Bananas – Interesting Facts

The banana we all know and love is known as the dessert banana. It belongs to the family of the banana plant, some of which cultivate edible fruits. The banana is a fitness fruit and contains various nutrients, vitamins and minerals that supply the body with energy. As well as this, it’s proven to make us happy. Similarly to dates and figs, we can find a high amount of the amino acid tryptophan which forms serotonin in the brain and this hormone-like messenger improves our mood. Bananas taste the best when they are a rich, yellow colour with dark spots, indicating that the full aroma has developed. Tip for storing: Wrap the stalk of the banana with tinfoil allowing for an extra few days of storage.

 

Food Facts Food Facts

Banana

Class

Musa

Kalorien

95 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

34g carbohydrate, 3.6g fibre, 0.5g fat, 1.8g protein per 100g (ripe bananas)

Season

available year-round

Storage

unripe bananas to be hung in room temperature and left to ripen

Shelf life

up to one week depending on storage and degree of ripeness

The Banana - From the Banana Tree to the Table

The banana originated from the Southeast Asian region and from there made its way to America via Africa and The Canary Islands. The banana has been appearing in the European diet since the 1920’s. India and China are the biggest banana producers today. Each Swiss person eats over 9 kilos of the sweet fruit a year. It’s most commonly enjoyed raw as a fruit snack.

A subspecies of the edible banana is the plantain, which is not as common in Europe as its big sister, the dessert banana. On the other hand, it is a staple food in large parts of Africa and Asia. The plantain is only edible raw when it has fully ripened. It’s mostly fried, baked or steamed. It can also be used to make flour for celiac-sufferers as a substitute for cereals containing gluten.

The Banana – A Delectable Fruit

Contrary to its reputation as a fatty food, the banana is in fact a great fitness food. It’s true that when fully ripened the fruit contains a lot of sugar which is responsible for its wonderfully sweet taste, but the banana actually contains less calories than you might think; with less than 100 calories per 100g, it is as rich in content as low fat quark. As well as this, there’s even more good hiding in the banana! It contains potassium, useful for muscle function and maintaining blood pressure, and vitamin b6, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

The banana is classically eaten raw and is very practical for a snack while on-the-go. It’s an integral part of the fruit salad and tastes great on bread. The fruit is also a favourite in desserts such as banana pie, banana bread and banana pudding, marinated or baked – the possibilities are endless! Dried banana chips are a fast source of energy for school, exams and the office.

Banana also works great in savoury dishes, especially when combined with something hearty in Indian and Caribbean dishes. It lends a deliciously sweet note to a spicy curry with chicken for example. Bananas wrapped in bacon is an absolute must for barbecues. It doesn’t always have to be eaten sweet, get creative! The banana goes brilliantly with meat, fish and vegetables – there are no limits!

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Banana Recipes

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