Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. They are eaten by babies, parents, grandparents and everyone in between! One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered to be one serving. One serving of banana contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. So, they are not only a handy snack, perfectly wrapped by nature they are also very nutritious.
Bananas were officially introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Each banana was wrapped in foil and sold for 10 cents. Before that time, bananas came to America on the decks of sailing ships as sailors took a few stems home after traveling in the Caribbean. Today, it’s pretty hard to imagine life without bananas! Most people like their bananas when the peel is yellow or yellow with brown flecks, when they’re eaten fresh, or when using in a fruit smoothie or a green smoothie, like Kale Apple & Banana. However, bananas are very versatile, and can be used in a variety of recipes, but we’ll get in to that later.
Today, bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world’s food crops in monetary value. Americans consume more bananas than apples and oranges combined.
Banana Ripening & Storage Tips
Bananas at home should be stored hanging, placed on the counter, or stored in a well ventilated basket. Bananas should never be kept in a plastic bag, this creates too much moisture and will cause the fruit to rot. If you are lucky enough to have bananas in the house for a few days, place them in the refrigerator. While the skin may turn brown, the flesh inside will be just right for several days. Also, wrapping banana stems tightly in cling wrap will make them last three to five days longer. If you peel a banana from the bottom up (holding on to the stem like a handle), you will avoid the stringy bits that cling to the fruit inside.
If your bananas are too green, and you *need* them now, you can put them in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to speed up the ripening process.
If your bananas get too ripe before you can eat them, don’t throw them away! Store them peeled in the freezer in a baggie to use in recipes later.
Bananas are harvested green and begin ripening as soon as the banana stem is cut from the plant. Chiquita classifies banana ripeness into five peel color stages:
Yellow with Green Tips
Yellow with Brown Flecks
Health Benefits of Bananas
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. They are eaten by babies, parents and grandparents. One medium banana (about 126 grams) is considered to be one serving. One serving of banana contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.
The curved yellow fruit packs a big nutritional punch, wrapped in its own convenient packaging. Everyone knows bananas are a great source of Potassium, and maybe even fiber; but did you know they are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and provide Magnesium, Protein, Iron, Manganese, Folate, Niacin, and Vitamin A?
Eating bananas regularly can help with muscle cramps, and give a natural energy boost. Great pre-work out snack. They can improve brain function and mood, lower blood pressure, maintain blood sugar levels with diabetes…it’s no wonder bananas are considered an important part of a healthy diet! Kids have an upset tummy? Try the BRAT diet for diarrhea, bananas are an important ingredient! Bananas are a rich source of a pre-biotic, and helps eliminate some bacteria, helping the digestive process and naturally coating and protecting the stomach…naturally helping with indigestion and the prevention of ulcers. A diet rich in bananas and other fruits has consistently been linked to a lower risk of developing cancer.
Bananas, Bananas and more Bananas (Recipes)
If you are lucky enough to have bananas in the house (whether they are fresh or frozen) there is a perfect recipe!
Other recipes using bananas:
Random Banana Facts
The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.”
Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons.
Hawaii is the only place in the U.S. where bananas are grown commercially, although at one time they were also grown in southern California and Florida. The overwhelming majority of the bananas Americans eat come from countries in Latin America and South America, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, and Guatemala.
The type of banana you see in the supermarket is called a Cavendish banana. The preferred variety was originally the Gros Michel, which essentially became extinct by 1960, thanks to a fungus called Panama disease.
Some cultures (most notably Japan) use the fiber in the banana plant to make fabric and sometimes even paper.
More songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit.
Musa Sapien is the scientific name for Banana.
A row of bananas is called a hand and a single banana is called a finger.
Banana trees can grow up to 25 feet high!
Around 75% of a bananas weight is water.
Non- Edible Uses For Bananas
Bananas are not only versatile for culinary dishes and nutritional value, they also claim to be helpful in a myriad of other uses. While I have tried many of these tricks, I have not tried them all. (Always use good common sense with injuries, and consult a doctor or trained medical provider when necessary.) That being said, if you’re tried any of these, share your thoughts!
Thanks to its oil, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite (or other bug bite) or on poison ivy will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
If you rub the inside of a banana peel on a scrape or burn, it will help the pain go away, keep the swelling down, and keep the wound from getting infected.
You can relieve headache pains by rubbing a banana peel on your forehead.
If you tape a banana peel over a splinter, the enzymes help the splinter work its way out of your skin (and also heal the wound).
Bananas make great conditioner that helps restore dry, damaged hair. Mash a banana and add a tablespoon of heavy cream and a tablespoon of honey to the mixture. Then apply it to dry hair, cover your hair with a shower cap, and then wrap your head in a warm towel. Leave it on for up to an hour and then rinse thoroughly with warm water before shampooing.
Bananas and banana peels make great fertilizer (you can compost them, bury them whole, or cut them in small pieces and mix them with garden soil) because of their phosphorous and potassium content. Roses especially like them.
Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on houseplant leaves makes the leaves shiny.
You can use the inside of a banana peel to clean and polish leather shoes.
Banana peels also make a good silver polish—just rub silver with the inside of a peel and then buff with a cloth.
This…is why we include bananas in each and every basket! You’re welcome. So…have you ordered your Market Basket yet?
Enjoy! John 10:10
Live in the Metro Atlanta area, Middle Georgia and Macon area? Visit our website to see what we offer in your area! www.sweetbasilfarms.com.
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This blog post by Tisha Johnson Matthews, of Sweet Basil Farm & Gardens. Special thanks to J. David Matthews, of Barnesville, Georgia for support and patience with all that I try and test.