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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

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                          Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                          Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                          Video Summary

                          Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                          There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                          This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                          Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                          In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                          One Exercise, multiple benefits

                          There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                          By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                          When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                          Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                          In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                          What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                          What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                            1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                            Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                            • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                            • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                            • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                            • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                            2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                              Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                              Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                              3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                  Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                  A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                  A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                  On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                  5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                    Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                    6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                      Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                      7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                        Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                        How to hold a plank position

                                        1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                        2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                        3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                        4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                        5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                        6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                        7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                        Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                        Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                          How to improve your plank time gradually

                                          1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                          2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                          3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                          Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                          Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                          You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                          • Prolapse
                                          • After prolapse surgery
                                          • Pelvic pain conditions
                                          • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                          • Previous childbirth
                                          • Overweight

                                          Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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