by Lizette Barretto-Gueco, FoodfindsAsia.com |
Don’t you just love bananas? My Lola, bless her soul, used to force a banana on us after meals, so for a long time I got tired of it. She presented it to us as a vital mineral instead of as a treat. “Have some potassium” she would say. It was as unappetizing as a wet sock! But looking back, she was really doing us all a favor. She knew the many benefits of the lowly banana. I have made my peace with the banana since I’ve started cooking with it. The banana and I are friends for life now and it will surely prolong my life as well.
The health benefits of bananas are endless and amazing.
- It is an energy booster. It contains the 3 natural sugars; fructose, glucose and sucrose which initiates an instant swoosh of energy and sustains it during the most strenuous of workouts thus making it the snack of choice of athletes. No wonder my Lola was always on the go like the energizer bunny.
- It reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. When we are stressed, our potassium levels drop and our metabolic rates hasten causing our heart to work overtime. It maintains the balance of fluid and electrolytes in our body. The potassium in bananas help to normalize our heartbeat and brings oxygen to the brain thus rebalancing our out of whack system caused by stress.
- It is a feel good fruit. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in the banana, helps in the production of seratonin, which is a mood enhancer. Seratonin is also found in Prozac. My Lola was always so cheerful as she went about her daily routine. I guess that was her secret weapon. Either the banana or the Prozac! Not!!!!! She was a natural woman.
- It is a good source of fiber. It provides roughage which normalizes the bowel movements. It is a natural remedy for both constipation and diarrhea.
- The banana peel has its uses too. The inside of the peel can be used as a shoe polish and some people swear that it relieves the itching and swelling from a mosquito bite. Hmmmm… This is definitely a tip worth remembering.
These are my top 5 reasons for making banana a staple in my family’s diet. I have learned my lesson from childhood and I now present it to my family in ways that are appetizing.
Sharing my healthy, moist banana walnut bread recipe. Every time I make this, it never leaves the cooling rack. It’s gone in 60 seconds…… This time, it lasted long enough for me to take a picture of it.
60 second Banana Walnut Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- For the swirl:
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
Set oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Beat eggs. Add coconut oil and then the sugars. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and fold into the egg mixture until combined. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top and swirl with a knife. Bake for about 1 hour. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center.
I hope yours lasts more than 60 seconds. Enjoy!
* * *
About the Author
Lizette Barretto Gueco is a regular columnist at FoodFindsAsia.com. She writes about her life’s passions which are family, home, food, relationships and how they fit in perfectly in her scheme of things and in the circle of life.
Lizette is now a busy home based mom after working in marketing and the travel industry for some time. She also ventured into jewelry design while she was a partner at a prestigious jewelry store at Greenbelt 5. Aside from juggling family schedules and managing the home, she also finds time to bake and sell her sweet offerings from her home as well as indulge in her other hobbies like jewelry making and arts and crafts. She is an amateur filmmaker, traveler, foodie, dreamer and lover of life.
Lizette is a graduate of AB Communication arts from the Ateneo de Manila University. You can email her at email@example.com