Dole Food Company, Inc., is devoting its popular “Healthier by Dole” alternative recipe series in April to bananas in honor of the iconic yellow fruit’s position at the center of two seemingly unrelated observances during the month.
The produce leader has kicked off a month-long tribute to the banana as part of its celebration of National Banana Day on April 20, which it has once again extended to five full days of festivities April 18-22 across all Dole social media platforms, and April’s designation as Stress Awareness Month as a reminder about the science-backed link between bananas and the alleviation of stress.
“From their position as a breakfast and brown bag lunch staple to the banana bread-baking revolution that happened during COVID-19, bananas are enjoyed by 90% of Americans – making them the most popular produce and one of the most-purchased items in the supermarket,” said Melanie Marcus, RD, MA, Dole’s nutrition and health communications manager.
According to Marcus, many of those who experienced heightened stress during the past two years discovered the banana’s comforting familiarity and potential ability to improve mood and relieve anxiety. “Bananas contain vitamin B6, which is involved in the creation of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, and research suggests that they can also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress levels. Another study found that foods like bananas that contain prebiotics (a type of fiber that feeds probiotics, the healthful bacteria inside your gut) may also promote more restful sleep.”
The latest “Healthier by Dole” menu includes 10 banana-inspired entrée, side dish, dessert and drink recipes and offers surprisingly tasty ways to go gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan.
“Healthier by Dole” is a monthly series of easy-to-make recipes high in fruits and vegetables, full of flavor and crowd-pleasing for holidays and other eating occasions like National Banana Week. Past series offered a big game-worthy vegan tailgate in February and go-green and healthier, Irish-themed dishes for St. Patrick’s Day in March.
In addition to the banana-centric recipes, Dole is releasing original social and blog content on April 18-22 for National Banana Day and spotlighting some of the hundreds of recipes, serving suggestions and usage tips for the ubiquitous fruit on dole.com.
Dole’s Banana-Inspired Menu for the Month of April:
- Mini Banana Pancake Bites (Vegetarian)
- Strawberry-Banana Toaster Tarts (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
- Blended Banana Iced Coffee (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
- Matcha Banana Latte (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
- Spicy Banana Dip (Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free)
- Banana Coconut Soup (Vegetarian)
- Banana Sushi Rolls with Crispy Rice (Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free)
- Grilled Banana & Greens Salad (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
- DOLE Berry Banana Fro-Whip (Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free)
- Vegan Chocolate-Banana Cream Tart (Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free)