Going Bananas!

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so the saying goes, but do you know just how  much good stuff there is in this easy-to-pack-peel-and-eat banana thing? I’m going to share some of that knowledge with you today, and I’ll show you how you can make your own healthy baby food, quick treats & snacks not just for kids and have some fun with it too.

banana plant

Banana plant in bloom

As far as we know, bananas were first grown by farmers in Southeast Asia all the way back around 5,000 BC. Most of today’s banana farming is done in India, the Philippines, China, Central and South America and also here in the Caribbean.

Now for the good stuff: At about 400 milligrams each, bananas are an excellent source of potassium, an important mineral for people who live an active lifestyle. They also provide plenty of complex carbohydrates, simple sugars, starch and dietary fiber that give you a quick hit of energy for exercise. And since they are low in sodium, they may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. If you’re trying to lose weight, bananas are your friend: They’re a good, nutrient-rich source of complex carbs and contain zero fat.

Besides being good for you on the inside, bananas are a natural source for healing the skin, for example banana paste can be used for treating cracked feet. Banana peels have also been found to reduce irritation from bug bites and can cure skin warts.

Their unusual properties can even help your garden grow, since they contain important macro-nutrients that many plants need. Banana peels are a natural source of phosphorus and potassium found in expensive fertilizers; so just bury them near the roots of your favorite plant or tree and you will see the difference in few weeks.

alll about bananas, health benefits of bananasHere we have a few kinds of bananas, these little ones are called Niños (Spanish for “kids,”) for their size but also for their sweetness. This one is actually called “apple,” because of its distinct taste: it tastes like green apple. These are plantains, they’re a kind of banana used mainly for cooking–they can be served just like potato. My favorite is mashed plantain with roasted garlic and butter.

Here’s a little store-now-use-later tip: Bananas can be sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice and kept in the freezer in a Ziploc bag or airtight container so they can be used frozen for a cool, healthy smoothie later, or thawed to make banana pancakes or baby food…which we’re going to make right now!

UGI wink & eaten banana

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