Now I don't know about you, but for me, bananas are not just monkey food, they are the best people food too. After you are finished eating them, don't throw away the peel either. I'm not going to suggest eating it, but did you know that you can bury it in the ground around your rose bushes and they will love all the nutrients that are coming to their root systems.
No mess and no waste, all of that banana goes, first, to feeding you, and then the peels, into feeding your garden.
Bananas are one of Nature's most perfect fruits. They are very high in vitamin B6 and low in sugar. They also contain essential minerals, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber. While bananas also contain potassium, they are not as high in potassium as other fruits and vegetables. Having said that, you will still get a good amount of potassium, 8% of your daily requirements from a banana that weighs about 100 grams. You get more potassium from beans, apricots, carrots and bell peppers, but they aren't nearly as ready to eat as that beautiful yellow skinned banana. (USDA)
What is really neat about bananas is that they help to regulate your blood sugar and cholesterol. They are good for people who are having issues with their heart. Bananas have also been studied in relation to High Blood Pressure and found to be very effective in regulating blood pressure in many people. That is good news if this is something that worries you.
Different Ways to Use Bananas
I'm always interested in ways that people use bananas other than just peeling and eating them. I love to peel them, cut them up and then layer them with ice cream either chocolate or vanilla. If I've had a bad day and you make me a bowl of ice cream and banana, I will be a happy camper. There is also the perennial standby of a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I don't know anyone, regardless of age that doesn't like that for a treat (unless of course you have a peanut allergy).
Banana bread is always a welcome treat too. There are so many recipes with different variations, but the same soft moist and nutritious outcome.
In my kitchen there is always a banana available. Those banana hooks are pretty good at keeping them from getting all bruised. They are right there in the open for anyone looking for a healthy snack. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and not a whole lot of sugar. So perfect for anyone who is watching their waistline too. Quick and easy to eat, nutritious and delicious and really good for you.
When you buy too many bananas and they start to go brown, you don't have to make banana bread right away if you don't want to. Just peel the bananas and place them into a Ziploc Bag, freeze them and when you are ready to make a banana dessert, they will be ready too.
Basic Banana Bread Recipe:
2-3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar (you can make this 1 cup if you want it sweeter or 1/2 cup if you like less sweetness)
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 4x8 loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Stir in the melted butter.
Add to the mixing bowl, soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg and vanilla extract. Add flour,
mixing until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Test with a skewer, when it comes out clean, the loaf is done.
Remove from oven and cool completely. Remove from the pan. Use a serated knife to cut into slices.
That is the basic recipe from Simply Recipes (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread), but you can add chocolate, nuts, cherries, dates, and a host of other additions to make this banana bread your very own. I have used this recipe so often, and each time I try a new addition. I have not been disappointed yet.
It is moist, delicious and nutritious. Banana bread is always a good seller at Bake Sales too! You can also freeze it, just in case unexpected guests arrive.
Some things that may help you keep Bananas at the ready in your house.....