It’s not for nothing I’m called Anna Banana.  I love them and add them to various recipes, including smoothies, breakfast, mid morning snacks (try sliced banana over nut butter on oat cakes), dessert even.

Bananas are one of the leading fruit crops in the world.  They are such a versatile and nutrient packed fruit.  Extremely portable – although they can get bruised easily – they are handy for eating on the go.

Everyone probably thinks of potassium as one of the nutritional benefits of bananas. However they are also a great source of in order;

  • Vitamin B6  – good for brain and nervous system, particularly our mood 
  • manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • fibre
  • potassium!!  good for healthy heart function and muscle cramps
  • biotin
  • copper

Whilst in Vietnam (I’m sure I’ll use that phrase repeatedly over next few posts  😉  ), I saw the original banana flower, it is the blossom that grows on a bunch of bananas.  They are used in stir-fries in India, Thailand and many other Asian countries. Banana flowers are crunchy and nutty and add texture to dishes.

 

BananaPeeled

Banana flower

 

 

 

 

 

Bananas are towards the higher end of the Glycaemic Load spectrum (GL), that which measures how much a particular food raises our blood sugar after eating it.  However eating them with some fibre should temper that sugar rise eg eating bananas with oat cakes, sliced bananas in porridge or granola, in a fruit salad with nuts and yoghurt.

Recipes logo cropped

Flapjacks

dalepinnock_oatbars

I’ve tweaked this recipe from the original by Dale Pinnock from his cookbook ‘The Medicinal Chef‘ and renamed them as Flapjacks  (his was ‘Banana-peanut oat bars’).
They are soooo good and filling enough to use as a mid afternoon or between meals snack to keep the blood sugar levels from dropping.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil (plus extra for greasing baking tin)
3  ripe bananas
1 tablespoon honey (good local honey)
2 tablespoons crunchy almond butter
280g porridge oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease a 20cm square baking tin with a little coconut oil
  • Mash the bananas in a bowl until smooth
  • Melt the coconut oil, almond butter and honey in a saucepan over a low heat
  • Once melted remove from heat and stir in the mashed banana, then the oats and flaxseeds
  • Mix well until a sticky mixture is formed
  • Put this mixture into your prepared baking tin and press down until even.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove and allow to cool before cutting into pieces.

 

Banana Bread

I haven’t made it for a very long time but the Avoca banana bread recipe was always one of my favourites.

As you can tell by the splodges on the page it has been attempted many times.

You can use gluten-free four and gluten-free baking powder in this recipe if you wish.

 

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Avoca Banana Bread

To make an even healthier banana bread check out Susan Jane White’s version made with buckwheat flour (her latest book ‘The Virtuous Tart‘ is such a great name for a recipe book) at

http://susanjanewhite.com/vegan-gf-banana-bread/

I’ve made it (used light muscovado sugar and an egg in place of the coconut sugar and psyllium husks listed in the recipe) and at this point can say it’s the most delicious banana bread I have EVER tasted. Nuff said… 😀

banana bread in tin2

Banana bread a la Susan Jane White

banana bread slice1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana ice cream

I had frozen banana ice cream cake in Vietnam and it was surprisingly more delicious than I expected it to be.  The sultry humidity  at 10pm at night made this dessert even more welcome, but if you are looking to try it out I would recommend Deliciously Ella’s recipe – link below;

http://deliciouslyella.com/banana-ice-cream-vegan-sugar-free-dairy-free/

It makes a great alternative to dairy ice-cream.

Smoothies

Kenwood smoothie 1Bananas in smoothies are a must.  I sometimes freeze leftover banana – it thaws quickly – and use that in my smoothie.

Breakfast

buckw pancake brek closeup

Plenty of breakfast options for bananas,  one of them being buckwheat pancakes with sliced banana for a lazy Sunday morning…

(Blinis recipe under http://nutritionbyanna.com/2015/07/buckwheat/#sthash.AlaK32SU.dpbs)

 

http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=7