Going Bananas

Aha! Gotcha, this isn’t what the title suggests at all, or actually this is precisely what the title suggests. It is a blog about the fruit – Banana.  This is a fun and health post about one of my favorite fruits – the common ordinary everyday banana. Hopefully you will leave here today with a little more knowledge about a very simple yummy and delicious fruit.

That yellow thing you peel and eat, the banana, is a fruit. Here in America we eat more bananas than apples and oranges combined. In some parts of the world, bananas keep millions of people alive.

Although extremely popular, the banana is mysterious; nobody knows how they evolved or from where they originated. Cultural lore suggests that in ancient translations of the Bible, the “apple” consumed by Eve is actually a banana. Entire Central American nations have been said to rise and fall over the banana.

To me, the saddest thing about the banana of today is whether it will survive. As the result of commercial enterprise the (Cavandish) banana with its very own specific reproductive system, is a genetic duplicate of the next, and therefore all are susceptible to the same blights. Today’s yellow banana is increasingly threatened and there is as yet no cure.

In the past year, scientists began focusing on the banana varieties still found in nature. Wild bananas can still reproduce by seeds and are constantly confronted with fungi. It is the hope of researchers to discover resistance genes that can be transferred to the now seedless varieties.

When it comes to nutrition, Bananas reign.  They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber – A source of energy. They contain iron, which helps those suffering from anemia. Iron stimulates the growth of hemoglobin in the body. Bananas contain potassium; reducing high blood pressure and preventing bone loss by lessening the damage done by foods containing high levels of sodium/salts (found in the typical modern American diet). Vitamin B6 also helps to balance blood-glucose levels, reducing mood swings often associated with PMS.

Bananas are excellent for those suffering with ulcers, as they can help lower gastric juice levels and build a protective coating in the stomach and in reducing heartburn symptoms.
Bananas contain tryptophan, serotonin and norepinephrine, which can lessen depression and also help a person to relax. The B vitamins found in bananas help calm and soothe the nervous system, vitamin B6 in particular which can reduce the symptoms of irritability and sleeplessness. Bananas are an excellent first choice for solid food for infants, as they are easily digestible and non-allergic.

Bananas also help to lessen cravings for sugar and other unhealthy sweet snacks. They are helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration and strokes. Even the peels serve a few useful purposes. They make a great fertilizer in the garden, especially for roses. Bury a few peels near the bush, and the peels will normally cause the roses to thrive. Pimples can be dried out naturally by rubbing the inside of the banana peel on the affected area on the skin.

I snapped this photograph looking down inside before removing the ice cream!

As for myself, I love bananas. They are the first item that goes into my fruit smoothies. I also use them as creatively as possible in other dishes. Recently I happened upon something new and different – Banana Ice Cream, truly unique because the only ingredient in the ice cream is the banana, nothing else. I think it’s one of the few foods that one can make ice cream without having to add any other ingredients.

HOW TO MAKE BANANA ICE CREAM!

I tried this for myself. Save up those bananas that are beginning to be not quite but almost too ripe to eat. Peel the banana, cut into small bite size pieces, place on a tray and freeze for a few hours.

Remove from the tray and place the banana pieces in a powerful blender or mixer. And blend. Add only a few pieces at a time. This does take a while.

There is enough fat in the banana and water that has been frozen in the bananas along with the natural sugar that by blending it long enough you end up with “Banana Ice Cream”.

If you love bananas you’ll love this healthy treat! The taste is so incredibly ice cold creamy and yummy it really is banana ice cream!

Hope everyone enjoyed my post today If you love bananas try the ice cream. It is delicious!

Have a happy, healthy day today, Penny

75 thoughts on “Going Bananas

  1. Great post Penny!! I like bananas, but not anything flavoured with banana, I’m strange, I know! My dad absolutely adores banana sandwiches! Gona try that ice cream though, I’ll see if I can make it for him as a surprise!
    I remember a few years ago the E.U wanted to bring in a ruling that bananas had to be grown straight (think they’re were talking about genetically altering them so they didn’t bend) Think it was for packaging and transporting- they’d be easier to stack. Never heard of anything so silly, but thankfully they don’t seem to have gone through with it! 🙂

    • Yes indeed on that one! (straight bananas? I have so many places I could go with that!) The trick with the ice cream is slow and easy, using at least 3 frozen bananas! Let me know if you give it a try. 🙂

    • Thanks LuAnn, I sort of snuck it in. I figured if I made it fun and friendly, I could provide some healthy information about nutrition that the readers might enjoy, so glad you liked it, with much affection, Penny

    • Me too re: the comments. Actually between you and me I was totally fascinated by the design the ice cream made in the blender. I had everyone in the household come take a look, and then felt the need to photograph it! 🙂 Glad to see someone else saw the unique attractiveness of an unexpected creation! Thank you letizia 🙂

  2. Bananas get a bad rap for being high in carbs, but my doctor said that bananas contain a different sugar than other high-carb fruit such as pineapple and therefore not a risk for people who need to watch their sugar intake. I was happy to hear it, because I put bananas in my fruit smoothies also. And I love banana-chocolate chip muffins. MMmm!

    • Meryl we do too in this households. Bananas are a staple for us also. Let me know how that goes, I had a few mishaps the first few times as I think I’ve mentioned to a few other commenters. (too big of a hurry – too many frozen pieces in at once. :)) But it is so worth the results! 🙂

    • Yes we do don’t we? lol, There have been so many hot days here in southeastern Washington recently that anything I can do to cool myself down is a good thing. Discovering the banana ice cream turned into a great surprise, cooling and delicious (and healthy too!) 🙂

  3. When I was still working as a GWC in Dept. Store, I always buy a bunch of bananas because my mother told me it really is a healthy food. My work required a lot of standing so I need more Potassium, and only banana fruit can give that ingredient to me. Now I know how to make ‘banana ice cream,’ it really intrigued me to make this menu one day! For me, it’s amazingly unique!

    • Thank you Mack. Yes bananas are one of the “good” ones. It helps that they also taste really really good. Thank you for your comments today, I enjoy having you visit! 🙂

  4. Bananas are a must in our house. My husband likes them a little less ripe than I do, so in the morning he always sets out the most ripe one for me. A small, but sweet thing he does for me.

    After working out, I’ve found bananas to be great for preventing muscle cramps.

    • Thank you Marney, for adding the new info about banana’s helping to prevent muscle cramping after a workout. Very good to know! I think you husband is a sweetie. It’s those little things, you know! 🙂 And thanks for the visit – I appreciate it very much! 🙂

    • Definitely my pleasure to share. Usually my smoothie (not precise here) has a couple handfuls of fresh or frozen berries (my favorites are strawberries, blueberries, black berries and raspberries)of course the banana (I always try to have a few frozen on hand), a half of a cup of uncooked oatmeal and 3/4 cup (approx) of natural yogurt! It’s my very tasty way of ensuring I get all those phytonutrients I might not otherwise get depending on my meals for the rest of the day!:)

  5. Best get out there and buy some bananas. All sorts of interesting stuff I didn’t know in here – will definitely try the peel for a rose bush I have that is suffering quite a nasty demise. Might even try it for pimples – who’d have thought?!

    • I love it when I come upon some new information that I wasn’t aware of myself. Can’t wait to pass it on. Helping with pimples I know to be true as there is a teenager in this household that has used the method herself, Thank you for stopping by Susan, I appreciate the visit. 🙂

  6. I like bananas. Has been a while since I have had any. I keep looking at them as I go through the fruit aisle. What does put me off though, is the last time I had a banana, it was barbecued and that made it so squishy and gooey that every time I look at one, it makes me think of that (the same as blue food colouring makes me think of peppermint custard – I’ll explain that some time). I tend to eat apples – pink ladies are my favourite, clementines, and green grapes. I will have a banana at some point and it will change in my mind again.

    • I understand that one completely. I’ve been ‘turned off by a few foods for the same reason. I honestly don’t think I’d care for barbeque bananas.(can’t wait for the explanation re:blue food colouring/peppermint custard :)) I love apples also. Pink ladies are delicious. Here in the state of Washington, lots of apples. my favorite of those local grown is called “honeycrisp”. Just the right everything that an apple should be. Sweet but not too sweet, crispy, juicy and refreshing. Grapes are just the perfect little package of flavor I think? Perhaps in the near future the banana might appeal to you again, I hope so, until then an apple a day…my friend,:)

      • Not sure if we have Honeycrisp here, will have to try and find out. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water LOL. Or that could be the 27º/81º temperature. Not used to it right beside the coast. A couple of months ago, I was sitting in the dark watching a film and eating grapes, and I took one out that seemed solid so I put it to one side. When I finished watching the film and turned the light on, it turned out to be a snail shell. I took it back to the shop I brought it from, and they were terrific. They gave me a refund and another punnet on the spot, then a few days later, a letter of apology and a £5 voucher – considering the grapes were £1.98, I think that was pretty good. The apology letter explained that they do not use pesticides, so on extremely rare occasions, something gets through control.

        I don’t tend to eat them in the dark now hehe

  7. I have a banana every morning, but was amazed to hear that they’re endangered.
    The icecream sounds yummy !
    Thanks for the idea.

    • Yes. They are in serious trouble Victoria. I am hopeful! Truly when I heard about this I had to try it for myself. It really does taste like ice cream. Only with of course a wonderful banana flavor! Hope you get the chance to give it a try. 🙂

    • Hi Tina, anytime I can combine something the body “needs” with something tasty & simple I do it. The best of both worlds. About the title? I just love playing with words, I think you do too! 🙂

  8. So interesting Penny! Thank you for gathering all this great info. Did not know the banana is an endangered fruit! Oh no ~ love bananas! I never made this ice cream but can see how it would work because I used to freeze my bananas and just put them in the blender with some vitamin/protein powder and a tiny bit of water and it was like a thick-shake. When I didn’t have banana on hand and used other frozen fruit – it was not nearly as creamy! Going to freeze a ripe one right now!! Yours looks so yummy! Much Love Penny ~ Robyn

    • Thanks Robyn, I had fun with this one. The plight of banana’s is actually really really bad, large companies have been trying to downplay the situation. Thanks, it reallllly tastes good too! Much love, Penny

      • ok – got my nanas in the freezer… so hope they can protect this fruit! I’m “fructose intolerant” and cannot have much of any fruit – but bananas are evenly balanced between glucose and fructose – so I’m allowed to indulge!! Good that you are building awareness here Penny!! xo

        • You crack me up, “nana’s in the freezer lol” I’m glad you’re allowed to indulge with bananas. Thanks, I figure if I do this in a light hearted vein I can sneak good things in healthwise (also need-to-know things being done commercially) Trying to find the right mix. So people will learn while they enjoy. A bit of a challenge but one I enjoy Robyn! xxx

          • you are doing an excellent job — your posts are always funny and-or interesting/educational and VERY well written! Will let you know how my nana-cream is tomorrow 🙂 xo

            • Okee-dokee, it is definitely slow going, a little at a time and it does take at least 3 bananas, then theres the whole churning motion (like an ice cream maker only done with a high speed blender). It didn’t go so well when I put too many in at once, the whole thing froze up on me. Good luck, I think its fun and worth it though. 🙂 xx

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