Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

It’s National Banana Day!

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Australian Bananas.

With National Banana Day almost upon us, it seems like the perfect time to share some of my all-time favourite banana recipes!

Bananas are regularly referred to as nature’s energy snack and indeed when we take a closer look at the nutritional profile of a banana they are a perfect pouch of energy with their very own carry case!  First and foremost bananas are a low GI carb rich food perfect for active busy people on the go. With 20-30g of good quality carbs and naturals sugars along with at least 3g of fibre per serve, bananas will give you the natural energy you need to power through your day. Bananas are especially high in Vitamin B6 which is involved in energy metabolism, potassium which plays a key role in keeping our muscles (including our heart) working efficiently and magnesium for optimal muscle functioning and recovery.

Bananas feature on my family’s weekly menu in a number of ways. As a nutritionist, I love my kids to enjoy a banana with their breakfast for a dose of good quality carbs and fibre to start the day. I also regularly use bananas in my baked snacks, including my banana bread and muffins to help fill the twins’ lunchboxes, and also as a soft base for homemade protein balls and I always have a banana in my bag for a quick natural energy hit when I am out and about on a daily basis.

With my clients I regularly use bananas as part of their meal plans, either teaming them with nut spread and high protein bread for a nutritionally balanced breakfast, with nuts as a late afternoon snack or frozen and even dipped in a little dark chocolate as a calorie controlled, natural sweet treat after dinner.

Sometimes fruit including bananas get a bad rap for being high in sugar, but this is far from the truth. While bananas do contain natural sugars as does all fruit, it is still a relatively low amount overall which means that bananas can still take pride of place in any healthy, calorie controlled diet.

So, if you have not had one today, grab yourself one of nature’s superfoods and celebrate National Banana Day with us! Your body will thank you for it!

Banana Bircher

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/3 cup Traditional oats

¾ cup Greek yoghurt

1 small banana, chopped

1 tbsp. chopped walnuts

1 tbsp. Chia

1 tsp. honey or low sugar maple syrup

Method

1. Place oats, chia and yoghurt in a bowl and stir. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Top with chopped banana, walnuts and drizzle of honey or syrup.

Banana Pumpkin Curry

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil

1 onion, sliced thickly

2-3 Tbsp. green curry paste

200g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes

2 cups snow peas

2 large, hard bananas, sliced

375mL can Nestle Carnation Light & Creamy Evaporated Milk

Cauliflower or brown rice as desired

Method

1. Pre-cook pumpkin with a little olive oil at 160deg for 15-20min so it is still firm but slightly softened.

2. In a separate pan, lightly cook sliced bananas with olive oil for 2-3 minutes until browned. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in wok and add pumpkin and cook for another 5-7minutes. Set aside.

4. Add remaining oil to the pan and cook onion for 1-2minutes. Add the curry paste and cook a further 1 minute.

5. Add the snow peas and add pumpkin back in, mix in the evaporated milk, reduce the heat and simmer for 5minutes until the vegetables have cooked through.

6. Serve on a bed of rice and top with caramelized bananas.

Raspberry Banana Coconut Bread

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

1 cup SR flour, sifted

1 cup wholemeal SR flour, sifted

1/2 cup sugar or sugar alternative

1 cup coconut

50g butter

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup natural yoghurt

Vanilla drops

1 cup raspberries

Method

1. Combine flours, sugar and coconut with wet ingredients

2. Add vanilla and beat well. Stir in berries

3. Bake at 170°C for 60 minutes until cooked through

Banana Bites

Ingredients

2 large bananas, mashed

1 cup rolled oats, raw

1 cup pitted dates, chopped

1 cup coconut, shredded (for rolling)

Method

1. Combine the mashed banana with the oats and dates in a blender for 1 minute.

2. Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until firm.

3. Roll the mixture into small-sized balls in your hands.

4. Coat the balls in shredded coconut and store in the fridge.