Bananas are the perfect training food: they’re potassium-packed, brimming with good carbohydrates, low-calorie, and easily transportable. But let’s face it: Even the perfect snack can get a little mundane after awhile—not to mention the fact that a brown, over-ripe banana isn’t always the most appealing thing to eat. If you're pressed for time, we love Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites for an easy snack. But if you’ve got a little time to spend in the kitchen—and need to use up a banana (or a bunch) that’s past its prime—try one of these delicious, homemade healthy banana snacks.
1. Banana Bread
Believe it or not, banana bread can be a healthful snack—if you take out the white flour, sugar, and vegetable oil. Look for a recipe that includes complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, satiating fats like coconut oil, protein-packed eggs, and cinnamon and vanilla for flavor. It’s best to use ripe or overripe bananas to boost the sweetness. You don’t need to add sugar if you’re using brown-spotted bananas; this treat is sweet enough on its own. Not into banana bread? Make these into muffins.
2. Almond Butter Banana Bites
Almond butter and banana is a great combo—and creating bites with those two ingredients makes a super-easy, satisfying snack with a good amount of protein and healthy fats. To make a banana bite, slice bananas into coins, dip into soft or heated almond butter, and then freeze. Pro snack tip: These are best straight out of the freezer.
3. Banana "Ice Cream"
You may have heard of (or tried) this ultimate ice cream hack before, but if not, allow us to introduce you to the easiest banana "ice cream" ever. Simply toss a bunch of ripe, frozen bananas in a blender, process until smooth, and then freeze. If you're up for making it two-ingredient banana ice cream, try adding a spoonful of peanut butter or a dash of cinnamon.
4. Paleo Banana Pancakes
These aren’t your typical banana pancakes, so don’t expect to douse fluffy golden circles in maple syrup and butter. That said, paleo banana pancakes taste good and are full of fuel to let you train and recover well. Mash two bananas with two eggs, one tablespoon of arrowroot powder or flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Then gently cook on a heated pan.
5. Banana Energy Balls
Bananas, oats, almond butter…notice a theme? These three ingredients make for a terrific base. Mash two bananas with one cup dry oats, 1/2 cup almond butter, and honey to taste. From here, you can add chocolate chips, walnuts or almonds, raisins, or even a scoop of protein powder. Once combined, roll into equal sized balls. These store well in the fridge or freezer and make great on-the-go snacks or a quick breakfast during busy mornings.
6. Banana Split
Yes, we said banana split. But forget about the ice cream—this version is healthy, and may just become your new favorite breakfast or snack. Split a banana lengthwise and add to a bowl. Then, mix one scoop of protein powder with greek yogurt or dairy-free coconut yogurt. Spoon the protein-packed yogurt on top of the split banana and sprinkle on hemp seeds, blueberries, and a small drizzle of honey. Finished a long run or successfully deadlifted double your weight? Add on a few cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips. This banana snack is as healthy as it is delicious.
7. Banana Custard
This custard tastes decadent but is actually a nutritional powerhouse. Looking to boost your healthy fats? Try out this easy recipe: combine two eggs, one cup of full fat or light coconut milk, two bananas, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla in a high-power blender. Pour into ramekins and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Craving pie? Use the recipe above, but first crush graham crackers and layer in ramekins. Bake for 10 minutes before adding the custard.
8. Banana-Spinach Smoothie
Green smoothies aren’t just a sneaky way to boost your leafy green uptake; they’re also a great way to use up overly ripe bananas. Peel, slice, and freeze them, then simply add the frozen banana chunks to a high-power blender along with a scoop of protein powder, one cup of dairy-free milk, and a large handful of spinach. Optional tasty toss-ins: frozen pineapple chuncks, chia seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut.