5 Delicious Ways To Enjoy Bananas

Easy to pack and easy to eat, bananas offer a convenient, nutritious, and yummy option for all ages. From desk drawers to lunch boxes, bananas can fit into the eating plans of many. But there's also ways not to do bananas...like choosing a packaged "banana" snack with no bananas (just banana flavoring, like this one in the Health Hall of Shame) or adding bananas to an already carbohydrate-heavy meal or snack.  So what is better when it comes to this curvy yellow fruit? 5 delicious banana choices (from smoothies to better chocolate covered bananas - yes, chocolate!) are below! 

Banana Sushi

Sushi for breakfast takes on a whole new meaning with this banana sushi! Spread one banana with 1 T. almond butter and sprinkle 1-2 T. Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds over top.  If you'd like a little extra glitter, embellish the roll with cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut shreds, and/or pumpkin spice - just make sure what you're choosing is a source of protein or fat...you already have 27 grams of carbs in the banana, so you don't need another source of carbs in this meal.

Go Raw Sprouted Banana Bar

Made with sprouted flaxseed, banana, coconut, and dates, this Go Raw bar offers 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 9 grams of healthy fats. It's not too shabby that 300 mg of omega-3s are also in this bar, sourced from the sprouted flaxseed.  Serve this bar with a handful of almonds on the side to increase the amount of plant-based protein and healthy fats. Store the bar and nut/seeds in your desk drawer so that you have a quick, healthy option if a mid-morning or mid-afternoon hunger pang strikes.

Hulk Cakes

Jack Johnson knows banana pancakes are good - but that sh!%t is bananas if it's made with added sugar, refined flour, and/or artificial colors and flavors to get that banana taste.  No matter the day, pretend like it's the weekend by making these Hulk Cakes (recipe by Ashley Koff RD). Combine 2 eggs, 1 frozen banana, and 1/2 cup of spinach in a blender then make like pancakes and top with optional chopped nuts. 

Banana Vanilla "Nice" Cream/Smoothie

Adding banana to your smoothie? Not so fast. If you're adding other fruits (like apples, pears or mango) you'll likely be drinking too many carbs at one time. Try this combo for a banana-vanilla smoothie - it's balanced with quality protein - just use more ice or freeze it after blending to create a thicker "nice cream" consistency.  

Barnana - Banana Bites

Image: Barnana

Image: Barnana

For the ultimate banana indulgence, try Barnana's chewy banana bites covered in organic fair trade dark chocolate.  The texture and size of these bites may remind you of Milk Duds, but they're free of artificial flavors and preservatives, and contain nearly half the amount of sugar as their dud counterpart.  Plus, there are 3 grams of fiber in each serving!  Bring a snack pack of Barnana to share as a conscious treat when you go to the movies, when you need some pre-game or practice fuel, or for when that sweet tooth kicks in.