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MoonDragon's Nutrition Information
FOOD & NUTRIENT GUIDE: FRUITS

BANANA
(Raw)






Scientific Name:     Musa X paradisiaca

  • Nutrition Basics: Banana Herbal Information & Products


  • BANANA - A DESCRIPTION

    Banana is the common name for a type of fruit and also the herbaceous plants of the genus Musa which produce this commonly eaten fruit. They are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia. Bananas are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics. Banana plants are of the family Musaceae. They are cultivated primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent for the production of fiber and as ornamental plants. As the banana plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy they are often mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem (literally "fake stem"). For some species this pseudostem can reach a height of up to 2-8 meters, with leaves of up to 3.5 meters in length. Each pseudostem can produce a bunch of yellow, green or even red bananas before dying and being replaced by another pseudostem.

    The banana fruit grow in hanging clusters, with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand), and 3 to 20 tiers to a bunch. The total of the hanging clusters is known as a bunch, or commercially as a "banana stem," and can weigh from 30 to 50 kilograms. The fruit averages 125 grams, of which approximately 75 percent is water and 25 percent dry matter content. Each individual fruit (known as a banana or 'finger') has a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with a fleshy edible inner portion. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. Western cultures generally eat the inside raw and throw away the skin while some Asian cultures generally eat both the skin and inside cooked. Typically, the fruit has numerous strings (called 'phloem bundles') which run between the skin and inner part. Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin B-6, vitamin C, and potassium.

    Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries. In popular culture and commerce, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet "dessert" bananas. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Bananas may also be cut and dried and eaten as a type of chip. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

    Although the wild species have fruits with numerous large, hard seeds, virtually all culinary bananas have seedless fruits. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas. Almost all export bananas are of the dessert types; however, only about 10 to 15 percent of all production is for export, with the United States and European Union being the dominant buyers.

    BANANA HISTORY

    EARLY CULTIVATION

    The domestication of bananas took place in southeastern Asia. Many species of wild bananas still exist in New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Recent archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence at Kuk Swamp in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea suggests that banana cultivation there goes back to at least 5000 BCE, and possibly to 8000 BCE. This would make the New Guinean highlands the place where bananas were first domesticated. It is likely that other species of wild bananas were later also domesticated elsewhere in southeastern Asia. Southeast Asia is the region of primary diversity of the banana. Areas of secondary diversity are found in Africa, indicating a long history of banana cultivation in the region.

    Actual and probable diffusion of bananas during Islamic times (700-1500 AD). Some recent discoveries of banana phytoliths in Cameroon dating to the first millennium BCE have triggered an as yet unresolved debate about the antiquity of banana cultivation in Africa. There is linguistic evidence that bananas were already known in Madagascar around that time. The earliest evidence of banana cultivation in Africa before these recent discoveries dates to no earlier than late 6th century AD. In this view, bananas were introduced to the east coast of Africa by Muslim Arabs.

    The banana may have been present in isolated locations of the Middle East on the eve of the rise of Islam. There is some textual evidence that the prophet Muhammad was familiar with it. The spread of Islam was followed by the far reaching diffusion of bananas. There are numerous references to it in Islamic texts (such as poems and hadiths) beginning in the ninth century. By the tenth century the banana appears in texts from Palestine and Egypt. From there it diffused into north Africa and Muslim Spain. In fact, during the medieval ages, bananas from Granada were considered amongst the best in the Arab world. In 650, Islamic conquerors brought the banana to Palestine.

    Bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors who brought the fruits from West Africa in the 1500s. The word banana is of West African origin, and passed into English via Spanish or Portuguese.

    PLANTATION CULTIVATION

    In the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese colonists started banana plantations in the Atlantic Islands, Brazil, and western Africa. As late as the Victorian Era, bananas were not widely known in Europe, although they were available via merchant trade. Jules Verne references bananas with detailed descriptions so as not to confuse readers in his book Around the World in Eighty Days (1872).

    In the early 20th century, bananas began forming the basis of large commercial empires, exemplarized by the United Fruit Company, which created immense banana plantations especially in Central and South America. These were usually extremely commercially exploitative, and the term "Banana republic" was coined for states like Honduras and Guatemala, representing the fact that "servile dictatorships" were created and abetted by these companies and their political backers, for example in the USA.

    This information was obtained from Wikipedia.org: Click here to see complete article. For more information about bananas, see www.banana.com.







    HEALTH BENEFITS OF BANANAS

    POTASSIUM & NUTRIENTS

    Bananas are highly recommended by health care providers for their patients with low potassium levels. By a high potassium to sodium content, bananas may prevent high blood pressure and its complications. High fiber content may also contribute to this effect. High potassium may also prevent renal calcium loss, in effect preventing bone breakdown. In diarrhea, it contributes with electrolyte replacement, as well as increased absorption of nutrients. One large banana, about 9 inches in length, packs 602 mg of potassium and only carries 140 calories. That same large banana even has 2 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. the banana has been considered an important food to boost the health of malnourished children. Those reducing sodium in their diets cannot go wrong with a banana with its mere 2 mgs of sodium. For the carbohydrate counters there are 36 grams of carbs in a large banana.

    Bananas also have some antacid effect, protecting from peptic ulcers. Pectin content, a hydrocolloid, can ease constipation by normalizing movement through the intestine. The low glycemic index in unripe bananas is of particular benefit to people with diabetes. High fructooligosaccharide content may work as a prebiotic, nourishing the intestinal flora to produce beneficial vitamins and enzymes.

    Vitamins and minerals are abundant in the banana, offering 123 I.U. of vitamin A for the large size. A full range of B vitamins are present with 0.07 mg of Thiamine, 0.15 mg of Riboflavin, 0.82 mg Niacin, 0.88 mg vitamin B6, and 29 mcg of Folic Acid. There are even 13.8 mg of vitamin C. On the mineral scale Calcium counts in at 9.2 mg, Magnesium 44.1 mg, with trace amounts of iron and zinc.

    Carotenoid content has antioxidant effects, and protects against vitamin A deficiency, resulting in, for example, night blindness.

    Moderate consumption decreases risk of kidney cancer, possibly due to antioxidant phenolic compounds. In contrast, large consumption of highly processed fruit juice increases the risk of kidney cancer.

    Putting all of the nutritional figures together clearly shows the banana is among the healthiest of fruits. The plantain, when cooked, rates slightly higher on the nutritional scale in vitamins and minerals but similar to the banana in protein and fiber content.

    Fruit consumption in general decreases the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

    MEDICINAL USES OF BANANAS

  • Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Anemia

  • Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Stroke

  • Brain Power: 200 students at an English school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

  • Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Constipation

  • Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin - known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Depression

  • Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hangover

  • Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Heartburn

  • Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Pregnancy: Morning Sickness

  • Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Insect Bite

  • Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Stress
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Anxiety Disorder

  • Overweight & Work-Related Stress: Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods (such as bananas) every two hours to keep levels steady.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Obesity
    MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Panic

  • PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana instead. The vitamin B-6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: PMS

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Depression

  • Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as the high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Smoking Therapy
    MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Smoking

  • Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

  • MoonDragon's Women's Health & Wellness: Stress

  • Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine" eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40 percent.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Stroke

  • Temperature Control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

  • Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Peptic Ulcer
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Indigestion

  • Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Warts

    The above information was obtained from www.banana.com. See this link for more information and recipes.

    ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO BANANAS

    There are two forms of banana allergy. One is oral allergy syndrome which causes itching and swelling in the mouth or throat within one hour after ingestion and is related to birch tree and other pollen allergies. The other is related to latex allergies and causes urticaria and potentially serious upper gastrointestinal symptoms.





    NUTRITION GUIDE: BANANAS

    Courtesy of Rick Hall, About.com Nutrition Guide nutrition.about.com.

    NUTRIENT UNITS 1 Medium (7 to 7-7/8 inches long)
    -------
    118.000 g
       PROXIMATES
          Water
    g
    87.627
          Energy
    kcal
    180.560
          Energy
    kj
    454.300
          Protein
    g
    1.215
          Total Lipid (Fat)
    g
    0.566
          Carbohydrate, By Difference
    g
    27.647
          Fiber, Total Dietary
    g
    2.832
          Ash
    g
    0.944
       MINERALS
          Calcium, Ca
    mg
    7.080
          Iron, Fe
    mg
    0.366
          Magnesium, Mg
    mg
    34.220
          Phosphorus, P
    mg
    23.600
          Potassium, K
    mg
    467.280
          Sodium, Na
    mg
    1.180
          Zinc, Zn
    mg
    0.189
          Copper, Cu
    mg
    0.123
          Manganese, Mn
    mg
    0.179
          Selenium, Se
    mcg
    1.298
       VITAMINS
          Vitamin C, ascorbic acid
    mg
    10.738
          Thiamin - B-1
    mg
    0.053
          Riboflavin - B-2
    mg
    0.118
          Niacin - B-3
    mg
    0.637
          Pantothenic Acid - B-5
    mg
    0.307
          Vitamin B-6
    mg
    0.682
          Folate - B-9
    mcg
    22.538
          Vitamin B-12
    mcg
    0.000
          Vitamin A, IU
    IU
    95.580
          Vitamin A, RE
    mcg_RE
    9.440
          Vitamin E
    mg_ATE
    0.319
       LIPIDS
          Fatty Acids, Saturated
    g
    0.218
             4:0 Butyric
    g
    0.000
             6:0 Caproic
    g
    0.000
             8:0 Caprylic
    g
    0.000
             10:0 Capric
    g
    0.001
             12:0 Lauric
    g
    0.002
             14:0 Myristic
    g
    0.004
             16:0 Palmitic
    g
    0.147
             18:0 Stearic
    g
    0.007
          Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
    g
    0.048
             16:1 Palmitol
    g
    0.014
             18:1 Oleic
    g
    0.032
             20:1 Eicosen
    g
    0.000
             22:1 Erucic
    g
    0.000
          Fatty Acids, Polyunsaturated
    g
    0.105
             18:2 Linoleic
    g
    0.066
             18:3 Linolenic
    g
    0.039
             18:4 Stearidon
    g
    0.000
             20:5 EPA
    g
    0.000
             22:5 DPA
    g
    0.000
             22:6 DHA
    g
    0.000
          Cholesterol
    mg
    0.000
          Phytosterols
    mg
    18.880
       AMINO ACIDS
          Tryptophan
    g
    0.014
          Threonine
    g
    0.040
          Isoleucine
    g
    0.039
          Leucine
    g
    0.084
          Lysine
    g
    0.057
          Methionine
    g
    0.013
          Cystine
    g
    0.020
          Phenylalanine
    g
    0.045
          Tyrosine
    g
    0.028
          Valine
    g
    0.055
          Arginine
    g
    0.055
          Histidine
    g
    0.096
          Alanine
    g
    0.046
          Aspartic Acid
    g
    0.133
          Glutamic Acid
    g
    0.131
          Glycine
    g
    0.044
          Proline
    g
    0.047
          Serine
    g
    0.055


    USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 12 (March 1998)







    SHOPPING FOR BANANAS

    The banana plant is not a tree, but it is actually the world's largest herb. Bananas are eaten raw, either alone or cut in slices with sugar and cream, or wine and orange juice. They are also baked, roasted, fried or boiled, and are made into breads, muffins, fritters, preserves, and marmalades. When you are shopping for bananas, choosing your bananas will depend on what you are planning on doing with them once you get them home. Everyone has their own philosophy about buying bananas.

    TYPES OF BANANAS

    At this moment there are five different types of bananas common on the market:
    • Red Bananas: have a green/red peel and pink fruit flesh. They taste the same like yellow bananas. The redder a fruit, the more carotene it contains, so maybe they are healthier than their yellow colleagues.

    • Fruit-Bananas: are the normal, yellow bananas, 15 to 30 cm.

    • Apple-Bananas: are smaller, 8 to 10 cm., and ripen faster. They are also yellow.

    • The Baby-Banana (pisang susa): is yellow as well and measures 6 to 8 cm. It is the sweetest of the banana family.

    • Baking Bananas: are 30 to 40 cm. large and are green, yellow or red-like. They cannot be eaten raw. They fulfill the role of the potato in the tropical countries.

    Yellow bananas are available year around in your supermarket or local grocery store. Other varieties may also be available in large supermarkets, but ethnic markets are the place to shop for the exotic varieties of bananas. Philippine, Hispanic, and Thai markets often offer more diversity in banana varieties. There you can find red bananas, burro bananas, plantains, and occasionally Lady Fingers. Select bananas that are slightly green, firm, and without bruises. If the bananas have a gray tint and a dull appearance, these have been refrigerated, preventing them from ripening properly. Most Americans avoid purchasing plantains mainly because they do not know how to select them and what to do with them. Plantains can be purchased in any state of ripeness, from very green and firm to completely black and soft, but it is important to note that the very green ones will test your patience. Banana chips are available in most supermarkets. Because they are sometimes deep-fried in unhealthy oils, they are very high in calories. These should be avoided or if you eat them, do so only occasion and not regularly.

    banana ripening chart


    CHOOSING YELLOW BANANAS

    Bananas that are brown and mushy are usually not the right choice when you plan on eating them on your cereal, however, these over-ripe bananas are great for making banana bread or banana muffins. If you are going to make banana bread grab the ones that are wrapped in red tape for a quick and easy sale. They are cheaper and they are going to be more flavorful and more sweet. They will be great for baking or in other recipes requiring soft, sweet, easily mashed bananas.

    Others prefer all yellow with a tint of brown beginning. These are fully ripe and can be used immediately and are good in smoothies and some salads or other recipes.

    Some people prefer them all yellow and ready to eat immediately. These are fine if you are planning on using them that day. Within the next day or so, they may be too ripe and will need to be used for baking.

    Most people will choose bananas that are yellow with a hint or more of green near the stem end of the banana. These will need to set on your kitchen counter for a day or so to finish ripening before you eat them, depending on how much green is present.

    Some people choose bananas that are almost green. These are unripe bananas and will take a few days or more to ripen before you can use them. Keep in mind, bananas ripen fairly quickly.

    The choice is really up to you, it also again depends on what you are going to do with them. Buy a variety of ripe and unripe bananas together if you want them to use for baking, immediate use in cereals and smoothies and for later use in the week.

    Generally, you should choose bananas that are not bruised or have dark marks or blemishes on the banana skin and are firm and uniform in shape and bright yellow color.

    STORING BANANAS

    Bananas are very fragile and should be stored in a place where they will be protected from bruising. The Size of the banana does not affect its quality, so choose the size that suits you and your use the best. Never store unripe bananas in the refrigerator. They simply will not ripen properly because the cold interferes with the ripening process. Bringing refrigerated bananas back to room temperature will not reverse the process. However, once bananas are ripe, they can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Take note that their skins will turn black. Give yellow-green bananas time to ripen at room temperature to a sunny yellow color, from one to three days, or they will taste astringent and be difficult to digest.

    Ripen plantains at room temperature. They may take up to three weeks to soften and ripen to a dull yellow color mottled with numerous black spots.

    Most fruits give off an ethylene gas in the process of ripening. Because bananas release a higher concentration of ethylene gas, they ripen quickly. If you have bought green bananas and want to accelerate the ripening, place them into a paper or plastic bag. Adding an apple to the bag will encourage faster ripening. Their peel will become progressively brown, but the pulp will not be affected.

    To take advantage of very ripe bargain bananas, simply peel them, cut them into chunks, sprinkle them with some lemon juice over the pulp to prevent discoloration and wrap them in plastic. Tuck them into the freezer and use as needed for smoothies, or defrost and mash them for baking or making fruit sauces. They can be stored this way for up to 2 months. To improve their flavor, it is best to have bananas at room temperature before using.





    bananasplit dessert


    BANANA SERVING IDEAS

    A popular dish in the Caribbean features banana fritters flavored with rum, a dish that consists of chunks of bananas dipped in flour, then into a rich batter. They are deep-fried in hot oil until golden and then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

    Panchamrutham, confections that are spiced and sweetened with honey, are a favorite in India. Other favorites of India include Sweet Banana Lassi, a sweet cooling beverage made of yoghurt and banana, and a sweet yogurt cheese made with banana, pistachios and almonds, and spiced with cardamom.

    The Banana Split, America's classic dessert, became popular in the 1920s. Its first appearance in Pennsylvania in 1904 consisted of a banana split in half, lengthwise, two or three scoops of ice cream, a generous serving of chocolate sauce and strawberry sauce, and the traditional maraschino cherry on the top.

    Brazilians make a dessert with mashed bananas mixed with brown sugar, grated ginger, and cinnamon or cloves. This mixture is slowly cooked over low heat until it thickens. When cool, it is molded into a roll, then sliced and served cold.

    The banana flower, also called the banana heart, is stripped of its outer reddish leaves, sliced and added to salads, cooked in coconut milk, cooked into curry dishes, or added to vegetable stews throughout Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Even the leaves of the banana plant become incorporated into the cuisines of nearly all of the tropical regions that grow bananas. A banana leaf can be as long as twelve feet by two feet in width, so pieces of one leaf can go a long way. Wrapping combinations of vegetables and spices in banana leaves and steaming them is common from Central America to Java. The flavor can be described as smoky, slightly cooling, and delicately fragrant. The banana leaf also provides the ideal barrier between the pot and the wood fire, preventing many a rice dish or vegetable stew from burning. In many rural areas of the Philippines the banana leaf is almost essential where cooking over a wood fire is the only way to cook. Throughout Southeast Asia and parts of India the banana leaf is also used as serving plate, and a number of leaves double as a tablecloth. Sometimes a piece of banana leaf is twisted into a small cone and held together with a sliver to create a container for peanuts or boiled corn. A larger cone becomes that day's container for a farmer's lunch, or it might hold some rice and fish. It even doubles as a container for a take-out meal from the local Chinese restaurant. Banana leaves are also used as thatching for houses and the base for hemp-like rope. In the Philippines banana fibers are used to make paper.

    Information from Banana.com: Cooking Recipes.






    BANANA BREAD RECIPE #1

    Ingredients:
      2 cups All-Purpose Flour
      1/2 cup Sugar
      3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
      1/2 teaspoon Salt
      1 cup toasted Walnuts or Pecans, chopped
      3 ripe, soft, darkly speckled large Bananas, mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
      1/4 cup plain Yogurt
      2 large Eggs, beaten lightly
      6 tablespoons Butter, melted then cooled
      1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

    Instructions:

    Preparation: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of non-stick 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan. Combine dry ingredients together in large bowl and set aside. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for 4 days, on the counter for 2 days.

    BANANA BREAD RECIPE #2

    A classic banana bread without nuts added.

    Ingredients:
      3 mashed, Yellow Bananas
      1/3 cup melted Butter
      2/3 to 1 cup Sugar
      1 beaten Egg
      1 teaspoon Vanilla
      1 teaspoon Baking Soda
      A pinch of Salt
      1-1/2 cups of flour

    Instructions:

    Preheat your oven to 350°F. Put the bananas and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix them. Then add the egg, sugar and vanilla. Then mix in the salt and baking soda. Finally, add the flour and mix. The mixture should be poured into a buttered loaf pan (4 X 8 inches), then baked for about 1 hour. After cooking, let it cool down, remove from the pan, slice and serve.

    If you want to add nuts, chopped pecans and/or walnuts can be added. You can also add raisins, if desired.

    GREEN BANANA & POTATO SALAD

    Ingredients:
      2-1/2 pounds Red-skin or Yukon Gold Potatoes
      3 pounds Greenish-Yellow Bananas (7 or 8)
      2 medium Onions, sliced
      1/2 cup Spanish Capers, drained
      1 cup Pimiento-Stuffed Spanish Olives
      3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      1/2 cup White Vinegar
      1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
      2-1/2 teaspoons Salt
      1 teaspoon milled Black Pepper

    Ingredients:

    Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook in boiling, salted water until firm-tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Peel and slice bananas into 1-inch pieces. Add bananas to the potato pot and boil 1 minute more. Drain. In a large serving bowl, layer the warm bananas and potatoes with sliced onions, capers and olives, which have been cut in half crosswise. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, then pour dressing over the salad. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

    Makes 10 servings.

    RED SNAPPER WITH PECAN-BANANA BUTTER

    Ingredients:
      1/2 cup Flour
      2 teaspoons hot Paprika
      1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
      1/2 teaspoon Salt
      1/2 cup Milk 3 tablespoons Peanut or Canola oil
      4 6-ounce Red Snapper Fillets (or Catfish or Haddock)
      4 tablespoons Butter
      1/3 cup finely chopped Pecans
      1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
      Pinch Salt
      1 large firm-ripe Banana, diced
      2 tablespoons fresh Lime Juice
      2 tablespoons minced fresh Cilantro or Parsley

    Instructions:

    Stir together the flour, paprika, thyme and salt on a large plate. Pour milk into a shallow bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot, not smoking. Dip fish in milk, then flour mixture. Cook in hot oil, in batches if necessary, until browned on the bottom. Turn fillets and brown other side, about 4 minutes per side for 1-inch fillets. Remove to a platter and keep warm.

    Drain cooking oil and wipe skillet with paper towels. Heat butter over medium heat and add pecans, nutmeg and salt. Cook, stirring, until pecans are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add bananas and cook, stirring, about 1 minute or just until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Place fillets on warm plates, spoon some sauce over each and serve immediately.

    Makes 4 servings.

    BRAZILIAN BRAISED CHICKEN & BANANAS

    Ingredients:
      4 pounds Chicken Thighs & Legs (attached)
      1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice
      Salt & milled Black Pepper, to taste
      3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
      1 medium Onion, chopped
      6 Plum Tomatoes, seeded, chopped
      Pinch of Sugar

      1 cup Dry White Wine
      1/2 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
      3 tablespoons Butter
      6 firm-ripe Bananas, halved lengthwise
      1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

    Instructions:

    Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub it all over with lemon juice and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. In a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Brown chicken on all sides until golden brown. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add the onion, tomatoes and sugar to pan and cook, stirring, until soft. Return chicken pieces to pan, add the wine and broth, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and cover pan. Simmer until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

    In another large skillet, heat butter and saute banana halves on both sides until golden brown. Arrange bananas on top of the chicken in the skillet and sprinkle them with the Parmesan. Turn heat on low, cover and cook just until cheese melts. Use a large spatula to transfer the chicken with banana on top to plates.

    Makes 6 servings.

    BANANA PUDDING

    Ingredients:
      3 sliced Ripe Bananas
      2 cups Milk
      2 tablespoons Cornstarch
      Dash of Salt
      1 teaspoon Vanilla
      3 beaten Eggs
      1 cup of Sugar
      Vanilla wafers

    Instructions:

    First, mix eggs and sugar, then add cornstarch, salt and milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, while stirring constantly. Keep on cooking until thickened. Remove from heating and add vanilla, mixing well. Layer the vanilla wafers, pudding and bananas in a serving bowl.

    Serves 6 to 8.

    BANANA SPLIT RECIPE

    This is a traditional banana split.

    Ingredients:
      1 long Ripe Banana
      1 scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream
      1 scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream
      1 scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream
      Pineapple Topping
      Chocolate Topping
      Strawberry Topping
      Crushed Nuts
      Whipped Cream (canister-type recommended)
      1 Maraschino Cherry

    Instructions:

    Cut the banana in half lengthwise and lay it on a long dish (which is usually called "boat"), with the inside of the banana facing up. Put the 3 balls of ice-cream on the inside of the banana, then top the chocolate ice-cream with chocolate topping, the vanilla ice-cream with pineapple topping and the strawberry ice-cream with strawberry topping. Spray the whipped cream on top, then sprinkle the crushed nuts, and finally add the maraschino cherry. You can substitute caramel sauce instead of pineapple topping, if desired.

    BANANA RECIPE LINKS

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  • Pastry Wiz: Banana Recipes
  • Banana Recipes US: Banana Recipes
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  • Southern Food - About.com: Banana Recipes
  • Elise.com: Banana Cookies Recipe
  • Recipezaar: Over 5,000 Banana Recipes
  • Homecooking - About.com: Banana Recipes
  • Banana Bread: The Best Banana Bread Recipes







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