Bananas are one of the most common fruits sold in America, and in the world (some sources call it the most popular, and others say it’s as far down on the list as the third place). They are rich in B vitamins and are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium.
Bananas are not my favorite fruit (or even my third favorite), but I do like them, but I don’t like that the most common varieties bananas (in the USA) generally are so large that they contain two (and even sometimes three) servings of fruit per banana. I like to spread my fruit servings throughout the day, so that usually means eating only half a banana.
It’s not a terrible inconvenience to cut a banana and half and put the uneaten half in the refrigeratior, and that’s usually what I do. I just set the banana on a shelf in the fridge and when I take it out, I cut a very thin slice off the end (just because I don’t like the darkened appearance of the cut end. Sometimes you’ll read or hear that bananas should never be stored in the refrigeratior – that’s just not true. Unripe bananas shouldn’t be refrigerated, because the cold stops the ripening process, but ripe bananas can be refrigerated. The skins will turn black very quickly, but the inside will still be nice and firm for a long time in the fridge (banana.com says up to 2 weeks, but I’ve had bananas last even a longer).
Bananas are very cheap where I live. The Kwik Trip gas stations and convenience stores in our area sell bananas for 39 cents a pound. According to Wikipedia, “Kwik Trip is also the only company in the region to carry Darien bananas which have a somewhat softer/smoother texture than the conventional Dole bananas commonly found in supermarkets.” I knew I liked the Kwik Trip’s bananas better than supermarket bananas, but until I read the wikipedia article, I didn’t know why.
I love miniature bananas (some of the miniature varieties, I really do think taste better), but I don’t love the price (up to 5 times the cost of larger bananas). The oriental groceries in our area sell the tiny bananas at much better prices than the larger grocery stores, but I’ve never found them cheaper than $1 per pound. I buy them occasionally as a treat, because they do taste a little different, and they’re so darned cute.
The short and fat bananas have about 55 calories (1 fruit exchange), and the short, thin bananas are usually about 25 to 30 calories each (2 bananas = 1 fruit exchange).
When it comes to eating a banana, I usually just peel and eat. I also slice them and put them in the freezer to add to smoothies (I love the texture frozen fruits create – almost like ice-cream).
If you’re interested in banana recipes, I’d suggest looking online. I have to admit that the Green Banana (plantain) and Potato salad recipe looks really good.
Plaintains are a starch/bread servings, not fruit. They’re almost potato-like in flavor. Like the tiny bananas, I’ve found them to be of better quality and price in asian markets, compared to supermarkets.
Also on banana.com is an interesting page on the medicinal uses for a banana from anemia to warts (and morning sickness, pms, high blood pressure, hangover, depression and other disorders in between).
So perhaps it’s actually a banana a day that will keep the doctor away. Or maybe not, but they’re still good eatin’.