Creamy, rich, and sweet, bananas are a favorite food for everyone from infants to elders. Sports enthusiasts appreciate the potassium-packed power delivered by this high energy fruit. Your breakfasts will be extra healthy if you give your bed and breakfast guests bananas–in a fruit salad, smoothie, or banana muffins.
Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.
Build better bones by eating bananas? Yes, enjoying bananas frequently as part of your healthy way of eating can help improve your body’s ability to absorb calcium via several mechanisms.The potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.
Since bananas are picked off the tree while they’re still green, it’s not unusual to see them this color in the store. Base your choice of bananas depending upon when you want to consume them. Bananas with more green coloration will take longer to ripen than those more yellow in hue and/or with brown spots.
Bananas should be firm, but not too hard, bright in appearance, and free from bruises or other injuries. Their stems and tips should be intact. The size of the banana does not affect its quality, so simply choose the size that best meets your needs.
While bananas look resilient, they’re actually very fragile and care should be taken in their storage. They should be left to ripen at room temperature and should not be subjected to overly hot or cold temperatures. Unripe bananas should not be placed in the refrigerator as this will interrupt the ripening process to such an extent that it will not be able to resume even if the bananas are returned to room temperature.
If you need to hasten the ripening process, you can place bananas in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper, adding an apple to accelerate the process. Ripe bananas that will not be consumed for a few days can be placed in the refrigerator. While their peel may darken, the flesh will not be affected. For maximum flavor when consuming refrigerated bananas, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come back to room temperature. For the most antioxidants, eat fully ripened fruit.
I highly recommend reading a related blog post called 35 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Busy People (Most Take Less Than Five Minutes To Prepare). Helen Sanders is the Chief Editor of this blog called Health Ambition. They believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives. I will end with a banana muffin recipe from AllRecipes.com:
Submitted By: ABI_GODFREY
Photo By: Dianne
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
||Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.
||Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.
|ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2014 Allrecipes.com
||Printed from Allrecipes.com 1/11/2014
Top Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography
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