A sweetener doesn’t have to be dripped, scooped, sprinkled or shaken. Bananas are my first choice to add a sugary pop to my food if the flavor profile fits.
Most smoothie makers understand the delightful benefit of adding a banana to the mix, but what about mixing one up in oatmeal or baking into your next loaf of bread? Most desserts come with the added costs of refined flours in addition to the sugar load. Instead of reaching for a cupcake, try tossing a handful of raw cashews into your food processor, add a banana and a pinch of salt, and blend. I eat it with nothing but a spoon. 100% guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth and carries with it powerful health benefits. From whfoods.com:
Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 400-plus mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.
The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. For example, researchers tracked over 40,000 American male health professionals over four years to determine the effects of diet on blood pressure. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.
While we are on the topic of health benefits, let’s talk muscles. Ever see a weak gorilla? (So what if it’s not my line.) You can still crush these bad boys post workout. From livestrong.com:
As bananas are a good source of energy, being high in carbohydrates, if you are trying to build muscle they are excellent either before or after a workout, or both. Before your workout, bananas will give you energy to train longer and harder, as if you are training with any intensity, you will be burning both blood sugar and muscle glycogen. Following your workout, bananas can help restore lost muscle glycogen, and when combined with protein, can actually promote an anabolic response, according to research by Dr. Antonio Manninen of the Advanced Research Institute.
Willing to take a culinary risk? I’ll share my new secret to pure bliss. Melt two tablespoons of grass fed butter on medium-low heat. Mash up a banana in the pan with the butter. Allow the fat and sweet to fall in love for a while. Once the banana is fully mashed and just before the butter begins to brown, pour through a strainer and over your favorite coffee in a French press. Brew as usual.
Holy good gracious. Unreal. You may have to play with the rhythm and amounts a bit to make the perfect cup for you, but I’m predicting Starbucks will be asking about the “Java Bananza” process by year’s end.
I have heard diabetecs should stay away from bananas but i am not sure why. Do you have any data to support or refute this? Thanks.
Gabe Kapler says
Paul, quick Google search returned this:
Mike Dietrich says
I have a banana every day in my Kashi cereal
Gabe Kapler says
Before the butter begins to…?
Bananas, yogurt, and peanut butter make for the best shake. I honestly prefer it to ice cream. Also, great blog Kap, keep it up!
My go to breakfast. One mashed up banana, one egg and a spoonful of almond butter. Mix and pour four circles on a hot pan. Paleo pancake!