The energy-boosting banana is a big yellow smile, perhaps smug in the knowledge it’s the perfect snack! Its all-natural, easy-to-peel wrapper protects a deliciously creamy flesh that’s easy to digest and virtually fat free! Bananas give your body a bunch of goodies, including fibre, folate and vitamin C, along with potassium for good blood pressure and heart health, and vitamin B6 for energy and proper nerve function.
Pick the best
You’ll mostly find the popular Cavendish, but try short, plump Lady Fingers. Surprisingly for a sweet type, these have a low glycaemic index (GI), which keeps your blood-sugar levels stable and helps you feel full. Smooth-skinned, brown-flecked bananas are ready to eat; the green-tipped types will ripen at room temperature over a few days. You can freeze overly soft, brownish fruit for making cakes, muffins and smoothies.
Have you seen Red Daccas? These exotic bananas have a sweet pink-red flesh with a hint of raspberry flavour, making them ideal for desserts.
Capture the fruity flavour
Choc-fruit fix: Cut four deep slits in an unpeeled banana and sprinkle 1 tbs dark chocolate chips into slits. Wrap in foil and bake for 15 minutes, or until choc melts. Peel and serve with low-fat vanilla ice cream.
Sweet side: Serve this side with a spicy curry: Toss sliced banana with chopped toasted cashews and shredded coconut. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and a splash of fresh lime juice to serve.
Peel, spread, wrap: Give kids a healthy snack they can make on their own: Spread a thin layer of peanut butter onto a slice of mountain bread. Place a peeled banana on bread, roll up and slice into bite-size pieces.