Don’t you just love the way bananas come wrapped in easy to peel, individual wrappers packed with energy? Just carry them along and eat them when you need a healthy snack. Those protective banana peels keep out contaminants and contribute to making bananas the most popular fruit, even beating out apples and oranges in the US.
Grown in Central America, South America and the Caribbean bananas are a plant that can grow as high as 25 feet with leaves that can grow as high as 9 feet into the air. Due to that height there is the misconception that hands of bananas grow on trees, but they do not. (Individual bananas are called fingers and the whole bunch is called a hand.)
But what is it about bananas that our bodies need and love?
To start with, each banana contains about 105 calories and 1.2 grams of protein approximately. They rarely cause allergic reactions and are even safe for children as young as 8 months old. As you know, diets full of fruits and vegetables decreases your cancer risk, but in particular, bananas have been shown to protect against kidney disease.
Your heart and nervous systems benefit too. The potassium content in a banana assists with muscle contractions and since your heart is an amazingly important muscle, your heart reaps the benefits of this delicious fruit.
Besides potassium, bananas are a powerful source of:
- dietary fiber
- manganese (at their ripest bananas are sweetest and full of this antioxidant)
- complex carbohydrates
- vitamin B6
- vitamin C
- phytonutrients organic compounds in plants that promote good health; phyto- means plant)
- are very low in sodium, but high in natural sugar
Many vegan and plant-based recipes include bananas for their health value, sweetness and stabilizing qualities in a recipe. But I’ve got one recipe that will make you GO BANANAS!
BANANA ‘ICE CREAM’
- When your bananas start to ‘go bad’ or get flecked with brown you know they are really getting sweet now. Don’t throw them away, just peel them, slice them up and freeze them. Keep in mind 1 banana per serving.
- You may have to slightly thaw them, but put them in a strong blender
- Add around a ½ teaspoon of non alcoholic vanilla
- Blend until creamy…just like ice cream
- Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, or blueberries.
- And enjoy it immensely-and guilt free!
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his son, Rip receive all the credit for this recipe. Try it and experiment with other frozen fruits like mangoes, blueberries or even a fruit combination, but I love that natural banana flavor. This recipe is interpreted from Dr. Esselstyn’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.
You’ll get addicted to this perfectly ‘creamy’ icy treat that is proudly all PLANT-BASED with no dairy. Seriously, this treat is almost too good to be true!
Enjoy it and GO BANANAS!!!May/June 2012 Issue
Kate Corallo, The Vivacious Voracious Vegan,is a Certified Nutrition Coach, Fit Model and Vegan Columnist. She’s available for consultation.
She can be reached at: email@example.com or