December 7, 2010

Bananas For Your Little Monkeys!

Total Prep Time: Approximately 60 minutes
1 Vegetables & Fruit (1 banana)

Yellow; Sweet; Convenient ... BANANAS!

                                                 Health Facts:
  • One large (9 inch) banana contains 602 mg of potassium, 2 g of protein and 4 grams of fibre!
  • It also contains 36 g of fibre and carries 140 calories
  • Excellent source of A and B Vitamins, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin and Folic Acid
  • Although they have a creamy texture, they contain no fat
  • A portable snack, perfect for day trips or break time at work
Fun Facts:
  • The banana plant is not a tree, it's the world's largest herb!
  • Bananas are nature's 'good mood' food - they contain tryptophan and Vitamin B6.  When combined, they help the body product seratonin
  • Bananas got their name from the Arab word for finger, "banan".  A bunch of bananas is called a hand
  • The waste (peel) is biodegradable, therefore bananas are waste-free! 

Bananas can always be found in our fruit bowl.  I often pack one into Big-A's backpack for his school snack, and they're a common dessert for both my boys.  I serve sliced bananas in yogurt for snack time at home, and sliced bananas over Rice Krispies for breakfast.  Not a day goes by that Lil-J doesn't walk by the counter pointing and yelling out "NANA!".  With the health benefits and convenience, they are a staple in our diet. 

Banana bread is not only an ideal school snack for your kiddos, but it's a simple snack for your preschoolers.  I cut a slice into small cubes for Lil-J.  It's also a great to have on hand for a quick breakfast.  If you don't already have an amazing recipe for banana bread, try this one out.  My mother shared it with me many years back and it's the only one that I make.

Banana Bread

1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
2 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3-4 overripe bananas, mashed

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Blend flour and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Add mashed bananas to dry mixture.  Using a fork, blend bananas into dry mixture just until combined (the mixture will look like small balls of dough).
  4. Using a hand mixer, blend margarine/butter, eggs and sugar.  Add to dry banana mixture, stirring gently.  
  5. Pour mixture into a lined or buttered loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Let the loaf sit for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and allow it to cool completely before storing.

1. Instead of greasing your loaf pan, line it with aluminum foil.  You won't be scrubbing pans, and it makes removing the loaf from the pan very easy.  You can store the loaf in the same foil.
2. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips for a special treat.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe!

No comments: