I could talk about bananas for quite a long time.
DID YOU KNOW…
One medium banana constitutes one of your two recommended servings of for the day.
One banana alone makes up for about 20% of your daily potassium recommendation.
One banana is the perfect pre-workout or post-workout fuel due to its carb content and potassium content that helps replenish the electrolytes that are lost in sweat.
In fact, did you know that the other electrolyte, sodium, is overly-consumed in the SAD (standard American diet), but potassium is likely to be deficient? Dietary potassium isn’t as readily available as dietary sodium, but once you’re aware of the foods that are rich in the micronutrient, it becomes much easier to consume foods that contain more potassium.
So long story short, bananas make for a versatile snack, are pre-packaged by mother nature, and are full of macronutrients AND micronutrients.
We all know that bananas vary greatly throughout their post-picked life span. When bananas are green in color, they are rich in probiotics, but most of us don’t desire the taste because they don’t present very sweet at this stage. When bananas are light to dark yellow, they’re sweeter and more enjoyable to eat. When bananas start getting spots, that’s when you know they’re on their way out, but probably pretty sweet. This is my personal favorite stage* 😀 However, when bananas start turning dark brown and the spots are more and more numerous, you might find yourself wanting to throw them away, as I do. BUT DON’T DO IT – at any of the described stages! Aged bananas are a versatile ingredient to have on hand. Let me show you some of the wonderful things you can do before you think about throwing your precious bananas out.
1. mash them:
Add a mashed banana to your oatmeal before you cook it, add it to your peanut butter toast for breakfast or a snack, or top your pancakes with a mashed banana – you won’t even need syrup!
When? Perfect for that lightly spotted-medium spotted stage.
2. freeze them:
Frozen bananas are the staple to the majority of the smoothies I make because they A) make your smoothie creamier, B) naturally sweeten your smoothie and C) and make it cold without adding ice that will eventually water your smoothie down. To freeze, I recommend cutting the banana in half, peeling the banana, and placing in an airtight bag or container and let freeze for at least 12 hours.
When? In the darkened-spotted stage for peak sweetness but not when the entire banana is browned or else you’ll have a mushy banana.
3. bake them:
Banana bread, baked oatmeal, healthier cookies, etc. Again, bananas provide natural sweetness and serve as a binding agent in several recipes. What’s not to love there?
When? This is when those BROWN bananas come in clutch. Mash them up well and incorporate into your favorite recipe!