See also: Bananas, 3rd Most Popular Fruit; Red Bananas; Banana Trivia; Going Bananas; Banana Bread
BANANAS (Tropical Fruits)
Bananas are the most popular fresh fruit in the United States. They have a peel that comes off easily, they ripen after they've been picked, there is a generous supply all year, and they are inexpensive. Bananas have both a high amount of carbohydrates as well as potassium, which also makes them the fruit of choice for many athletes.
(Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992).
Avoid bananas with brown spots that seem very soft. Select those bananas with a nice color, specific for the variety. Choose fruit that is firm and free of bruises. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow skin color is speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.
To further ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe you can store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.
The very popular yellow banana of Cavendish is the banana we see in grocery stores. However, Plantains, Finger Bananas and Red Bananas are also popular varieties. Most all have a soft texture when ripe.
Make Bananas Part of Your 5 A Day Plan
- Use sliced bananas in cereal, yogurt, or on a peanut butter sandwich.
- Carry bananas in your lunch or use as a snack.
- For a cool refreshing treat, cut a banana into chunks and put in the freezer. Take out in a couple of hours and enjoy.