Bananas are one of the world’s most appealing fruits
When it comes to cooking with fruits, most of us can’t help but think of salads and desserts like puddings and pies. Some may say that a fruit is best eaten raw or may be included in shakes and smoothies. You’d be surprised to know that fruits like bananas are widely used in savoury dishes as well. Talking of bananas, very few people know that the fruit actually belongs to the family of berries!
High in fibre, bananas are great for digestion and aid in the growth of good gut bacteria. Keep a couple of them tucked in your bag to tame those untimely, mid-meals hunger attacks. Bananas are also a good source of B-vitamins, magnesium and antioxidants. We know that bananas are rich in Vitamin C but do you know that they act as a great stress fighting nutrient? Bananas help in repairing the cell damage caused due to stress.
1. Banana-ChocolatePudding Cake
A cross between a mouse, pudding, and molten lava cake, this banana-chocolate cake is sure to please—both your tastebuds and your waistline. Using bananas as a substitute for flour, blend 2 very ripe bananas in a food processor, then add in an egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla, a tablespoon maple syrup, and ¼ teaspoon fine salt, blend until smooth. Separately, melt 5 ounces of dark chocolate in the microwave, then stir into the banana mixture. Beat the whites from two eggs in a separate mixture until stiff peaks, then fold into the chocolate banana mixture. Pour into a greased or parchment-paper-lined, 8-inch round baking pan and bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven. This high-protein, low-carb treat will make its way onto your dessert plate more than once.
2. Sweeten Up Your Oatmeal
Instead of adding empty calories like refined white sugars that only spike your blood sugar and cause it to come crashing down soon after, why not flavor your oatmeal with bananas? Cut up half a banana, mash it with a fork, and then fold it into your favorite bowl of steel cut oats along with a sprinkling of cinnamon. This cut of oats is lower on the glycemic index than rolled or instant oats, meaning they’ll keep you fuller, longer. Always in a rush in the morning? Make them overnight oats style! Just boil 4 cups of water in a pot. Add one cup of steel-cut oats and simmer for 1 minute. Cover the pot, allow it to cool, and then store overnight in the fridge.
3. Banana Puree
Few people have made a smoothie without this elongated fruit, but have you ever tried making the frozen blend with a green banana? Prior to ripening, bananas are rich in resistant starch, a hard-to-find form of fiber that digests slowly for prolonged feelings of fullness and more efficient fat oxidation. Oh, and did we also mention it’s good for gut health? Resistant starches feed the beneficial bacteria in your belly, which then convert the starches into anti-inflammatory compounds that help to suppress your appetite and bolster your immune system. For an exotic blend, try combining ½ frozen banana, ½ cup frozen pineapple, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ½-inch piece fresh ginger (peeled and chopped), the juice of half a lime, and 1 cup coconut water.
4. Banana Sushi
Say hello to a waistline-friendly oatmeal cookie. Free of blood-sugar-spiking refined white flour or refined sugar, these cookies get all their starch from bananas and extra fiber from the oats. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash three bananas in a bowl, then add ¼ cup melted coconut oil, 1-½ cups rolled oats, ¼ cup chopped walnuts a tablespoon ground flaxseed, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and ½ a teaspoon each of cinnamon and salt. Stir well, roll into cookies, and bake for 25 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.
Peace Agyare is an entrepreneur and a graduate from The Institute of Business Management and Journalism-Kumasi(Ghana). She holds an HND in communication and is currently working at Ghafla Ghana