Americans eat more than three billion pounds of bananas a year, adding up to roughly 300 bananas a second. Soft and sweet, rich in potassium and bursting with fiber, it’s no wonder bananas are hailed as a super food!
- There are nearly 1,000 different kinds of bananas, but very few of them are actually sold in stores.
- A banana plant isn’t actually a tree – it’s technically an herb!
- Some cultures use banana peel fibers to make paper.
- The banana is a rock star. More songs have been created about it than any other fruit. Check out this playlist of our favorites!
- The fruit’s combination of tryptophan and vitamin B6 produces the neurochemical serotonin, which can stave off depression and improve overall mental health.
- Bananas have been recorded as far back as ancient Egypt. There are even bananas depicted in hieroglyphics!
In our bodies, bananas fuel us with energy and nutrients. The potassium wards off muscle cramps and the antioxidants ease stomach ulcers. But bananas are good for more than just banana bread. You can harness the full power of bananas in some very interesting ways, particularly by:
- Adding bananas to cake batter, resulting in a moister and naturally sweet dessert. We recommend substituting up to half of the oil in the recipe with banana puree. It’s also a delicious addition to pancakes!
- Putting banana peels in your watering can to create a natural fertilizer for your plants.
- Placing peels on chicken breasts as they cook to keep them moist and tender.
- Mashing a banana and using the puree as a face mask. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes for super moist skin!
- Using the peel to polish silverware and leather.
- Easing itchy bites and rashes with the inside of the peel.
Ultimately, however, even with these inventive uses, we can all admit that the best part of a banana is its flavor. To keep your bananas from browning too quickly, wrap the stems in plastic wrap to lock in the ethylene gas, keeping them yellow for days. Or find another use for them this National Banana Lover’s Day (that’s today!) by putting on your banana mask, polishing your silverware and cooking up one of these delicious banana recipes:
Fresh Fruit Pizza: This simple dessert pizza starts with a crust made from brown sugar and walnuts. It’s topped with cream cheese and a variety of fruits, including, of course, bananas.
Sunrise Muffins with Honey Butter: Combining buttermilk and cinnamon with pineapples and carrots gives these muffins a delectable and savory flavor. Ripened bananas make these muffins moist and sweet.
Chill Out Banana Coffee Cream Pie: Who needs an afternoon coffee break when this recipe exists? Vanilla wafer cookies, coffee extract and bananas give this dish a creamy, sweet flavor.
Banana Maple Beignets: This French pastry mixes banana chips and maple syrup together for an extraordinary breakfast experience.