Ah the banana! One of the most beloved fruit in the world! Star of the banana breads, muffins, and banana splits, this fruit is native to Malaysia. Nowadays, bananas are harvested in more than 135 countries, Asia being the leading continent of production. Besides, the Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana banana trees are the varieties that produce most of the edible bananas. In fact, there are more than a thousand kinds of bananas available. They are however divided into 2 categories: dessert bananas and cooking bananas.

GOOD TO KNOW: Trivia question! Can a diabetic person eat bananas? Read the article to know the answer! Besides, banana bread is good for health!

BPT loves bananas since they are a good source of fiber! Plus, they are associated with numerous health benefits, such as an improved intestinal transit.

  • What Are the Advantages of Bananas?

    Bananas are low in calories

    Bananas are a fruit of low energy density, meaning they have few calories for their size. This fruit can therefore be a part of a healthy and balanced diet!

    Bananas are a good source of potassium

    This yellow fruit is known to be one of the richest in potassium. Both an electrolyte and a mineral, potassium has an electric charge. It is therefore essential to overall muscular function, including the heart. In fact, potassium helps control high blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

    Bananas are rich in antioxidants

    Bananas are full of antioxidants! For example, they contain carotenoids and phytosterols. Their nutritional values and antioxidant components provide health benefits such as the prevention of some chronic diseases.

  • How to Pick the Best Banana

    If you want to eat a banana straight away, choose one that is yellow and has a few brown spots. In fact, the more a banana is brown, the more sweet it tastes. That it is why they are often used in desserts or pastries. Otherwise, if you’re looking for bananas to eat later in the week, choose green or slightly yellow ones. This way they will finish their ripening process at your house.

    Availability of bananas

    Since bananas are one of the most imported fruits in the world, they can be found all year long in grocery stores. Indeed, they can easily be spotted in the fresh fruit section thanks to their bright colour. Bananas can also be found in the frozen product section.

    How to store bananas

    Generally, bananas should be kept at room temperature. This way, they can continue their ripening process and release ethylene. Besides, if you place your bananas in a paper bag, they will ripen faster since the ethylene is trapped.

    To slow down the ripening, place your bananas in the refrigerator. The peel may become black, but the flesh will stay fresh for about a week. You could also store your bananas in the freezer for a few months. However, you should know these bananas will taste much sweeter once thawed and their texture will be mushy.


    Banana Q&A

  • Are there really blue bananas?

    Yes, blue bananas exist. In fact, they’re a variety from South-East Asia called “Blue Java”. These unusual bananas have a creamy flesh that tastes like vanilla pastry cream! That is why there are so popular for smoothie or sorbet recipes.

  • Do bananas grow on trees?

    No. In fact, though often called “banana tree”, the banana plant doesn’t actually have a trunk. The long and robust stem that bears the leaves and bananas is called a pseudostem. So, banana trees are actually giant herbs!

  • How does one eat a banana?

    It may seem simple, but many people peel their banana wrong. In fact, it should not be opened from the stem end, but rather by the brown tip. This way, there will be less strings on your fruit and the stem can be used as handle.

  • Why do bananas become sweeter as they ripen?

    Bananas get sweeter over time because of the transformation of their sugars. During the ripening process, the starch is converted into simple sugar, which is much sweeter. So, the more ripe a banana is, the more it contains simple sugar, and the more it tastes sweet.

  • Do bananas ripen other fruits faster?

    Yes. Since bananas release ethylene, they ripen other climacteric fruits if stored close to them. Climacteric fruits are fruits who continue their ripening process after harvest. Apples, pears, kiwis, and avocados are such fruits.

Did you know that

you can eat green bananas even if they are not ripe?

Banana Uses

  • Banana puree: Banana puree is delicious in many desserts. You could also add it in your next fruit compote recipe.
  • Banana bread: With frozen ripe bananas, flour, baking powder, and a bit of butter, you can make a moist banana bread.
  • Banana muffins: A banana muffin with a few fresh fruits makes the perfect snack!
  • Banana split : Garnished with ice cream, fresh fruits, syrup, and nuts, bananas make a great dessert for banana split lovers!
  • Banana smoothie: Adding a few bananas to your favourite smoothie recipes will make your beverage even creamier.
  • Plantain banana puree: In many countries, plantain bananas are boiled and pureed, just like we would cook our potatoes. 
  • Fried banana: By frying a banana you can get a delicious banana doughnut. Fried plantain bananas are also excellent as a salty side dish.
  • Banana energy balls: Another great snack to make with bananas! Plus, there’s an infinite number of possible flavour combinations. Why not make your next energy balls with bananas and peanut butter?
  • Banana ketchup: Originally from the Philippines, this banana ketchup makes a great change from the traditional tomato ketchup and can be used in burgers or with any meats!
  • Roasted banana: Cut your banana (with the peel) in half lengthwise and grill them 5 minutes on each side on the BBQ or over the fire. When ready to serve, sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa powder!
  • Banana en papillote: Without removing the peel, make an incision in the middle of the banana, lengthwise, without cutting it completely. Add dark chocolate pieces in the middle, then wrap the banana in aluminium foil. Cook it on the BBQ or over the fire for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Nutritional Values of Bananas

Bananas are low in calorie and rich in fibers. They also provide a significant amount of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and antioxidants! With all these advantages, bananas are irresistible!

PortionUnit1 medium banana (18 cm to 20 cm)250 ml sliced bananas (158 g)250 ml mashed bananas (238 g)
Vitamin Aµg3.54.87.1
Thiamin (B1)mg0.040.050.07
Riboflavin (B2)mg0.090.120.17
Niacin (B3)NE11.31.9
Pantothenic acid (B5)mg0.390.530.79
Pyridoxine (B6)mg0.430.580.87
Biotin (B8)µgNDNDND
Folic acid (B9)µg23.631.747.6
Cobalamin (B12)µg000
Vitamin Cmg10.313.820.7
Vitamin Dµg000
Vitamin E (Tocopherol, alpha)mg0.10.20.2
Vitamin Kµg0.60.81.2
Source: Canadian Nutrient FileFood code: 1704.Food code: 1704.Food code: 1704.