The Beauty of Bananas

 You see them everywhere.  On supermarket shelves,   near  a deli check-out and in cafeterias  everywhere, bananas are so common we tend to take them for granted.     Bannanas  just  don’t get the love they deserve.   One medium  banana  has  about 100 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and  what  surprised me, zero grams of fat.  One nana  does clock in at 23 grams of carbs,  about twice  in an average fruit.  Bananas  are lower in water than  other fruits which  concentrates  the carb content.

But what elevates  bananas to nutruitional  superstars  is the potassium payload– almost 400 mg  per serrving.   Potassium is essential for regulating heart rate and blodd pressure.  Age, exercise and  and some medications  can deplete  potassium leading to irregular heart beats , increased blood pressure,  and even stroke. Keep in mind that any factor that  protects circulation protects the growth and repair  of wrinkle busting collagen.   As a potassium delivery system,  bananas  deserve to be part of anti anging  diet.

Most stores carry   just  the standard 6-8 inch yellow banana.   Tropical markets   are stocked with intriguing varieties including red bananas, 3 inch finger   bananas and  pale green plantains. Packed into a lunch box or tucked into a backpack, millions of bananas  are  an integral and healthy part of  lunchtime.  Bananas are also brilliant in cream pies, fritters, shakes  and cream  cheese  topped cakes. I have to admit that  at one time one of my favorite desserts  was bananas sauteed in butter and brown sugar and poured over  vanilla ice cream.  That  was then, this  is now.   When I was diagnosed with diabetes, this   banana walnut bread was the first recipe I mastered for my new life.

Banana Walnut Bread (adapted  from  Sweet Ideas Recipes Cookbook by Equal)

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup skin milk, 2 eggs, 4 tabespoons of margerine, softened, 24 packets of Equal sweetener, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 large bananas, mashed, 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking  powder, 1/3 coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions:

Beat milk, eggs, margerine, Equal and vanilla  in a large bowl with an electric mixer  for 30 seconds;  add bananas and beat for one minute at a high speed; Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking  powder, mixing just until blended; Stir in walnuts.  Spread mixture in evenly in greased 8x4x2 lof pan; Bake in preheated 350 F oven until  bread is golden and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean– about 60 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

4 thoughts on “The Beauty of Bananas

  1. Question: I’ve heard (er…thru the internet urban legend machine) that bananas contribute to belly fat. Fact or fiction? I love bananas and would love to be pardoned for eating them:)

    • I’ve not seen any study that supports that. Every few months another food is targeted as especially fattening or dangerous. Bananas get a bad rep because they are higher in carbs and calories than other fruit. This is why nutritionists recommend one half a nana as a serving. Eating one every other day delievers a great payload of heart healthy potassium. Just don’t add additional servings of cream or sugar which seem to go so perfectly with bananas. Happy first day of fall!

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