For more than 40 years, bananas have been the most popular fruit in the U.S.; the creamy texture and flavor give this fruit great appeal. Don’t throw away your brown bananas — instead, throw them in the freezer. Yes, you can freeze them in the peel. The peel actually prevents freezer burn, so don’t be shocked when you see the peel turn black. You can also peel and slice them before freezing so you can easily grab ’em and throw them into whatever you need. So, what should you actually do with them? Beat the heat with these five easy and natural banana recipes.
Banana “Ice Cream”
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. (It’s true.) We don’t want you to ever feel deprived, so take those bananas and turn them into soft serve without the fat and added sugar. So easy: throw the frozen slices into a food processor or blender and start blending. After a few minutes, you’ll see the mixture shift from blended bananas to a creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture.
Banana Breakfast Pops
Mornings are busy enough without having to worry about breakfast, so why not make these yummy “to go” treats? Just insert wooden sticks into the bottom of each banana half, place in freezer for 30 minutes, coat with vanilla Greek yogurt, roll in granola or oats and store in the freezer till morning. Bananas have high levels of tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin, the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter. So chances are pretty solid that you’ll start off your day off in good mood!
Banana Power Smoothie
This recipe from One Medical nutritionist Karyn Duggan calls for spirulina, a protein-rich algae you can buy in powder form at drug and health food stores. Mix 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 2 tablespoons almond butter, 1 teaspoon spirulina and 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed. Puree until smooth and then serve.
Chocolate-Drizzled Banana Pops
Since we know that fiber is an important part of losing weight and that one banana can provide nearly 10 percent of your daily fiber needs, why not go for a frozen banana pop instead of a granola or chocolate bar? Just insert a wooden stick into a banana half and drizzle with chocolate for a treat that’s guaranteed to be filling and just sweet enough to curb those sugar cravings.
This breakfast beverage seems dessert-like, but it’s a healthy morning meal that only tastes indulgent. To make one, blend ice with one banana, 1/2 cup almond or soy milk, 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
Adapted from an article by nutrition coach Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD that first appeared on Rise.us.