Bananas are one of natures perfect snacks. They are healthy, energy giving and conveniently wrapped. Harvested while still green, they continue to ripen during their journey to sale. Bananas that aren't fully ripe when they are bought should be allowed to ripen before eating, unripe bananas can cause temporary digestive problems (wind/bloating).
Bananas provide a good source of potassium, vitamin C and fibre. Sportspeople eat bananas to provide energy, and bananas also provide protection from cramp thanks to the potassium. Why not take some of our banana bread recipe out with you on your next exercise session, full of energy it's great for all sports activities where mid-activity refuelling is required.
A less well know fact is that bananas are good for difficulty with sleeping, especially in children. A banana before bedtime will help to promote sleep, and they are also good for people suffering from stomach upsets as they are fairly easy to digest when ripe.
Bananas once peeled will quickly go black. To prevent this discolouration toss the peeled banana slices in lemon juice, any other citrus juice such as orange or grapefruit will serve just as well if lemon juice is not available.
If bananas are to be cooked then firm fruit should be used rather than overripe or soft fruit. Try our recipe for baked bananas, quick, simple, impressive, and the banana taste is really enhanced when they are baked.
Bananas can also be mashed up and used as a sweetener in many recipes, however be aware that the texture of any recipe where mashed banana is substituted won't be entirely the same as with its regular ingredients.
Bananas give off a gas called ethylene which will cause other fruit or vegetables near the bananas to ripen prematurely. The best method of storage for bananas is on a banana hook, it will ensure that the bananas don't bruise and keeps them away from other fruit and vegetables.
Bananas should not be stored in the refrigerator as the cold will make the skins go black. However, despite the black skin it will not affect the fruit within, it's just not as aesthetically pleasing as a nice yellow banana.
Very ripe bananas can also be frozen for later use banana ice cream, or to use in baking where very ripe banana is required. But be aware, when they defrost they are somewhat liquified.
Banana chips (dried usually with honey)
Plantain (green bananas)
Typical values per 100g of product (banana):
Energy - 89 kcal
Protein - 1g
Carbohydrate (total) - 23g
Carbohydrate (sugars) - 12g
Fat (total) - 0g
Fat (saturated) - 0g
Dietary fibre - 3g
Typical values per banana:
Small banana - 90 kcal
Medium banana - 105 kcal
Large banana - 120 kcal