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A Dozen Banana Recipes To Make You Healthier And Happier

A Dozen Banana Recipes To Make You Healthier And Happier

Bananas are a tricky little fruit in that they are healthy, but super sweet. Bananas can make any recipe taste decadent and creamy. You can use bananas as a substitute in recipes for the fat or just add them to recipes for the added benefits of potassium, folate, magnesium, fiber and vitamin C. Bananas are also naturally fat, sodium and cholesterol free, which is great news for those of you with any special dietary needs.

So grab your ripe bananas and get ready to whip up some deliciously healthy banana recipes.

1. Bourbon Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins via Enticingly Healthy Eating

banana bourbon muffins

    I have never tried adding any kind of alcohol to my baked goods (as far as I can remember?) so I definitely need to try cooking this recipe. You actually add all of the ingredients to a blender to combine — so easy! I would whip up a batch of these for breakfast throughout the week.

    2. Cinnamon Banana Bread Protein Shake via Fit Mitten Kitchen

    banana bread protein shake

      Who wouldn’t want their protein shake to taste like cinnamon banana bread? Did you also know that cinnamon has a bunch of health benefits? Bonus!

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      3. Banana Funfetti Protein Cookies via Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

      banana-funfetti-protein-cookies-2-via-semihealthnut-at-semihealthyblog.com_thumb

        These cute little cookies are packed with protein and are gluten free. The banana and vanilla protein powder make them super sweet and chewy, almost like muffin tops.

        4. Fluffy Chunky Monkey Pancakes via Apple of My Eye

        fluffy chunky monkey pancakes

          This is one of those banana recipes that kind of pushes the “healthy” label, but I personally think it’s good to get a little chocolate in every day. I would eat this for breakfast because I’m totally cool with dessert-like meals to start the day, but I might categorize this as a semi-healthy dessert.

          5. Crockpot Creamy Banana French Toast via Diethood

          crock pot banana french toast

            Excuse me while I wipe the drool off of my keyboard because this recipe is insanely decadent. I would never even think to do French toast in my slow cooker, but I seriously need to try now that I’ve seen this post.

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            6. Sweet Potato Banana Bites via The Lean Green Bean

            sweet potato bites

              This banana recipe, on the other hand, is super healthy. Sweet potatoes, bananas, eggs and nut butter: that’s all there is to this recipe. Lindsay (the recipe author) also points out that the recipe is super forgiving in the measurements department, which always makes baking ten times easier.

              7. Frozen Banana Pops Covered in Chocolate via Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

              frozen banana pops that taste like dilly bars

                Have you ever tried making frozen banana pops? They are so close in texture to an ice cream bar that you might trick yourself into thinking they aren’t healthy.

                8. Vegan Cookie Dough Banana Soft Serve via Fit Foodie Finds

                banana soft serve with vegan cookie dough

                  Speaking of frozen bananas… what about banana soft serve? You blend up frozen bananas until they are smooth and creamy and it basically tastes like soft serve ice cream (or frozen yogurt). There are so many options with this base, but this recipe looks over-the-top amazing.

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                  9. Baked Banana Chips via Naturally Ella

                  homemade banana chips

                    I know that those bags of banana chips I buy at the store are, of course, coated in sugar, so I was super excited to see a recipe for homemade banana chips.

                    10. Banana Cinnamon Crumb Muffins via The Healthy Maven

                    banana cinnamon crumb muffins

                      I am all about anything that has a crumb topping and is semi-healthy. Davida, the author, uses both coconut oil and sugar, if you’re into that sort of thing. The photos are also super pretty, as an added bonus!

                      11. Banana Bread Cookies with Almond-Butter Cocoa Filling via Pure Wow

                      banana bread cookies

                        You probably wouldn’t believe that these are actually healthy! The ingredient list is outstanding and I want to take a bite out of my screen, so this banana recipe is definitely a win.

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                        12. Grilled S’mores Banana Boats via Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

                        grilled smores banana boats

                          Why not stuff a bunch of s’mores goodness into a banana and throw it on the grill? The use of foil will make this recipe a super quick clean up. (Who likes doing dishes?)

                          This round up of semi-healthy banana recipes will definitely make you happier and healthier.

                          Which recipe will you try first?

                          Featured photo credit: Enticingly Healthy Eating via enticinghealthyeating.weebly.com

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                          Amanda DeWitt

                          Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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                          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                          1. Cat Camel Stretch

                          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                          3. Jumping Jacks

                          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                          4. Abductor Side Lifts

                          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                          5. Balancing Table Pose

                          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                          ablab

                            6. Leg Squats

                            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                            7. Push Ups

                            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                            8. Bicycle Crunches

                            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                            9. Lunges

                            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                            10. Bicep Curls

                            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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