I have a theory that I was required to sign a contract at birth when my parents named me Hannah that I would forever love bananas (signature via footprint, I suppose?). So when duty calls, I add 20 bananas to my grocery cart and endure the inquisitive looks at the checkout stand.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you all go out and make like the monkeys, but I strongly encourage you to make use of such a wholesome and affordable fruit! Here are my suggestions on how to get the most out of your nanners:
- Let them get spotty! This one is huge. When bananas are lightly spotty, they have started to convert the high resistant starches to sugars. These naturally occurring, plant based sugars not only make your banana taste like candy but they also help with digestion! The high resistant starch in their greener counterparts may result in gas and bloating for certain individuals. Spotty bananas avoid this and help your body quickly break down and absorb the sugar to be used as fuel for your body and brain.
- Create a rotation. Buy a mix of unripe and ripe bananas so that you can rotate them through your diet, eating the spotty ones first and allowing the others to ripen during the week. This way you avoid letting any go bad (and lying to yourself that you’re actually going to make banana bread with them this time).
- Ditch your sports drinks and make your own! Blend 2-3 spotty bananas, lots of cinnamon, and coconut water to make a sweet and delicious drink that is full of electrolytes, potassium, magnesium, and fruit sugars to fuel your mornings.
- Ice cream for breakfast!!!! Or anytime, really. Unpeel and break up several spotty bananas to freeze in a glass Tupperware. When your sweet tooth hits, add 2 bananas worth of frozen chunks to your blender and blend until smooth. Try adding cinnamon and vanilla extract for a fall fix or some frozen berries for you fruity folks.
- Use mashed bananas as a binding agent in place of eggs for baking. Here’s a comprehensive list of other ways you can replace eggs in your cooking without even noticing: http://chefinyou.com/egg-substitutes-cooking/
- Enjoy mono-meal. If you forget to pack a lunch or run out of time to make breakfast, a handful of bananas can be a day-saver! It might not be the most exciting meal but in a pinch, it will satisfy your sweet tooth, fill you up and energize you. Additionally, they come in their own biodegradable little packages so compost the peels and enjoy not having to worry about lugging around your empty tupperware.
Note: individuals with type 2 diabetes or those following a low sugar diet should, by contrast, stick to greener bananas due to the lower sugar content.
Cheers and happy Monday!