Add brightly-coloured bananas to your shopping list for April.
There are a number of varieties of banana sold in Australia, the most common being Cavendish, which are long and thin in shape. Cavendish bananas have bright yellow skin when ripe, and soft, pale yellow flesh. Lady fingers are fatter and shorter and don’t discolour as quickly as other bananas.
Choose bananas that are firm with even, bright yellow, unblemished skins.
Ripen bananas in a fruit bowl at room temperature. Once ripe, they can be stored in the fridge. The skins will turn black, but the flesh will be unaffected.
There’s no preparation needed with this versatile fruit – simply peel and eat! Bananas are a great energy-boosting snack post-exercise, or to cure the mid-afternoon slump. They’re also a great addition to cakes, muffins and pancakes – either included in the batter or served on the side.
4 quick ways with bananas
For a nutritious breakfast on the go, blend 1 banana with 1 cup skim milk, 2 tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon LSA mix. Add a handful of blueberries if they’re in season, and pop into a takeaway cup to go.
If you need to use up over-ripe bananas, try banana and ricotta ‘hotcakes’. Mash 2 medium bananas with 2 cups reduced-fat ricotta, then stir in 2 tablespoons honey and 2 eggs. Spoon mixture into a 12-hole lightly greased muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes, or until set. Serve with fresh fruit.
This sweet side dish goes well with a spicy curry. Combine sliced bananas with roasted, unsalted cashew nuts, shredded coconut and chopped coriander leaves, then drizzle with fresh lime juice.
For a quick dessert, make a few slits in an unpeeled banana, cutting through into the flesh, then push squares of chocolate into the slits. Wrap the banana in foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Peel and serve with a scoop of low-fat ice-cream.
Did you know? Bananas are high in vitamins B6 and C, folate, potassium, fibre and antioxidants – all for less than 400kJ per banana.