bananas

Eat Bananas with These 10 Healthy And Unique Ways

Bananas are a fruit unlike any other. Technically a type of berry, the banana is rich in vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral for regulating our heartbeat and plays a role in muscle growth and recovery. Now for the cool feature of bananas- the nutritional content changes as the fruit ripens initially from green, then to yellow and eventually to brown. This makes it possible to get many different nutrients out of a banana simply by eating them at different stages of the ripening process.

Bananas are also incredibly versatile ingredients that can be put into more dishes than many realize. This is due in part to their ability to take on different textures and tastes depending on the stage of ripeness and how they are prepared – which includes frying them, freezing them, mashing them, or eating them raw. Does that mean that a banana split is healthy? Not exactly, but there are many healthier ways to eat bananas. This post delves into a few healthy ways to prepare bananas so that the nutritional benefits aren’t lost.

Put them on cereal

Many people add slices of banana to cereals like muesli and oatmeal. Bananas as a sweetener is significantly healthier than adding regular sugar. This is because the fructose sugar found in bananas has less impact on blood sugar levels than ordinary sugar. Some people add raw slices of banana, while others add dried slices. Another alternative would be to mash ripe bananas into the oatmeal.  

Mix into a smoothie

Bananas are fantastic to add to smoothies. They can provide a creamy texture and sweetness without adding milk or extra sweetener. Bananas mix well with many tropical fruits such as mango, coconut, and pineapple. However, it also mixes well with apples, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. You can also mix bananas with vegetables like spinach for an extra boost of vitamins. Bananas can be frozen in chunks and added to smoothies instead of ice. Some people add cow’s milk into banana smoothies for added creaminess. However, plant-based milks are often tolerated better. This soy milk smoothie with spinach and banana is a great example.

Top your toast with them

If you’re looking for a sweet toast topper, bananas are also great options. A popular tasty combo is peanut butter and banana, which provides a burst of vitamins and protein. Bananas also work well with cinnamon and chia seeds. You can even add them to French toast by mixing mashed banana into the egg mixture before cooking.

Freeze them to create ‘nice cream’

Freezing a banana causes it to have a similar texture to ice cream. This is sometimes referred to as ‘nice cream’ –a healthier alternative to ice cream and better tolerated by those who have issues with dairy. To make nice cream, chop a banana into chunks and leave it in the freezer for 8 hours. Then, gently mash up the banana pieces in a blender and create your own bowls, which can be topped with nuts or fruit for added flavor and nutrients.

Make green banana fries

Raw green bananas have a taste and texture similar to raw potatoes, which is obviously not terribly appealing. But there are ways to enjoy them as “banana fries.” Peel and cut them into strips, toss with coconut oil, and bake at 400 with a sprinkle of salt for 20 minutes, flipping at the 10-minute mark. They can be eaten as a snack or served as a side with meat or fish. They can be great for combining with Caribbean dishes, where they are sometimes referred to as ‘green figs.”

Bake some bread

Bananas can also be used to make your own banana bread. While most store-bought banana breads are packed full of added sugar and refined grains, but you can make your own healthy banana bread at home by using maple syrup as a sweetener and whole wheat flour. If you don’t have a recipe, check out this healthy banana bread recipe. You can eat banana bread in the morning or as a snack by itself or even with a spread of almond or peanut butter for added flavor.

Turn them into pancakes

Another great breakfast dish to try using bananas is banana pancakes. You can prepare these by making a batter out of bananas, eggs, rolled oats, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. You can also add flavorings like cinnamon; however, you should avoid adding milk and sugar if you want to keep it healthy. Check out this banana oat pancake recipe.

Create healthy no-added-sugar cookies

You can also add bananas to homemade cookies. They can make a great sweetener that is a lot healthier than chocolate chunks. These are made using many of the same ingredients as banana oat pancakes: bananas, eggs, rolled oats and baking powder. Vanilla extract can be a tasty extra flavouring to add to these cookies. If you really want to add some chocolate chips, consider some dark chocolate chips to keep it relatively healthy.

Whip up some salsa

Banana salsa is a Caribbean twist on a Mexican classic. It goes great with meat and fish tacos, and you can also dip green banana fries in it. This sauce incorporates the usual salsa ingredients (chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander, chili peppers, lime juice, and salt) with bananas to provide some added sweetness. This salsa is best prepared and served immediately.

Toss them into a salad

Finally, you could consider adding some bananas to your next salad. While a fruit salad is the obvious option, it is possible to also add bananas to a savory salad, provided that you combine the right ingredients. For this to work, it’s best to ensure they are the only sweet ingredient in the salad. One simple combo is lettuce, red onions, banana slices, and lemon juice. Another option involves mixing bananas, unsalted peanuts, mayo, and lettuce leaves. For texture purposes head towards raw bananas or diced banana baked fries.  

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