There are a handful of fruits that deserve there own exclusive “how to” guide, and the banana, I think, is one of those fruits. There are additional benefits to using this fruit beyond its nutritional value which I will get into below, but one of the primary reasons I and many others include this fruit in my smoothie recipes is because it adds a much needed creaminess, particularly if you’re not going to use any type of yogurt.
Now for those of you who could care less about the nutritional benefits of bananas, just scroll down for the instructions on how to make a banana smoothie. (scroll down for the instructions!)
Yep, Bananas are as Healthy as they are Tasty!
So by far the two biggest health benefits that come with including bananas in your smoothies is the cardiovascular protection that comes from the high levels of potassium and fiber that are present within the fruit. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps maintain your blood pressure and other heart functions, so needless to say this is fairly important and something many people don’t get enough of.
This has some evidence to back it up, as there was one study that tracked over 40,000 United States male health professionals over a four-year period to determine the impact of a sufficient potassium rich diet has on blood pressure. The guys who eat a hired potassium rich foods which also included high levels of fiber and magnesium, and a substantially lower risk of stroke.
And as we all know, fiber rich diets are fantastic for our digestive system and for reducing heart attacks and reducing instances of other cardiovascular and coronary issues. Did you also know that bananas serve as a natural antacid, particularly when combined with milk, but certainly sufficient on its own. Bananas have been recognized for this benefit for a long time by ancient cultures whenever they suffered from indigestion (possibly related to ulcers) and needed to soothe their stomach. A single banana also has high levels of vitamin B6, and moderate levels of vitamin C as well.
How to Make a Healthy Banana Smoothie
Now, if you are curious, how do you make a banana smoothie? Well, there is no “right” way, as it greatly depends on what types of ingredients you want to use, and what kind of texture you are going for. It also obviously depends on how health conscious you want to be and if you simply can’t eat certain ingredients like dairy based yogurt for example. And for those of you looking for how to make a strawberry banana smoothie instead, check out that page through the highlighted link.
How to make a Banana Smoothie:
1. First and foremost when it comes to figuring out how to make a smoothie with bananas, you need to decide whether you are going to use frozen bananas or if you would prefer fresh. Neither way is better than the other, there are certain benefits that go with each choice. Frozen banana chunks will allow your smoothie to have a more ice cream like consistency, and will be a bit thicker than when preparing a smoothie with fresh bananas. However, fresh bananas often require much less sweetener than their frozen counterparts, so if you’re looking for a naturally sweet smoothie without the use of added sweeteners such as organic Stevia for example, you will deftly want to go with fresh bananas.
2. Second, you need to choose your favorite yogurt that you’ll be using in your smoothie. I usually recommend only going with organic yogurt, and particularly organic Greek yogurt if possible, as Greek yogurt is a lot thicker and also has twice the protein of traditional yogurt. That extra protein will help satisfy you that much more. I reccomend using either Stonyfield’s Oiko’s or Chobani plain yogurt, or one of the many banana flavored organic yogurts on the market.
3. If you are using fresh bananas, peel the banana and break it up into a few chunks, repeat this step if you are using more then one banana. Next, pour into your blender or smoothie maker a cup or two of filtered water or your favorite organic fruit juice as the liquid base. Then add all of your yogurt into the blender as well, and then add in your banana pieces. Finally, for those of you using fresh bananas, place a hand full of ice cubes (relative to your personal preferences and servings), for those of you choosing frozen bananas, you don’t have to use ice but if you want to throw in a few cubes to make sure your smoothie has a thicker and icier texture, go right on ahead.
4. Add in any supplements or sweeteners you want to use, but dont go overboard with the sweeteners as you will spoil the taste. I reccomend 1 tsp. of organic Stevia powder for those of you not using fruit juice as your liquid base, if you are, then I reccomend only adding a half tsp. at best (depending on serving size and personal taste).
5. Blend for about 30-45 seconds on your higher manual settings, or for those of you who use the blendtec total blender like I do, use your “smoothie” or “XL smoothie” setting. Run through this cycle again if you want a more smooth and consistent taste, if the initial cycle doesn’t pass your taste test, as results will vary depending on blender and amount of frozen or fresh produce used.
- For those of you who who want to know how to make a healthy banana smoothie but dislike using or simply cannot use dairy based yogurts, you can find plenty of soy and coconut based yogurts that can give you the same benefit as most dairy yogurts.
- For those of you who want to know how to make a banana smoothie without yogurt, you can follow the same directions as listed above only instead of using yogurt, you can simply choose to add in a few extra bananas or other neutral tasting fruits to make up for the difference.
- I reccomend only using properly filtered water for the smoothies to avoid likely contaminants from your water source (regardless of said source). This not only has a health benefit, but many people have reported to me that their smoothies also taste better, and I completely agree with them.
- ALWAYS BUY ORGANIC PRODUCE AND JUICE WHENEVER POSSIBLE!