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Cooking with Bananas



Photo of a bunch of bananas


Photo of bananas

Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit in the United States. They have a peel that comes off easily, they ripen after they've been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and they are inexpensive. Bananas have both a high amount of carbohydrates as well as potassium, which also makes them the fruit of choice for many athletes.
(Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992).

Serving size 1/2 cup, sliced (75g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories 70 
Calories from Fat 0 
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 400mg11%
Total Carbohydrate 17g6%
  Dietary Fiber 9g8%
  Sugars 21g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.



Avoid bananas with brown spots that seem very soft. Select those bananas with a nice color, specific for the variety. Choose fruit that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow skin color is speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.


To further ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe you can store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.


The very popular yellow banana of Cavendish is the banana we see in grocery stores. However, Plantains, Finger Bananas and Red Bananas are also popular varieties. Most have a soft texture when ripe.


Banana Nut Smoothie
Makes 4 (1 cup) servings.
Recipe source: PBH



2 bananas, ripe
2 cups pineapple juice
2 Tbsp Creamy peanut butter
2 tsp plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients, except nutmeg, in blender. Cover and run on high until smooth and well-blended. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 177, Total Fat 5g, Calories from Fat 23%, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 2g, Sodium 41mg.

Banana Berry Jumble
Makes 3 servings.
Recipe source: PBH



2 bananas, halved and cut into inch pieces
cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
cup oats
tsp nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a large, non-stick skillet. Cook on medium-high heat just until cranberries begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Spoon into bowls and top with whipped topping or frozen yogurt, if desired.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 161, Fat 1g, Calories from Fat 5%, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 3g, Sodium 5mg.

Baked Bananas with Orange/Lemon Sauce
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe source: PBH/Carol Withers



4 bananas
cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel
2 mint sprigs (for garnish, optional)

Remove ends from bananas. With a knife, slit banana skin on the back of each banana from top to bottom, but leave the skin on the banana (to keep the banana from bursting). Bake bananas in their skins in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix marmalade and lemon juice. When done, remove bananas from oven and discard the skin. Center each banana on a dessert plate. Pour 1 Tbsps sauce over each banana. Mix orange and lemon peels and sprinkle 1 tsps over each banana. Garnish with mint.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 163, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 2g, Sodium 7mg.

Tropical Pork Kabobs
Makes 4 servings.



1 lb pork loin, boneless, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 t cinnamon
2 bananas, sliced
8 skewers, wooden (soak in water before using) or metal
1/3 c orange marmalade
2 T honey
1 can (15 oz) pineapple chunks
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges

In a small saucepan, mix together the marmalade, orange juice, honey and cinnamon. Stir over low heat until mixture bubbles gently. Divide pork cubes into 4 equal parts and thread on 4 skewers. Fill remaining 4 kabobs with pineapple, bananas, and mandarin oranges. Place fruit kabobs on large plate and coat with glaze. Spoon remaining glaze over pork kabobs. Grill or broil about 4 inches from heat source, turning and basting with glaze frequently. Cook for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve immediately with fruit kabobs.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 425, Fat 10g, Calories from Fat 20%, Cholesterol 72mg, Fiber 3g, Sodium 58mg.



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