Bananas – why we love them

Brought to you by Mrs H

 

When I was younger, I used to love watching the New Adventures of Superman. Partly because Dean Cain was HOT, partly because Teri Hatcher had cool outfits, but mainly because I really identified with Superman’s plight – what kryptonite was to him, bananas were to me.

My quarter century long loathing of them was extreme to say the least; I would walk a particular way around the supermarket to avoid them, I banned Mr H from bringing them into our home and I even enforced an (extremely strict) embargo on anyone eating them around me in the office.

Two years ago, if someone had walked up to me in a dark alleyway and put a banana to my head, I most certainly would have given them my handbag. So what’s changed? Well, when I decided to change my diet, I begun browsing online for ideas and discovered a whole new world of healthy recipes. Unfortunately for me, a large amount of them listed bananas as a key ingredient. So I said goodbye to gluten, dairy and sugar and reluctantly embraced my kryptonite.

Nutritionally, our pyjama-clad friends are quite something. They are packed with potassium (good for heart health), have high levels of tryptophan (which can help in overcoming depression), and are high in fibre (aiding digestion) and vitamin b6 (which can help weight loss). And that’s just the half of it!

These days, I have at least one banana a day in some way, shape or form. Here’s a few of my favourite vegan, refined-sugar-free, delicious recipes – I challenge you not to go bananas for them!

Banana bread. This was my segue into banana-land – I tried out Deliciously Ella’s fabulous banana bread recipe (http://deliciouslyella.com/recipe/banana-bread/), and it was delightful . All you need is five bananas and some almonds, pecans, chia seeds, maple syrup, buckwheat flour, cinnamon and chia seeds. Simples. I love it fresh out the oven with almond butter, and if there’s any left after Mr H has guzzled then I take some with me to work – it’s the best afternoon snack.

Smoothies. Bananas provide a fabulous, creamy smoothie base. I whizz one up every morning with whatever veggies and fruits I have in the fridge, plus some homemade almond milk. It’s a cheap, tasty way to ensure I get my 5-a-day (and the rest!).

‘Nice cream’. This is a great little summer recipe, and so delicious but guilt-free! Chop two bananas into coins and freeze for a day or so, then blend with a cup of almond milk and 2 tbsp of nut butter until it reaches an ice cream like consistency. Serve with your choice of toppings (I serve it with a dollop of my homemade chocolate sauce – melt 2 tbsp coconut oil with a tbsp of maple syrup and 2 tbsp cacao powder) and enjoy!

Banana pancakes. I created this recipe when an attack of pancake FOMO made me realise I needed a healthy alternative for Shrove Tuesday. It’s so simple; mash up one banana with ¼ cup buckwheat flour, and add in some almond milk until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter (about ¼ cup). Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract to taste and fry in coconut oil until golden. I like to add blueberries into my batter and top with my homemade chocolate sauce (see above) but you could add whatever you fancy or just keep it plain, either way I promise you mouth-watering deliciousness!

Chocolate Mousse. This is unreal. Combine a banana, an avocado, 3 tbsp coconut oil, 4 tablespoons cacao powder and 2 tbsp maple syrup in a food processor until super silky and smooth. Refrigerate for an hour, then get out your spoon and get ready for a taste of heaven.

So if you’re suffering from bananaphobia, I hope I’ve managed to convince you that it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Now get yourself down the grocery aisle and start feeling like Superwoman.

Love, D&H xx

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