Best to buy
Avoid fruit with bruises and splits in the skin. Choose firm, green to slightly yellow bunches, and store them at room temperature. The skin of bananas turns black when they are refrigerated, though it does not affect the fruit inside.
Cut & clean
Enjoy bananas when they ripen to a uniform yellow with tiny brown flecks. If fruit is too green, store in a paper bag to speed ripening. Very ripe fruit can be peeled, frozen in freezer bags, and used for baking.
Bananas are a good source of potassium.
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Mashed bananas can be added to baked goods as a natural sweetener.
Bananas are very sweet and can be mashed and added to baked goods as a natural sweetener. Frozen bananas can be puréed to make smoothies or a healthful substitute for ice cream. They can be eaten out of hand or sliced and added to fruit salads. For an impressive dessert, flambé sliced bananas and serve over ice cream, or make a nutritious sandwich by combining sliced bananas and peanut butter on whole-grain bread.
In many Latin American and Asian countries, banana leaves are used in place of plates. The leaves work well as wrappers in place of aluminum foil for holding and steaming foods. In Malaysia, the banana flower is cooked and eaten; in Africa, a beer is brewed from bananas.
Because bananas emit a gas that promotes ripening, placing an unripe banana in a paper bag or breathable container with other produce will encourage the produce to ripen more quickly.
Although about 30 different varieties of bananas exist, North Americans are mostly familiar with three types: the blunt-ended Cavendish; the Gros Michel, known by its tapered ends; and the starchy plantains, which is used only for cooking as a vegetable. There are also dwarf or “baby” bananas and red bananas, among the other varieties.
Banana, 1 medium
Total Fat: 0g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin B6 (0.43mg)
*Good source of: Manganese (0.32mg), Potassium (422.44mg), and Vitamin C (10.27mg)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
Copyright © 2007 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.