directing cells toward inflammation and infection sites.

Bottom Line: Bananas, particular very ripe bananas, can help your body’s immune system by providing a good source of Vitamin C, prebiotic fiber, and TNF.

14. Bananas Help Prevent Chronic Disease and Cancer

Bananas essentially do not contain Vitamin A, a vitamin important in protecting the body from chronic illness. However, bananas contain three different carotenoids (provitamin A, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene) that the body converts to Vitamin A.

According to an article in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, chronic diseases, including some cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, can be prevented by foods containing high levels of carotenoids, such as those found in bananas.

Consuming Vitamin C, found in bananas, can help combat the formation of free radicals, which are uncharged atoms, molecules, or ions that are constantly destroying cells in the body, and are known to cause cancer. One serving of a nutritious banana provides 15 percent of the Vitamin C your body needs daily, an antioxidant important to the healthy function of the immune system.

Bananas are also high in fiber, and according to the American Institute of Cancer Research, dietary fiber lowers the risk of colorectal cancers, as well as the risk of esophageal cancers. Fruit intake, including bananas, is likely to lower the risk of lung, stomach, mouth, larynx, pharynx, and esophageal cancer according to the Institute.

Being a rich source of potassium, bananas promote renal health by aiding in smooth renal function. The International Journal of Cancer has shown that potassium could help prevent kidney cancer.

Bottom Line: Being rich in carotenoids, Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, this tasty tropical treat can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and cancers, including those of the colon, mouth, lung, stomach, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, and kidneys.

15. Bananas Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Bananas are packed with carotenoids and antioxidants, as well as many other vitamins and minerals that can pack a healthy punch to your eyesight.

Macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, blindness, and many other eye disorders have been shown to decrease with regular intake of bananas.

Bananas are a prime source of beta-carotene and lutein that can help maintain your eye health. These elements help maintain the structures that bring light into the cornea so that your eyes function more effectively. These vitamins may also help prevent night blindness and promote healthy daily vision function.

Lutein is especially important for reducing the risk of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration disorder of the eyes that causes degeneration to parts of the retina resulting in loss or distortion of vision.

Studies show that people who consume at least three servings of fruit, such as bananas, are up to 36 percent less likely to suffer from macular degeneration. (9)

Bottom Line: Adding a few bananas to your diet can help keep your eyes healthy. According to a survey conducted by the Archives of Ophthalmology, regularly eating a banana can greatly reduce age-related degenerative eye problems.

If you’ve decided that you’d like to fit more of this sweet, tropical, healthy fruit into your diet, here are some things you should know about selecting the perfect banana.

Bananas are picked off of the tree while still green, so don’t be surprised to see them in your local supermarket in that color. They will ripen over time while sitting on your kitchen counter or in a fruit bowl on your table.

The color you want to purchase depends on how soon you plan to consume your healthy treat and what you plan to use them for. Some recipes call for very ripe bananas while some people prefer to eat the less ripe, more green bananas immediately. The riper the banana, the sweeter they taste.

Bananas should be fairly firm when you purchase them and free of bruises, not the same as the brown spots they get as they ripen. They should come with the stem still attached, and size has no bearing as to the flavor of the fruit, so simply choose the size that is right for you.

Bananas should be stored at room temperature and should not be exposed to extreme heat or cold. If you need to ripen a banana quicker than normal, simply place it in a paper bag and let it sit. The gas given off during the ripening process that stays contained in the bag makes the tasty treat ripen faster.

If you’ve decided that bananas are your new fruit of choice, or if they’re already a favorite snack, try out the recipes below to add some tasty options to your diet.

8 Delicious Recipes

1. Banana Daiquiri

Ingredients

1 banana

1 ½ oz. lime juice

1 tsp. sugar

1 ½ oz. light rum

1 Tbsp. Triple sec

1 c. ice

Directions
  1. To make this simple, delicious drink, combine all ingredients with 1 cup of ice in a blender. Blend until all ingredients are well mixed and appear slushy.

  2. Pour this refreshing drink into a fun glass of your choice and enjoy. Garnish with a cherry or other fruit if desired.

2. Banana, Kale & Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients

1 frozen medium banana, cut into pieces

2 c. chopped kale leaves with stems removed

¼ c. frozen pineapple chunks

¼ c. plain Greek yogurt

¾ c. almond milk or soy milk

1 to 3 tsp. honey, to taste

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until ingredients reach a smooth consistency.

  2. Add more milk if needed to reach whatever consistency you prefer. Immediately serve.

3. Samoa Banana Boats

Ingredients

1 medium banana

¼ c. toasted coconut

1 Tbsp. caramel sauce

1 Tbsp. chocolate sauce

For Caramel Sauce

1⅓ c. brown sugar

¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ c. butter

¾ c. evaporated milk

For Chocolate Sauce

⅓ c. cocoa powder

½ tsp. vanilla

1 c. sugar

¼ c. butter

¾ c. evaporated milk

Directions
To make the caramel sauce
  1. Combine evaporated milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan.

  2. Add butter and stir constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to boil.

  3. Stirring constantly boil mixture for two more minutes.

  4. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir in salt and vanilla extract.

To make the chocolate sauce
  1. Mix sugar and cocoa in small saucepan. Stir well.

  2. Mix in the evaporated milk and butter.

  3. Stirring constantly cook until mixture begins to boil.

  4. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir in vanilla.

To make the banana boats
  1. Slice a peeled banana lengthwise, but do not cut all the way through to the bottom.

  2. Pull banana halves open and fill the opening with toasted coconut.

  3. Top with caramel sauce and chocolate sauce and serve immediately.

4. Banana Pancakes

Ingredients

1 banana

½ c. oats

2 eggs

¼ c. applesauce

½ tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Vanilla

Directions
  1. Blend oats until finely ground into flour.

  2. Add all ingredients remaining and blend thoroughly until mixed smooth.

  3. Cook as desired on a buttered or greased griddle.

5. Hawaiian Bacon Wrapped Bananas

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas cut into 5 chunks each

10 slices bacon, halved crosswise

1 Tbsp. honey

¼ c. soy sauce

20 toothpicks

Directions
  1. Stir soy sauce and honey together in a large bowl. Add bananas and toss gently to coat bananas in sauce. Let marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  2. Remove banana chunks from marinade but save the remaining marinade.

  3. Place oven rack approximately 8 inches under the broiler in the oven and preheat the broiler.

  4. Wrap each banana chunk with one piece of bacon and secure by placing a toothpick through the bacon.

  5. With the marinade in a separate bowl, dip each bacon wrapped banana slice in the marinade and then put on a greased cookie sheet to broil.

  6. Broil in the oven until bacon is browned and appears crispy, approximately 7 to 10 minutes.

6. Energizing Banana Oat Bites

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 c. rolled old-fashioned oats

¼ c. honey

¼ c. almond butter, or any other nut butter you prefer

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions
  1. In a large bowl mash bananas.

  2. Stir in the almond butter, honey, rolled oats, chocolate chips and cinnamon.

  3. Roll all of the mixture into one inch balls.

  4. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the oats time to soften.

  5. Store in the refrigerator.

7. Easy Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Ingredients

4 large ripe bananas

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Directions
  1. Peel bananas and cut the entire banana into one-half inch slices.

  2. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in the freezer for at least one hour.

  3. Place the frozen banana slices in a blender. Puree banana slices until the mixture is creamy and smooth.

  4. Add the peanut butter and puree to blend the peanut butter through the mixture.

  5. Serve immediately for a soft-serve ice cream or if you prefer place in the freezer for a few hours and serve with a scoop for a harder ice cream consistency.

8. Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients

1 and ½ c. whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups mashed bananas (3 medium bananas)

4 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon-optional

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large egg

½ c. plain Greek yogurt (nonfat)

1 Tbsp. soy or almond milk

½ c. mini chocolate chips (you can substitute with chopped nuts)

Directions
  1. Spray 12 cup standard muffin tin or 24 cup mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl.

  4. In a separate bowl mash the three bananas then add milk, oil, honey, vanilla, egg, and Greek yogurt. Mix well until mixture is smooth.

  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.

  6. Fold in chocolate chips.

  7. Fill muffin tin cups with batter until about ¾ full.

  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

  9. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the pan then place on a wire rack or waxed paper to cool completely.

Recipe References

Banana Daquiri - http://allshecooks.com/banana-daiquiri-recipe/

Banana, Pineapple, Kale Smoothie - http://www.wellplated.com/kale-pineapple-smoothie/

Samoa Banana Boats - http://www.lemontreedwelling.com/2015/02/samoa-banana-boats.html

Banana Pancakes - https://www.easylivingtoday.com/clean-eating-meal-prep-ideas/

Bacon Wrapped Bananas - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/234433/bacon-wrapped-bananas/?lnkid=pin3051&crlt.pid=camp.9MVyLHxKdWTR

Banana Energy Bites - http://tiphero.com/banana-oat-energy-bites

Banana-Peanut Butter Ice Cream - http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/two-ingredient-banana-peanut-butter-ice-cream/

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - http://omgchocolatedesserts.com/skinny-banana-muffins-recipe/

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