Ingredient of the Week is back!

This week we’re going to talk about bananas—which are packed with nutrients and delicious on their own and in all kinds of dishes.

First up, the nutrition stats. One medium-sized (7″-7 7/8″) banana gives you:

  • 105 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 27 g carbohydrates
  • 3 g fiber
  • 1 g protein
  • 17% of your daily vitamin C
  • 22% of your vitamin B6 needs
  • 422 mg potassium (12% of what you need in a day)
  • 39 mg magnesium (about 8% of your daily needs)
  • 16% of the manganese you need in a day
There’s some hype out there about bananas being a  “bad” fruit because of the high sugar content, and while it’s true that a good portion of the calories in bananas come from its naturally-occuring sugars, I personally don’t believe there is such a thing as a “bad” fruit. There are so many other important nutrients in a banana that there are more good reasons to eat them than to not eat them. That said, if you’re concerned about the sugar content, just have half at a time and eat it with something else—it doesn’t get much better than a slice of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter when you need a filling, energizing snack. 

Though some worry bananas are in danger of going extinct, others roll their eyes at the mention of the threatening Tropical Race Four fungus. I guess we’ll see. A world without the bananas we know and love would be a sad thing.

Though bananas are great as is, they can also be used as an ingredient and substitute in other dishes, especially baked goods. One of my favorite ways to use them is to sub mashed ripe banana for eggs and/or oil in cakes and cookies.

It’s also hard to go wrong with banana “ice cream.” It doesn’t get much easier than this.

frozen banana slices

Take frozen banana slices. Place them in a food processor (blender works too), and process until it has the consistency of soft serve. Eat plain or add toppings and mix-ins. 

Bananas are also a great way to add volume and sweetness to oatmeal. The trick is to keep stirring it and breaking up small pieces. It may sound tedious, but it’s totally worth it. Look what you end up with…

pumpkin banana oatmeal topped with roasted figs, granola, and peanut butter

What’s your favorite banana recipe? 

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