If you're looking for ways to enjoy a pre-workout banana that are more interesting than au natural, try one or all of these six-ingredient-or-less recipes, which offer quick, satisfying ways to boost your performance.
Banana Pudding1 of 9
Thickened with chia seed paste instead of the typical cornstarch found in most pudding recipes, this sweet treat makes delectable use of overripe bananas.
3 ripe (even overripe) bananas
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 1/4 cups 2-percent milk
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peel bananas and place in a large bowl. Mash bananas with a fork and set aside.
Place chia seeds in a blender or food processor with a tiny bit of water. Pulse until seeds are broken down into a paste.
Warm milk and honey in a small pot over medium-low heat.
In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add mashed bananas, chia seed paste and one-third of the milk and honey mixture. Stir well before adding the rest of the milk and honey.
Add pudding mixture to the small pot and return to stove. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, about three minutes. Remove from heat and cool in the refrigerator.
Chocolate-Covered Bananas2 of 9
This beach boardwalk classic shouldn't be reserved for vacation. It's a great pre-workout treat on a hot day; boost the antioxidant factor by using dark chocolate.
2 bananas, but in half
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1 cup chopped peanuts, shredded coconut or puffed rice cereal
Dump peanut, coconut or rice cereal topping onto a plate.
Coat banana halves in melted chocolate. Roll bananas around the topping plate until well coated. Insert a popsicle stick, barbecue skewer or long cocktail toothpick into each banana half. Place bananas on a parchment-lined cookie sheet; freeze until chocolate hardens.
Tropical Banana Pops3 of 9
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup fresh or frozen mango cubes
1 can coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.
Vanilla and Banana Blended Iced Coffee4 of 9
Can't stomach much before a workout, but want to take advantage of the performance-boosting effects of caffeine? Skip the coffee shop line and make your own blended coffee drink at home. Simply plop in a banana into the blender for added power and flavor.
2 cups coffee, cooled
3 teaspoons vanilla syrup
2 tablespoons milk of your choice
2 cups ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Sticky Rice With Bananas and Mangos5 of 9
A make-ahead recipe, plan to prep this on the weekend and keep it stashed in an airtight container in the fridge so you can have an Asian-inspired, ready-made pre-workout snack whenever you need it.
1 1/2 cups glutinous (sweet) rice
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar, honey or agave nectar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ripe mango, sliced
Wash rice with cold water in a large bowl in several changes of water until water is clear. Cover and soak in cold water overnight.
Drain rice well in a sieve. Set sieve over a large deep saucepan of simmering water (sieve should not touch water) and steam rice, covered with a kitchen towel and a lid, 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender (check water level in pan occasionally, adding more water if necessary).
While rice is cooking, in a small saucepan bring 1 cup coconut milk to a boil with 1/3 cup sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and remove from heat. Keep mixture warm.
Transfer cooked rice to a bowl and stir in coconut-milk mixture. Let rice stand, covered, 30 minutes, or until coconut milk mixture is absorbed. Stir in mashed banana. Serve rice topped with sliced mango.
Banana Berry Smoothie6 of 9
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries or strawberries
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup juice of your choice
Blend all ingredients together until well combined.
Banana Sushi7 of 9
1 tortilla of your choice
1 banana, sliced
1 tablespoon nut butter of your choice
1 tablespoon jam or apple butter
Spread a thin layer of nut butter on the tortilla, topped with a thin spread of jam. Place banana slices on bottom third of the tortilla and roll up tightly. Cut into one-inch pieces.
Banana Oatmeal Bars8 of 9
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 mashed bananas
2/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup peanut or cashew butter
Grease an 8 x 8 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Spoon ingredients into greased pan and smooth evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, turn off oven and let oatmeal sit in warm oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, then slice into bars.