Banana Sweetened Recipes for a Healthy Sweet Fix

Banana sweetened foods are the perfect fix for your sweet tooth with the ability to add moisture and denisty, the caramelization we love from crystal sugar, plus fiber and nutrients crucial to smooth digestion without added sugar.  Most "no-sugar" recipes use synthetic sugars, processed stevia, honey, or maple syrup, but those condensed forms don't provide the whole food nourishment our body, and baby craves.

Bananas are super sweet, but low on the glycemic index due to their fiber content and water-soluble pectin that aids in healthy digestion (a property that increases as bananas ripen).  According to WHFoods.org, bananas are high in vitamins and minerals such as B6, manganese, vitamin C and potassium making them excellent for whole body health.

Some of my favorite ways to have a sweet banana treat is dipping bananas in salted peanuts or adding bananas to a peanut butter sandwich but that doesn't always give me that sweet texture fix that so many baked goods have.  Here are five mouth-watering recipes sweetened only with bananas that will curb your sugar craving from lightly sweetened breakfasts to snacks and full-on cookie addictions.  Not only are you never going to have overripe bananas again, you're going to stock up on these goodies just to let them get nice and spotted.  If your bananas aren't ripe enough yet, separate each banana to expose their stems, layer them with apples, and place them in a brown paper bag to speed the ripening process.

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal

Sometimes I just miss the crazy sweet packets of oatmeal I would eat occasionally before I really understood that #sugarisevil, but I just don't like the way it makes me feel or what all those artificial additives do to my health.  This banana sweetened berry oatmeal bowl will have you craving that fresh taste and soothing your system morning or night.

  • Cook 1 serving of oatmeal with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a dash of nutmeg
  • Mash 1 banana very well and mix into the warm oatmeal, letting it cook for just a minute longer to help infuse the banana flavors into the oatmeal.  (If you have time, caramelize your banana first with coconut oil or coconut puree before adding)
  • Top with 1/2 cup fresh seasonal berries and 1 tsp. THRIVE green smoothie herbal powders.
  • Add chopped (toasted if you like) pecans

I enjoy this dish with fresh picked strawberries that have warmed in the spring sun, as the evening cools down and I want something simple and soothing.  In the evening, though, I don't add the herbal powders because they're so energizing.

Banana Sweetened Yogurt Smoothie

One thing my kids miss is cute organic smoothie cups.  If you haven't looked at the back of your organic (or non-organic) yogurt, you'll probably start now.  There's not much probiotic support in something with so much added sugar - you're pretty much just counteracting the sugar and not improving the healthy bacteria.  Not to mention, the cravings you're creating.

  • Take 1/2-1 Cup plain yogurt (Greek if you like it thicker) and blend with 1 very ripe banana.
  • You can also add 3-4 tsp.  THRIVE green smoothie powders plus 1 cup of your favorite frozen fruit blend (but keep the banana unfrozen) for a chilling treat for 3-4 people.  This can be super sweet, so feel free to add a bit of water to tame it down a bit.  We use frozen berries when we don't have access to fresh from our garden berries so we're sure to get organic goodness picked at its peak.
  • Top it with fresh mint, a fresh berry (and even mix in a little rose chardonnay sans the yogurt for all you post-postpartum ladies).

Banana Sweetened Ice Cream

A perfect addition to a banana sweetened cupcake on the first birthday (see next recipe) is this one-ingredient delicately smooth banana sweetened ice cream.  Easily adaptable with a variety of flavors, you can cream it up, or put it in a cone.

  • Use one frozen banana and blend it in your best blender or with an infusion blender until creamy and serve as is.
  • For chocolate, add 1 tsp. cocoa powder when blending.
  • For a peanut butter twist, add in unsweetened peanut butter or warm and drizzle on top
  • Add chopped nuts.
  • Add 1/4 cup very chill whipping cream or coconut cream for a creamier texture, though this is totally optional.

1 banana is great for serving two and this recipe easily doubles up for a crowd.  I've served the chocolate version at birthday parties without people ever knowing it was only bananas and cocoa powder.

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal cookies are known as the "healthy" cookie.  Though there's nothing healthy about a teaspoon of extra processed sugar per cookie, especially when you're eating 4-5 at one sitting.  Try this banana sweetened oatmeal pancake alternative that can be made in just a few minutes on the stove top or made as an oatmeal cookie or cupcake with the renditions below, used for a healthy first birthday cake or cupcake treat.

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats or 1/3 Cup Oat flour
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Egg
  • Pinch baking soda
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well then pour out just as you would cook pancakes.  Serve warm (add butter and fruit topping or syrup if you'd like, but these are a great "cookie" alternative)

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

  • Make as above, doubling the recipe.
  • Add 2 Tblsp. Olive or Coconut Oil
  • Add a handful of chopped nuts
  • Add a handful of dried unsweetened cherries or raisins
  • Drop on cookie sheet and bake @ 350ºF for 8-10 minutes

Banana Sweetened First Birthday Cake (or cupcakes)

  • 1-3/4 Cups Rolled Oats, blended (or other flour alternative)
  • 2 Egg
  • 3 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Apple Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk (or any kind milk + 3/4 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 tsp. Pink or Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Clove
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls then blend together.
  • Pour into 9x13 pan or cupcake tray and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until middle springs up and toothpick in center comes out clean.
  • Top with any icing.  We prefer unsweetened or honey-sweetened whipped cream.  You can also substitute the powdered sugar in a whipped icing recipe with this powdered banana.

Chocolate Banana Sweetened First Birthday Cake (or cupcakes)

  • 1-3/4 Cups Rolled Oats, blended (or other flour alternative)
  • 2 Egg
  • 4 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Apple Sauce
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk (or any kind milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 tsp. Pink or Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cocao Powder (or Cocoa Powder)
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls then blend together.
  • Pour into 9x13 pan or cupcake tray and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until middle springs up and toothpick in center comes out clean.
  • Top with any icing.  We prefer unsweetened or honey-sweetened whipped cream.  You can also substitute the powdered sugar in a whipped icing recipe with this powdered banana.

Banana Sweetened Banana Bread

Everyone knows the joy of overripe bananas for the savory goodness of banana bread and this list wouldn't be complete without an actual recipe for banana bread that doesn't include any kind of processed sugar.  Even the "no sugar" recipes use honey or maple syrup.  This banana bread recipe is absolutely deliciously banana-only sweetened. Yum!

  • 7 Very Overripe Bananas, Mashed
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 6-12 oz. Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, your favorite), recommended

Mix all the wet ingredients together until bananas are blended well.  Add dry ingredients.  Pour in a large loaf pan.  Bake at 375ºF for 1 hour.

 

How are you enjoying your banana treats?  Tag your photos with #esalibirth and let me see your beautiful creations and first birthday cake photos!