In case you hadn’t already figure it out, we’re pretty crazy about bananas (insert groan here).
They’re a staple fruit in our household and between us and the dog, yes our dog loves bananas too, we easily go through at least 18-20 a week.
Bananas are great because they’re in season year round, and have no cholesterol, fat or sodium. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and B6, potassium and dietary fiber, and perfect any time of day as a healthy snack. Lately we’ve been enjoying them in smoothies, mixed with our new favorite super berry mix from North of 49 Naturals.
As uber fans of the long yellow fruit we’ve discovered it has quite the history, with its origins of cultivation pre-dating that of rice. But rather than provide you with a history lesson on the banana, we thought we’d share some useful facts that could benefit you. You may be as surprised, as we were, that bananas pretty much do everything.
Two bananas provide enough energy for a 90 minute workout – bananas contain three natural sugars: fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Your body transforms these sugars into energy, making bananas a powerful snack for a pre-workout fuel-up.
Having trouble sleeping? Think yellow – studies have shown that consuming a banana before bed could help you sleep better. Containing a powerful amino acid called Tryptophan, bananas are also packed with melatonin, serotonin, and magnesium, which act as natural muscle relaxants.
They’re the ultimate hangover cure – when you drink alcohol, you deplete your body of potassium and is one of the reasons you feel so terrible the next day. Eating bananas the morning after can help replenish your body’s potassium levels, as well as providing you with vitamin B6, which has also been shown to help reduce the symptoms of a hangover. They can also help with heartburn and nausea, something we’ve all experienced after a 3:00am poutine.
As Homer says, we are SMRT – your brain needs an abundance of complex carbs to function at full capacity, and bananas are the perfect source for that. Maintaining glucose levels is essential in helping to keep our thinking clear, and since our bloodstream contains about the same amount of sugars found in a banana it makes them the ideal brain food.
They are not just great raw – more than just an energy boost or brain food, the banana is also a great addition to your baking, and what better way than a good old-fashioned banana bread.
Here’s one of our favorites, Food Gays tested and approved, that incorporates strawberries but can be made with any berries you might have on hand (or you can enjoy without). You can find the recipe after the photo.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted in microwave
1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (3 to 4)2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-teaspoon fine salt (optional)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
8-10 sliced Strawberries (washed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together all your dry ingredients. Set aside for later, prepared with a well in the middle.
In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the melted butter, mashed bananas, eggs, sour cream and vanilla together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.
Mix the wet banana mixture with the dry flour mixture and stir until your ingredients are well combined.
Add 8 of your sliced strawberries inside the mixture and mix together, then transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes (or until golden brown).
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
The Food Gays
Together since 2009, The Food Gays are two Vancouver men who love food. Join them every two weeks right here on GayVancouver.Net as they bring you something tasty.