Bananas Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Bananas

Bananas

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At a Glance

Bananas are a starchy fruit known for their bright yellow color, curved shape, and sweet flesh. They are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Bananas are quick and easy to eat: just pull off the peel, and enjoy.

Overview

Bananas are a starchy fruit that grow in clusters on trees in tropical locations.

The most common banana variety is easily recognizable for its bright yellow color and curved shape. But there are other varieties of bananas, too; they can be red, purple or brown; smaller or bigger; starchier or sweeter.

Because they are easy to hold and peel, bananas are usually eaten out of hand as a snack, or sliced and added as a topping for breakfasts like oatmeal, or desserts like pudding. They are also used in baking, and make a great addition to smoothies (or as we like to call them, Super Shakes).

Identification

Bananas are easily identified by their bright yellow color and curved shape.

Nutrition Info

One small-to-medium sized banana (100g) contains about 89 calories, 1.10g protein, 0.33g of fat, 22.84g of carbohydrates, 2.60g of fiber, and 12.23g of sugar.

Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamin C, and manganese.

Selection

To pick a banana that is ripe, or close to ripeness, first check the color. Common bananas start out green, turn yellow when ripe, and turn brown or black when over-ripe. Some bruising on bananas is common; a few brown streaks along the peel shouldn’t turn you off—but the banana should look firm and mostly yellow.

Next, check the texture. A ripe banana should yield slightly to gentle pressure. An unripe banana will feel very firm.

It can be tricky to find a perfectly ripe banana. In your search for a banana that is “just right” you may choose to go with one that is slightly on the unripe side with just a hint of green. This banana will be a little less sweet and a little more firm. On the other hand, a banana that is a little more ripe will have a stronger smell, taste sweeter, and have a slightly mushier texture.

Storage

Keep bananas on the counter (not in the fridge) and eat them as soon as they are ripe. Bananas will continue to ripen as they sit out: for this reason, you may choose to buy slightly unripe bananas if you want to eat them over the course of the week.

If your bananas turn overripe (dark brown or black and mushy), put them in the freezer. You can then quickly defrost them in the microwave and use them in baking or smoothies.

Preparation

The most obvious way to open a banana is to hold it with one hand, then grip the top stem firmly and pull down. The banana peel will naturally split open.

However, some bananas are stubborn and don’t want to open. In this case you may want to try peeling it from the opposite side. Grab the small, flat ridge tightly between your fingers (you may need to pinch it a little) and pull. (Fun fact: this is the way the monkeys do it!)

Eat the banana directly out of the peel, or slice it and add it to another dish. If you’re baking, you might need to mash the banana: assuming the banana is ripe, it will easily mash with a fork.

Recipe: Banana Bread

Bananas

This banana bread makes for a delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert. Its rich flavor is sure to please.

Ingredients

bananas, ripe
8 small
honey dates, pitted
2 cups
egg whites
1 cup
walnut pieces
1 cup
oat flour
2 cups
maple syrup
1/2 cup
cinnamon
1 tsp
walnut pieces, cinnamon, pitted honey dates
garnish with

Directions

Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 60 minutes   Yield: 1 loaf

Put peeled bananas, pitted dates, and egg whites into your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer contents of blender or food processor into large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl with the exception of garnishes. Stir until well combined.

Grease a 9” loaf pan with coconut oil and pour the batter into the dish spreading it out evenly with a spoon. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with cinnamon, walnut pieces, and pitted honey dates (chopped into small pieces).

Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 55-60 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Store leftovers in fridge.

Enjoy!

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At a Glance

Bananas are a starchy fruit known for their bright yellow color, curved shape, and sweet flesh. They are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Bananas are quick and easy to eat: just pull off the peel, and enjoy.