Food For Runners: B-a-n-a-n-a-s

>> Thursday, March 22, 2012

The fruits we place in our grocery cart vary from season to season, but bananas are the mainstay of our family's healthy diet. Maybe not the most locavore of us, that's for sure -- as they travel from extremely faraway places to rest on our kitchen counter -- but they're nutritious, affordable, plentiful, and freezable.

We usually buy this many of 'em. MAYBE $3, but probably not even that much.

Freeze half.
Eat the rest fresh.

If you don't already know, here's why you, too, should be scarfing these tasty fruits . . .

"A good source of carbs, bananas also contain potassium, which runners lose through sweating and help regulate muscle contraction and prevent cramping. Bananas are also considered a "safe" pre-run food because they're unlikely to cause gastrointestinal issues." (

"Bananas contain prebiotics, the indigestible fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Healthy intestinal flora produces B vitamins and vitamin K, which are also found in bananas. These nutrients are important for energy metabolism and blood clotting, respectively. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E, bananas help counter the damaging effects of free radicals." (Running Times)

Here are some of our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner:

Faith's Breakfast Banana Split with Yogurt and Jam
Katie's Breakfast Quinoa with Berries & Bananas
Angela's Tropical Kale Salad with Banana, Pineapple, and Mango
Our Garbanzo-Banana Bread
Ashley's Avocado Banana Chocolate Pudding
Erin's Roasted Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
Donna and Chad's Banana Orange Smoothie
Emily's Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Izy's Whole Wheat Baked Banana and Chocolate Doughnuts
Our Banana-Stuffed Faux Crepes
Devon's Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream
Jan's Cashew-Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Orange-Banana Salsa
Bob's Banana Walnut Granola

To get the maximum benefit post-run, "be sure to have your banana with some form of protein after exercise to promote muscle recovery and repair." (

The easiest ways to do just that? Banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Or frozen banana thrown into a smoothie with Greek yogurt. No recipes needed.

And if you'd like a totally unrelated recipe that is incredibly delicious, check out Writing Chapter Three for the Crusty White Potato & Ricotta Loaf.

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