Posted on: April 30, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Bananas are fickle. They stay green for a while, they turn yellow for a day or two, and all of a sudden, they are brown. That’s how people are suddenly burdened with too many brown bananas and a desperate need for banana bread. After all, how many bananas are people able to eat in the short time span of their ripeness?  

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Fortunately, there is a simpler and extremely delicious way to eat ripe bananas, and it’s nowhere near as time-consuming as banana bread and it’s even simpler than banana ice cream.  

The Health Benefits of Bananas 

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits and for good reason. They are delicious, versatile, and nutritious.  

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The reason bananas are so popular among athletes is primarily for their mineral content and easily digestible carbohydrates. They may help lessen muscle cramps from exercising and soreness. They also provide good nutrition before and after endurance exercises. [1] 

Potassium helps maintain fluid levels in the body and process the movement of nutrients and waste in the cells. This mineral helps muscles contract and nerve cells respond, which makes it beneficial for heart health. When it comes to blood pressure, sodium seems to get all the attention, but potassium is an important piece of the puzzle. By consuming adequate amounts of this mineral from foods (i.e. whole foods, with little processed), it may help to offset some of the negative consequences of excess sodium. [2] Potassium is also essential for healthy kidney function. Studies have found that those who eat bananas 4–6 times a week are about 50% less likely to get kidney disease as opposed to those who don’t eat bananas. [3] 

Read: Banana Ice Creams You’ve Gotta Try: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Papaya Lime, and Strawberry Coconut

Bananas also contain pectin, which is a type of fiber that can help moderate blood sugar levels and reduce appetite. They also rank low to medium on the glycemic index, which measures how fast foods increase blood sugar levels. One a GI scale from 0–100, bananas rank about 51, meaning they shouldn’t cause major spikes in blood sugar levels in healthy people (psst- the green ones are lower GI).  

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Those who are looking for weight loss-friendly foods, add bananas to the list. They have relatively few calories while being extremely nutritious and filling, which can reduce your appetite. Although they have been no studies directing testing the effects of bananas on weight loss, much research has linked eating more fiber from fruits and vegetables to lower body weight. [4] 

Best of all, bananas are so easy to incorporate into your diet.  

Pan-Fried Cinnamon Bananas makes a sweet, healthy, and delicious snack, breakfast, or even dessert. It takes about 10 minutes to make (five minutes for prep and five for cooking) and only needs four ingredients that are already waiting in your pantry.  

Don’t balk at the word “fried” in the name. Fried makes people think of greasy, fatty foods, but that’s definitely not the case with these bananas. The frying method makes them slightly toasted while enhancing their natural sweetness. Healthy and scrumptious. 

Read: Blue Java Banana: The Banana That Tastes ‘Just Like Vanilla Ice Cream’

Pan-Fried Cinnamon Bananas 

Ingredients: 

*Monkfruit is useful for those looking to cut the carbs.

Directions: 

  1. Slice the bananas into rounds, about 1/3 inch thick. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the stevia, monkfruit, or honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if desired). Set aside. 
  3. Lightly spray a large skillet with nonstick oil spray or lightly coat with coconut oil. Warm the skillet over medium heat. 
  4. Add the banana slices and sprinkle or drizzle half of the cinnamon mixture on top.  
  5. Cook for about 2–3 minutes. 
  6. Flip the banana slices, and sprinkle or drizzle them with the remaining cinnamon mixture 
  7. Cook for 2–3 more minutes until the bananas are soft and warmed through. 
  8. Enjoy the bananas fresh from the pan and topped with vanilla ice cream, coconut whipped cream, chopped nuts, or on their own! 

Notes: 

  • Slightly overripe bananas will work best. They should look bright yellow and firm on the outside. You can use overripe bananas; they will be mushy but they will still taste good. 
  • Take care not to overcook the banana slices. If they start to become too soft, they are done. Watch them as they cook since the heat of the stove could be a little too high. 
  • The quality of the oil you use can affect how the banana slices will taste, so be sure to use fresh oil from a good quality brand. Virgin coconut works well, if you enjoy the additional coconut taste and aroma. If you’re looking for something more neutral, try avocado oil.

Keep Reading: Your Favorite Banana Could Go Extinct Thanks To A Deadly Fungus

References: 

[1] Nieman DC1, Gillitt ND, Henson DA, Sha W, Shanely RA, Knab AM, Cialdella-Kam L, Jin F. Bananas as an energy source during exercise: a metabolomics approach. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22616015/ May 17, 2012 

[2] Megan Ware, RDN, L.D and Kathy Warwick, RD, LD. Benefits and health risks of bananas. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157#potassium January 13, 2020 

[3] Rashidkhani B1, Lindblad P, Wolk A. Fruits, vegetables and risk of renal cell carcinoma: a prospective study of Swedish women. Int J Cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15455348 January 20, 2005 

[4] Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN. 11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-bananas#section10 October 18, 2018 

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Sarah Schafer
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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