7 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Bananas

Chef and marathoner Nate Appleman shares his favourite ways to cook with this runner staple.

Bananas, many a runner’s favourite food, can boost the nutrition of any mini meal thanks to their natural sweetness and texture. “When I started getting serious about running a decade ago, I gave up added sugar for two years and had bananas mashed into oatmeal with almond butter nearly every morning – it really sustained me,” says Nate Appleman.


Photo: Mitch Mandel

Prawns add lean protein and more potassium.

8 medium cooked prawns
½ diced ripe avocado
1 diced banana
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. other fresh citrus juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped coriander
Finely chopped Serrano chilies (optional)
Dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Fold 8 medium cooked shrimp with ½ diced ripe avocado, 1 diced firm banana, and 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion, and dress with 1 Tbsp. each lime juice and other fresh citrus juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 1 Tbsp. chopped coriander. For a kick, add finely chopped Serrano chilies or dried red pepper flakes. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information
882 kilojoules per serving, 6 g protein, 20 g carbs, 4 g fibre, 9 g sugar, 13 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 48 mg sodium


Toasted Bread with Prosciutto
Photo: Mitch Mandel

Refuel tired muscles with this protein-rich snack.

1 slice toasted wholegrain bread
1 smashed ripe banana
30g thinly sliced prosciutto
1 Tbsp. shaved Pecorino Romano cheese

Top a slice of toasted wholegrain bread with 1 smashed ripe banana, thinly sliced prosciutto, and 1 Tbsp. shaved Pecorino Romano. Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Information
1029 kilojoules per serving, 14 g protein, 35 g carbs, 5 g fibre, 14 g sugar, 6 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 973 mg sodium


Photo: Mitch Mandel
Photo: Mitch Mandel

Pair with rice and black beans for protein, fibre, and Latin-American flair.

2 firm bananas
1 Tbsp. butter

Slice 2 peeled, firm bananas, lengthwise. Fry in a skillet in 1 Tbsp. butter over medium heat until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information
652 kilojoules per serving, 1 g protein, 27 g carbs, 3 g fibre, 14 g sugar, 6 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 2 mg sodium


Open-Faced Sandwich
Photo: Mitch Mandel

Tahini and honey add a twist to the peanut butter and banana classic.

1 slice wholegrain bread
½ sliced banana
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. tahini

Top 1 slice wholegrain bread with ½ sliced banana, 1 tsp. honey, and 1 Tbsp. tahini. Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Information
966 kilojoules per serving, 7 g protein, 34 g carbs, 4 g fibre, 15 g sugar, 9 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 105 mg sodium


Whole Roasted Bananas
Photo: Mitch Mandel

This dessert is high in vitamin C and heart-healthy fats.

3 whole, ripe bananas
Whole cloves (optional)
1 cup Greek yoghurt
¼ cup toasted pecans
1 orange or blood orange
2 tsp. brown sugar

Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Pierce 3 whole, ripe bananas with the skin on, using a fork (or stud them with whole cloves). Place on baking sheet and roast until black and oozy, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool and remove skin (and cloves). Slice and serve with 1 cup Greek yoghurt, ¼ cup toasted pecans, and peeled segments from 1 orange or blood orange, and sprinkle with 2 tsp. brown sugar. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information
840 kilojoules per serving, 2 g protein, 52 g carbs, 8 g fibre, 36 g sugar, 1 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 3 mg sodium


Photo: Mitch Mandel
Boost your immune system with antioxidants.

1 apple
1 orange
1 grapefruit
1 banana
1 pear
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. zest
2 tsp. maple syrup

Slice and combine 1 of each: apple, orange, grapefruit, banana, and pear. Mix 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. zest, and 2 tsp. maple syrup; drizzle on fruit. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information
840 kilojoules per serving, 2 g protein, 52 g carbs, 8 g fibre, 36 g sugar, 1 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 3 mg sodium


Photo: Mitch Mandel

1 banana
½ cup frozen mango or berries
⅓ cup whole-fat plain yoghurt
2 Tbsp. pecans
½ cup greens (e.g. kale, spinach)
1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

In a blender combine a banana, ½ cup frozen mango or berries, ⅓ cup of whole-fat plain yoghurt, 2 Tbsp. pecans, ½ cup greens (like chopped kale or romaine), 1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup, and 1 cup water. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information
882 kilojoules per serving, 4 g protein, 39 g carbs, 4 g fibre, 29 g sugar, 6 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 32 mg sodium

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