Go Bananas with Nutrition and Recipes

The ever-popular Banana is a friend or foe of many. Let’s examine the best of a Banana and discover some new ways to eat them in Banana Recipes.  Go Bananas with Nutrition and Recipes.

Maybe it’s only me since I am a dietitian, but I get two different stories all the time.  “We eat a Banana every day” or “my husband eats a Banana every day”.  The final one is, “no bananas in this house, we don’t like them” or “the texture doesn’t work for me”.

I can’t help you if you dislike bananas. I can give you some nutrition facts and recipes. Learn a little more about Bananas and why Bananas are one of the most popular fruits. Maybe your dislike of bananas is related to an allergy? I do have a link in the blog for a possible allergy relationship with ragweed. 

Go Bananas with Nutrition and Recipes
Go Bananas with Nutrition and Recipes

Banana Origin

Bananas come from the banana tree which is mainly grown in tropical climates.  They are grown in 135 Countries across the globe.  Most of the USA gets its Bananas from Mexico, Central America, and South America.   Hawaii and Florida grow Bananas but only .01% of them.  

The reason Bananas are so popular is their reach across the world, they are very palatable, sweet in taste, and low in price.   

Growing Bananas 

Give them a tropical climate and a year to produce and one tree could give you 240 Bananas.  Bananas don’t have a season like an apple season, they can produce anytime in the year.

You can grow Bananas if you live in a warm climate or grow them in a greenhouse.   I’d watch the size of the tree you plant.  You can plant a dwarf one that gets up to 9 feet tall. The regular sizes can grow from 12-25 feet depending on the variety.   Now that’s a tall greenhouse.

Go Bananas with Nutrition and Recipes

Go Bananas with Nutrition

According to the USDA, a large Banana provides 120 calories.  A medium Banana is about 105 calories.  

If you buy large bananas and cut one in half it’s a 60-calorie fruit, just like the average for a fruit serving.  One cup of mashed bananas gives you 200 Calories.

1 large Banana contains 1.48 gm protein, 3.54 gm Fiber, 31 grams of Carbohydrates.

Bananas contain magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin A, and other trace minerals.     Bananas also have tryptophan in them which our body converts to Serotonin and this gives you a better mood.

For an article on the benefits of Bananas see this article- Bananas: 10 Benefits of Bananas (10faq.com)


Comparing a Banana and Apple

The Banana in my mind wins by a hair Both are great snack choices.   Both have fiber and Vitamin C and Carbohydrates.   The Banana wins because of its added magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.   Plus, Bananas provide some great gut bacteria and seem to be a little easier on the stomach to eat before exercise or activity.    

Banana Links

Here is the USDA website for more banana information

If you would like more information on apples, check out my Apple Blog with Recipes I posted this October.  

If you want more information on allergies related to Bananas check out this link. Geriatric Nutrition: Late-Onset Food Allergies (todaysdietitian.com)

Tips for Eating Bananas

  • Greener Bananas have more starch and less fructose/sugar. This is why they are not as sweet tasting.   If you are avoiding fructose, then this may be an option for you.   As the Banana ripens the starches turn to fructose.
  • If you love Bananas remember if you eat one large one it’s like eating 2 fruits/ 30 grams of Carbs. If you are diabetic that is considered 2 Carbohydrate choices.   Include bananas in a healthy diet and don’t overconsume bananas. Variety in your diet is the best.
  • Bananas have prebiotics in them and are a good source of fiber called inulin. This is good for the gut and could reduce bloating. They are also a lower fructose fruit than per se an apple or a pear.  
  • I would not recommend eating any more than 1 or 2 bananas a day, since you need a variety of fruit and other fruits have fewer calories. Over consuming, bananas may be a problem if you can’t lose the extra pounds.
  • Bananas are included in the BRAT diet.  The foods you should eat when you have diarrhea. {Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast}.

Banana Storage and Cooking tips

Let Bananas ripen on your counter.  In the summer you will find your Bananas ripen quicker.   If for some reason your Bananas over-ripen before you can eat them, you can freeze Bananas and you won’t have to throw them away. 

 Freeze  Bananas whole or take the peeling off and freeze in a Ziplock bag. I get lazy and throw the whole banana in the freezer. The skin will turn brown.    When you have time, you can add them to banana bread, banana breakfast cookies, or smoothies.  

A Banana is never wasted.

Often when I am cooking, making muffins particularly, I will take out 1/4 cup oil from the recipe and add a banana.  This adds more moisture to the recipe.  Less fat, but more carbs and flavor.  

Bananas for Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Dessert

Bananas are a great addition to breakfast.  Slice a half or whole banana on your oatmeal, cereal, or peanut butter toast.   Eat a Banana on the go.   At lunch, you can pack a banana to eat with your sandwich or salad at work.  

They also make a quick snack after school or work or before you head out for a workout.   It will give you the quick energy you need to keep going. Bananas are also the number one fruit people add to their protein or fruit smoothies.  

Finally, they work great for a dessert.  Bananas give you the sweets you crave without added sugar.   I use bananas in recipes in place of sugar or flour.  An example would be cookies or pancakes.

mashed Bananas

Banana Recipes for Breakfast, Snacks, and Desserts

In my foil dinner blog, I gave the recipe for Banana boats.  You cut open a banana, add marshmallows and chocolate pieces, wrap in aluminum foil with the peel on and cook on the coals over the fire.  

This is a great replacement for a smore and I enjoy it better.   Sometimes I make my microwave version in the winter if I am craving a banana boat.

Banana Boats
Link to Foil Dinner Blog with Banana Boat Recipe

Banana Recipes

Microwave Chocolate Banana Dessert

  • 1 banana sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 1- 2 tbsp choped walnuts  
  • Microwave in a bowl for 30 seconds to melt chocolate and eat with a spoon.  
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

These Banana cookies are also featured on my easy meals for traveling and home food blog. These are the best out of the oven for breakfast or snacks. I do enjoy them for an on the go breakfast later in the week too.

  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup quick oatmeal
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips or chopped walnuts or both
  • Mash bananas and mix in oatmeal and chips/nuts.  Place on a greased baking tray and bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Banana Coconut Cookies

I tried for the first time Banana coconut cookies. If you like coconut you will like, if not these are not for you at all. The coconut adds fat and fiber but this cookie will have less fat and sugar than a normal coconut macaroon.  

  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Mash bananas and mix in coconut and chips.  Place on a greased baking tray and smash down with a fork and bake 350 degrees for 15-20 min

All of these recipes can be eaten if you are avoiding gluten and are quick to make and eat. 

Coconut Banana Cookies

Quick and Easy Banana Recipes

If you get the sweets craving you can whip these recipes up in a bit and know you are providing more nutrients to your body than just a regular choc chip cookie.

I hope you Go Bananas this month and try some of these recipes or ideas when you get a craving or just want to change things up.   Enjoy your Bananas.  Go Bananas with Nutrition and Recipes.

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