Every year, each American consumes an average of 26.2 pounds of bananas – a higher level of consumption than any other fruit. Rich in potassium, bananas help to maintain a good balance of fluids in the body, regulate blood pressure and reduce muscle cramps after exercise. The high amounts of vitamin B6 in bananas also help to build immunity and prevent infection, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and obesity.
It is a little known fact that bananas are in fact an effective way to reduce a hangover after a night out partying as they help to replenish the potassium lost due to alcohol’s diuretic effects. For the weight-conscious, it would be a relief to know that bananas contain almost no fat and are extremely low in calories.
With such positive health benefits and a great taste to boot, bananas make the perfect snack. Here are some ways you can enjoy them:
1. With toast and nutella or peanut butter.
No time in the mornings to cook up a fancy breakfast? Pop two slices of whole wheat bread into the toaster, spread some Nutella or peanut butter over them, put some sliced bananas between the two slices of bread and there you have it, a delicious and nutritious breakfast on-the-go.
Thinking of making this fuss-free breakfast even more awesome? Try spreading both Nutella and peanut butter over your toasted bread.
2. With cereal or oats
If you’re tired of the taste of your usual cereal or oats, add some sliced bananas to them and drizzle some maple syrup or condensed milk over the mixture for a slightly sweeter taste.
3. Mashed with avocados. Sprinkled with chopped walnuts, raisins, or cranberries
If you’re stuck with too-ripe bananas and have no idea what to do with them, mashing them with avocados (either in a food processor, blender, or just by hand) creates a decent snack. Sprinkle chopped walnuts, almonds, or berries over the banana-avocado mixture to give it a crunchier texture. Alternatively, this mixture can also be used as a dip – the interesting savory taste of pita chips with the slightly sweeter taste of bananas and avocados is sure to leave your party guests wanting for more.
4. Banana s’mores
Movie night? Add a slice of banana to marshmallow, nutella and graham crackers before popping them in the oven for a tasty twist to the classic s’more recipe.
5. Banana smoothie
For a great post-gym drink, blend bananas, yogurt, milk and honey for a sweet smoothie that is rich in potassium and calcium. This is a great low-calorie snack.
6. One-ingredient banana ice cream
Ice cream does not always have to be a sinful treat. Slice some ripe bananas, freeze them overnight, and then throw them in a food processor the next day. Voila! You have just made banana ice cream and it’s ready for consumption. To sweeten the deal, blend in nutella, honey, condensed milk, cinnamon, peanut butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice or vanilla extract for that extra special taste.
7. Fruit salad
Throw together cubed apples, sliced bananas, grapes, berries and any fruit you can find in your refrigerator for a quick and healthy midday snack. Fruit salads are best enjoyed while you are working on that ten-page paper or cramming for a final – you never have to worry about overeating.
8. On its own!
And if you are absolutely pressed for time, bananas by themselves make great stomach fillers while you are on the go. Best thing about this fruit? It tastes just as good on its own.
Have fun going bananas!