One fruit that has never let me down and has always been a treat for my taste-buds is none other than Banana. Embodied in yellow pastel color and yelling at a pitch-high about its appetizing flavour, banana has come a long way.
Much of my childhood memories are planted around this humble fruit, and who knows how many more years of fond memories I’m gonna make with them?
Bananas have always been the favourites amongst all the grandparents across the country. If you’re down with frequent stomach flu, banana dishes are made, if there is a severe rainfall, raw banana pakoras make their way to the kitchen!
What I mean to say is that all problems had one solution- that’s Banana!
Well, let’s see how this exotic fruit became a part of human civilization and became the favored one amongst all!
Backpedaling In Time!
Banana traces its history to Southeast Asia, to a time that is as old as 327 BC. It was said to be grown mainly in India. They find their mention in texts of Greek, Latin and Arab civilizations. Bananas were taken to the New World gradually and became popular amongst the people.
Historically, bananas were a bit different. They were red and green in color other than the yellow, sweet variation that is generally eaten today. Slowly, the yellow bananas gained popularity and were eaten on plates with a fork and a knife in the elite social circle.
This was the grandeur of bananas that makes it a much-loved fruit across continents and has garnered them praise that is hard to fathom!
Nutrition Per Serving- ( Per 100 grams)!
Following are the nutritional breakdown of bananas that you need to be aware of when you include them in your diet:-
- Calories- 89 cal
- Protein- 1.1 gm
- Cholesterol- 0 mg
- Fat- 0.3 gm
- Carbohydrates- 23 gm
- Fiber- 2.6 gm
- Sugar- 12 gm
Banana And Sumptuous Dishes!
Most of us can’t help but notice that we mostly end up making fruit salads out of any fruit that we get hold of, let alone bananas. But do you know that we can cook a lot more than what we’ve been imagining ?
You need not be!
Well, here is a list of items that you can try making at home and bless your palate with them:-
Raw Banana Pakora
Raw Banana Pakora is a perfect dish, if you’re thinking of making something that can be made easily, yet has the essence of being unique in its own way.
For this simple item, you’d require 3-4 unripe bananas, ¾ tbsp rice flour and ¾ tsp turmeric powder, oil, salt, 2 cups besan, red chilli powder as per requirement, baking soda, and water.
First you need to peel and chop off the bananas. Now, put besan, rice flour, baking soda, salt, red chilli, and turmeric powder in a bowl and prepare a batter. Next, heat some oil in a pan and dip the banana pieces into the thick batter and add them into the hot oil. Take out the pakoras once they are golden brown in color.
A thick and creamy companion, Banana Smoothie is a delicious drink that can be made very easily. This item requires 3-4 bananas, ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, a cup of milk, and vanilla extract or cinnamon powder.
First of all, peel and chop the bananas and put them in a blender. Add ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, milk, and vanilla extract. Blend it till it's smooth.
Your banana smoothie is ready!
Banana buns are a Manglorian dish that is extremely tasty and sumptuous to the palate. The recipe uses 1 ripe banana, 3 tbsp sugar, 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 tbsp curd, a pinch of baking soda, 1 tsp ghee, ½ tsp cumin powder.
In a bowl, add the chopped bananas and also add the sugar in it. Make a puree out of the bananas. Now, add rest of the mentioned ingredients, mix well and knead. Prepare a smooth dough.
Keep the dough covered for 3-4 hours and refrigerate them overnight for 7-8 hours. Again knead the dough in the morning. Take out medium- sized balls from the dough and make them the way you make puri.
In a hot oil, put the puris one by one. Once they are golden brown in color, take out and serve.
Banana halwa is a sweet dish that is a heavenly dish that is usually made during puja ceremonies. The dish makes use of 1 cup semolina, 2 bananas, 10 cashews, 10 raisins, 2-3 powdered green cardamoms, oil, sugar, saffron (optional), 2 cups of milk.
In a pan, add the semolina that is roasted beforehand and fry for a while but do not let it turn brown. Add the chopped bananas, milk and dry fruits to it. Stir well.
Now, add sugar and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add saffron to it and again let it simmer for a while. Serve hot.
Who doesn’t like cakes and what more if you get it in banana flavour?
Well, Banana Cake is one such delicious dish that can make you go gaga with its soft and fluffy texture. For the dish, you need to have banana, all purpose flour, eggs (optional, vegetarians can use curd/buttermilk), butter, baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, cinnamon powder and sugar.
First you need to prepare the batter by putting banana, maida, egg, butter, baking powder, baking soda and sugar into a bowl. Mix them well. Whisk it in the same direction till you get a thick consistency. Add all the batter into the cake mould. Do not forget to grease the mould with some maida.
Now, preheat the oven to 170C or 340 F for 10 minutes or so. Put the mould containing the batter inside the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Prick the cake with a fork and ensure the batter doesn’t stick to it. Cool down the cake and serve.
Banana pancakes are always a win-win when it comes to pleasing the crowd, assembled every weekend at home. This luscious dish makes use of a cup of maida, 1 tbsp sugar, baking powder, ½ tsp salt, 1 cup milk, 1 beaten egg (optional, vegetarians can use curd/buttermilk), and 2 tbsp oil.
For the dish, you need to combine maida, sugar, baking powder and salt whereas in another bowl put egg, milk, oil and bananas. Now, mix both the batter together. Put some oil in a pan and pour the batter. Cook it till the pancakes turn golden brown.
Serve as it is!
Banana mousse is something that can make your palate crave for more. A delicious drink, it can be prepared without much hassle. Well, this simple recipe requires 3 large bananas, 2 tbsp honey, ¾ cup fresh cream and a few drops of lemon.
Now, peel and mash the bananas and add honey and lemon juice together into a blender. Make a fine puree and add fresh cream to it. Again blend them together.
Take out the mousse mixture into a glass and keep it in the fridge for an hour or so. Serve it with some grated chocolates.
Thus, bananas and its dishes are indeed delicious and easy to make and doesn’t require much experience, rather just skills. So, just enjoy the whole list of mentioned items and enjoy them with your loved ones.
When Not To Eat Bananas!
Eating and loving any fruit is a good habit, lest you land up in trouble by eating them at the wrong time of the day. Well, bananas too have some don’ts that need to be given full attention.
- As per Ayurveda, eating bananas at night should be avoided as they might trigger coughs and colds amongst people. Also, those who suffer from sinus must necessarily avoid the intake of bananas at night.
- It can also lead to mucus formation and indigestion when taken at night.
- Eating bananas on an empty stomach in the morning can be bad. This is because it may lead to the imbalance of magnesium and potassium levels in the blood.
- Bananas should not be eaten as a breakfast meal. Only after having certain grain- based food, can you go for bananas. This will help you have a balanced breakfast.
- Thus, if you keep these simple don’ts in mind, you might save yourself from the trouble of having unnecessary problems, arising out of this simple yet beneficial fruit.
The Health Benefits!
Bananas and their health benefits are well-known. Since, ancient times it has been a part and parcel of our existence and has helped in making our lives much tastier and a lot more healthy than what we can ever imagine.
No wonder, why our ancestors included this fruit in their dietary habits!
Well, throwing some lights on the same, let’s look into some of the health benefits we can reap from this humble fruit!
- It has been found that bananas are a good source of magnesium that is required for protein synthesis, muscle contraction and relaxation as well as for boosting Lipolysisboosting the Lipolysis ( a process through which the body releases its stored fat).
- Anxiety and stress is one such issue in today’s world that requires more attention than normal. There are so many medicines attributed towards its treatment that one may get confused as to what is the best.
- One can boost one’s mood in a simple and natural way, just by eating bananas on a regular basis. Its antidepressant chemical treats anger, irritability, fear, anxiety and other related issues and thus, helps cope with the mentioned problem.
- Bananas are also capable of regulating blood pressure levels as they are high in potassium and low in sodium. This in turn protects the body from heart attacks and strokes.
- Several studies point out that bananas are extremely good for those who suffer from poor digestion. They contain prebiotics that are good for the gut. In totality, it leads to a better bowel movement of the body.
- When you suffer from loose stool, having bananas can help you as they work as a binding agent. The nutrients that are lost from the body during diarrhea, get restored after consuming bananas.
- Skin problems are something which we all hate and feel embarrassed to share with others. However, bananas can help in that as the white lining found inside their peel can help in getting rid of skin issues such as acne, warts, minor burns and psoriasis amongst others.
- Feeling low on energy! Get hold on bananas and you are sorted. This is because this humble fruit is rich in glucose that provides quick and optimal energy to oneself.
- Thus, to be able to lead an illness-free life is not that difficult, if you look closely at some of the natural things that surround your everyday schedule. So, if you wanna have a great healthy life, fall back on the age-old eating habits that puts bananas at its midst!
Harmful Effects Of Over Consumption Of Bananas!
No matter how good the thing is, it invariably contains some harmful effects and so does banana. The over consumption of them can actually fall back on you and cause discomfort that you may not be looking forward to.
So, let’s have a look at some of the ways bananas can prove a bit problematic, if consumed voraciously:-
- Causes Constipation
When you consume too many bananas, your fiber intake increases drastically. On the one hand, where having fiber in moderation supports a healthy digestive system, over consumption can reverse the benefits and cause gas, constipation, bloating and other digestive problems.
- Weight Gain
One thing that we all dread is gaining weight. And this is what happens when you consume bananas uncontrollably. Since, they are high-calorie foods, they can make you gain extra pounds in no time, which we all know is harder to shed off.
- Dental Problems
Sugar and starch is found in abundance in bananas. This sugar from the fruit can actually cost your teeth and cause several problems like tooth decay, enamel erosion and much more. Therefore, it is recommended to contain the number of bananas you eat in a day.
- Spike In The Sugar Level
As mentioned before, bananas are a sugary item and hence, those who suffer from diabetes can catch some serious problems. Bananas are rich in carbohydrates and they cause a rapid increase in the blood sugar level if eaten too much.
Thus, it has been recommended to eat bananas, taking into consideration how much is not too much. So, enjoy this fruit in moderation and you’ll never suffer the pain of having to go to the clinic after consuming your favourite fruit.
Bananas thus, possess a rich past that is garlanded with immense appreciation and admiration by the people of different cultures and time periods. With as many health benefits one can think of, it has acquired a much more eloquent place over the years.
Today, the splendour of this yellow attired fruit needs to be considered and given the due place that it commands!