Bananas are generally native to South East Asia but there are actually 50 different recognised species of bananas. They are a naturally sweet energy booster and highly nutritious fruit that is full of goodness and can be used in lots of different ways. So read on to see why bananas are good for you and how to make healthy banana oat bars….
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits and it’s easy to see why, they are cheap and packed full of great nutrition. At only around 100 calories a banana contained in its own little personal wrapper is a great choice for a quick and easy healthy snack to have anywhere…
Health Benefits of Bananas
Great Source of Fibre
They are high in fibre which is good for your heart and contain both soluble and insoluble fibre and it’s the soluble fibre that helps slow digestion because when it reaches the digestive tract it absorbs water. This makes you feel full longer and is therefore make it a good snack to include in your diet when trying to lose weight.
Full of Vitamins & Minerals
Bananas contain vitamin C which is great for your immune system and helps improves the body’s absorption of iron. Surprisingly bananas are also an excellent source of B6 which is normally found in animal products, this is vital to the body to grow new cells and can also protect you against diabetes as well as helping you sleep.
A medium sized banana contains 9% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of Potassium which is essential for nerve and muscle function and can help also prevent muscle cramps after exercise.
Also they have 8% RDA of Magnesium which is needed to help the heart function and protect the blood vessels. Plus 14% RDA of Manganese essential for bone health and metabolism
More Benefits of Bananas
They have high levels of tryptophan which the body can convert to serotonin, this helps elevate your mood and can therefore help fight depression.
Plus they have lots of Fructooligosaccharides which are non digestive carbohydrates that encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
They are easy to digest so great choice when you are sick and want to get nutrients in your body without upsetting your stomach further.
Plus bananas are the perfect refueling snack after a workout as contain both protein and carbohydrates…
I like my bananas when they are only just ripe and are still a green/yellow colour; luckily this is actually the perfect time to eat them. An unripe banana is mostly starch and contains the fibre pectin, but this pectin decreases and the starch turns to sugar as they ripen. It’s the starch and pectin that fills you up and can also moderate your blood sugar levels and reduce your appetite.
Bananas are the perfect fruit to slice and add to cereal or yogurt, plus are a great addition to throw into your smoothies. Mashed up they can be used for making deserts and more substantial snacks like these healthy banana oat bars.
Healthy Banana Oat Bars
what you need:
- ½ dozen small or 3 large ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups oats
- 1/4 cup chopped sultanas
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts – I prefer cashew nuts
- Teaspoon of ground cinnamon or nutmeg
what to do:
– Heat the oven and lightly spray a baking dish with coconut oil
– Peel the bananas and mash their flesh in a mixing bowl until it is a soft creamy texture and there are no chunks remaining.
– Stir in the vanilla and then add the oats and stir them in thoroughly.
– Finally add the raisins and nuts and combine into the mixture.
– Put the thick mixture evenly into the baking pan and press down with the back of a large metal spoon
– If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg or cinnamon.
– Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to crisp up.
– Place the baking pan to cool, cut into bars and eat one or two just to try them out.
– Once cooled store any leftover bars in fridge –they will keep for about 5 days.
If you’ve got too many bananas to eat before they go off you can keep some in a seal-able bag in the bottom of the fridge to prevent them over-ripening. Plus why not freeze some, the peel will go a yucky brown colour but the insides are great to add to smoothies. If you love your bananas and have an easy recipe idea please share below as I’d love to read them…