Bananas: The Ultimate Fast Food

by · March 7, 2009

This post is brought to you by Divina P. Divina is one of our many dedicated Rouxbe users, aside from other posts and what not, she has also contributed many delicious recipes to the test kitchen. She has now started her own blog called Sense and Serendipity.

Banana Buddha

(image from The Thinking Blog – 20 Fascinating Facts About Bananas)

Bananas are the least expensive and most popular fruit on the market. They are one of the fruits that are better ripened off the tree. They are available all-year round in tropical countries where they offer more diversity.

Bananas are packed with nourishing nutrients, particularly the mineral potassium and understandably one of the most popular energy-booster because ripe bananas are easy to digest and most of the starch has been converted into sugar. The sugar combined with fiber makes bananas so good for a substantial released of energy.

The fructo-oligosaccharides in bananas help feed good bacteria in the gut. They are beneficial to the digestive tract, soothing and helping to restore normal function after constipation or diarrhea. In fact, in Southeast Asia, people eat a certain type of banana that treats either constipation or diarrhea. The pectin fiber helps soothe heartburn, ulcers and inflammation of the digestive tract. They also contain vitamin B6 and tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin ? a hormone that helps lift moods and promote sleep.

Yummy Fried Banana Dessert

(image from QlinArt – Fried Banana Dessert with Sweetened Coconut)

Store bananas at room temperature and once they are ripe, they can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Their skins will turn black but the flesh will still remain firm. Bananas ripen quickly because they release a high concentration of ethylene gas in the process of ripening. Be careful though, some bananas are treated with ethylene gas.

You can do a lot more with bananas than eat them. You can definitely cook with them for desserts and in savory dishes. You can even use the banana peel for mosquito bites by simply rubbing the affected are with the inside of a banana skin. This will reduce swelling and irritation. And, did you know that in Eastern Africa, you can buy banana beer (the beer is brewed from bananas)?

Thanks for the great article Divina…good luck with your new blog!

Ciao for now


p.s. What’s your favorite banana recipe or dish? I have to say I am a sucker for deepfried bananas…like the ones above…maybe even with some ice cream and chocolate sauce. Yum!

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