Bananas for Health

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Happy Banana Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit in the United States. They have a peel that comes off easily, they ripen after they've been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and they are inexpensive.

Bananas have both a high amount of carbohydrates as well as potassium, which also makes them the fruit of choice for many athletes.

Source: Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992

Selecting Bananas

Avoid bananas with brown spots that seem very soft. Select those bananas with a nice color, specific for the variety. Choose fruit that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow skin color is speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.

Storing Bananas

The very popular yellow banana of Cavendish is the banana we see in grocery stores. However, Plantains, Finger Bananas and Red Bananas are also popular varieties. Most have a soft texture when ripe.

Banana Varieties

Store bananas at room temperature. To ripen bananas quickly, place them in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight. The two will work together to speed each other's ripening. When your bananas have turned the color you want, but you can't use them right away, store them in your refrigerator. The skin will darken, but the bananas will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Banana Nutrition

Banana a Diet Food

A good source of:

Recipe: Banana Nut Smoothie

2 bananas, ripe
2 cups pineapple juice
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoon plain yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ice cubes Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients, except nutmeg, in blender. Cover and run on high until smooth and well-blended. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 177, Total Fat 5g, Calories from Fat 23%, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 2g, Sodium 41mg.

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