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11 Healthy, Delicious Recipes for Ripe Bananas

Quick and easy recipes that you’ll find ap-peel-ing


Welcome to Next Gen Natural, a column where we share a Gen Z perspective on natural health and wellness. I’m Michelle—alive’s Digital Assistant and creator of the Healthy Num Num food blog. I love healthy living and want to inspire you to integrate wellness into all parts of your life, regardless of your age.

Don’t compost those brown ripe bananas! Instead, turn them into delicious breakfast, snack, and dessert recipes. Bananas not only help make you feel happy, as they help your body make the feel-good hormone, but they are also a natural sweetener that binds ingredients and moistens recipes. Use them in ice cream, smoothies, muffins, and more!


Fluffy, Kid-Friendly Banana Bread

This banana bread is the first recipe I developed for alive. It’s made with chickpea flour, which is a great gluten-free source of protein, fiber, and iron. It’s also school friendly, as it’s free from common allergens like eggs, dairy, and nuts.

Have you ever tried blending up frozen bananas? It creates a smooth, creamy consistency that tastes like a healthier version of soft-serve ice cream. To reduce the caffeine in this recipe, replace the instant coffee with 1 Tbsp of nut or seed butter.

This smoothie is a great post-workout snack or breakfast. Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, which help relax your muscles—perfect following a tough leg day at the gym. Although maca powder is optional, it adds a delicious caramel-like flavor and also helps with endurance and athletic performance.


Love matcha? Then you’ll love these muffins. Matcha powder is made from ground-up green tea leaves and can stimulate your metabolism and improve your mood. Tip: as matcha contains caffeine, try these muffins when you need a boost of energy.

Coated in dark chocolate, which is a source of iron and magnesium, these decadent vegan truffles are an easy treat to make ahead of time and store in the freezer. They keep well for up to three days (but they’ll probably be gobbled up before then).

Soft, pillowy, fluffy—the best pancake textures. This comforting breakfast is made with spelt flour, which adds a nutty flavor and is packed with many nutrients, including selenium, zinc, and iron.


To make this spicy-sweet smoothie more filling, add plant-based or whey protein powder, Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, or nut butters. If you prefer a thicker smoothie bowl consistency, use only 1/4 cup almond milk, adding more if needed to blend.

This smoothie can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in the fridge. The spinach in this recipe doesn’t affect the taste and is a great source of the antioxidant lutein, which promotes eye health. Maintaining eye health is important for those who look at screens for long periods of time for school or work—so, most of us!

These pancakes are high in protein and can also be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer. Plus, there’s spinach slipped in, which helps reduce blood pressure levels and aids in staving off cancer. Spinach and bananas also contain tryptophan—an important amino acid that helps boost cognition.


This sandwich is the perfect sweet and savory combo. It’s ideal for kids and adults alike. The maple syrup can easily be replaced with honey, which has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

This breakfast is a sweet and satiating way to start the day. The French toast is naturally sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and berries (including bananas, which are technically classified as berries!). Cinnamon adds a hint of spicy sweetness is loaded with antioxidants and lowers blood sugar levels, which can help your mood and energy.



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Leah PayneLeah Payne