Healthy Breakfast with Green Bananas
The green banana made it to my list of preferred foods after my nutritionist told me to avoid wheat gluten, which is a major ingredient in almost all breakfast foods. My first reaction to avoiding bread and waffles was “No problem”. I thought I’d just fill up on fruits, including the ripe banana. Then she warned me to limit my intake of sugar (even fructose).
Nothing wheat? Limited fruit? What else could I have for breakfast which is nutritious, filling, inexpensive and easy to prepare? The taste of gluten-free foods which are supposed to have gluten reminds me that they're not what they're supposed to be.
This was my dilemma, until I settled on few foods as wholesome replacements for the flour and the sugar at the breakfast table. Green bananas are high on my list.
In North America and the United Kingdom, green bananas can be found in Caribbean, Mexican and Indian grocery stores or variety produce shops catering to immigrant populations.
Green Banana Cooked in Water with Salt*
|Serving size: 1 Medium Banana|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 21 g||7%|
|Sugar 0 g|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 206 mg||9%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Green Banana Facts
- The green banana is 40% starch, compared with the ripe banana which is 8% starch and 91% sugar.1
- One cup of boiled green bananas supplies 39% of the daily requirement for Vitamin B-6, necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, the protein which carries oxygen in the body.2
- The starch in the green banana is high resistant meaning that it acts more like fiber than starch and may aid in blood sugar control, reducing the risk of diabetes; and it may also help to lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.3
- The glycemic index is low, making it stay longer to digest, consequently making the stomach feel fuller for longer.4
- Green bananas contain a pro-biotic bacteria which promotes colon health.5
- They help absorb nutrients better, particularly calcium.6
- They are versatile on the breakfast menu.
Following are five breakfast suggestions, all simple and easy to re-create according to personal taste.
(1) Boiled Green Bananas
Peeling raw bananas can be difficult, so the easier way is to cook them unpeeled. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water, or the banana peel will leave a crusty ring stain around the pot. The stain is not permanent, but the oil prevents it altogether.
Put enough water in the pot to cover the bananas, add salt (optional) and boil about 15 minutes or until the skin begins to open exposing the bananas. Once cooked, they fall out of the skin easily and they are ready to eat. Two bananas make a good serving.
The texture is firmer than potatoes, and require a little more chewing. The nutty taste can be enhanced with a little butter or sprinkle-on seasoning of choice. Or, dip in hummus.
Option: Boil banana in coconut milk. Sautee onions for another 5 minutes and add banana.
(2) Fried Green Bananas
- 8 medium bananas
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- olive oil for frying
Cut each banana into four pieces. (Split lengthwise, then cut each piece in two.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip into the egg, then fry in heated oil until golden brown. Fries in about 10 minutes and serves 4.
(3) Diced Seasoned Green Bananas
- 8 medium bananas
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ¼ green onions
- 2 cloves garlic (roasted and chopped)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil for sauteing
Cook the bananas and dice. Sauté celery, onions and garlic in olive oil and add the bananas.
(4) Crushed Green Bananas
Most Caribbean people say crushed bananas, although they say mashed potatoes. Not sure why.
Boil the bananas, and crush just like you would mash potatoes with milk, butter and seasoning of choice, which would take another 5 or 6 minutes. Sprinkle flax or chia seeds (optional) for added nutrition.
Green Banana Porridge Video
(5) Green Banana Porridge
- 5 green bananas, uncooked
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- a dash cinnamon, ground
- a dash nutmeg, ground
- a dash allspice
- a dash salt
- enough sugar, for sweetener
- additional hot milk, for less thick porridge
Green Banana Breakfast
- Peel bananas (video shows how). Chop into small pieces and put in blender.
- Blend water and milk and use to grate bananas in blender. Begin with half the liquid, then keep adding until mixture is smooth.
- Put mixture in pan on a low fire and stir continually.
- Combine spices and add to the mixture in the pan.
- Add hot milk, if necessary to make the porridge less thick. Stir and add milk to bring to desired consistency.
- Sweeten to taste and serve in bowls.
The American potato and the Caribbean breadfruit are two other foods which can be prepared in similar versatile recipes as the green banana.
1, 4, 5, 6 Angie: For Living Strong, The Nutritional Difference of Ripe vs Green Bananas, (08/02/2014)
2, 3. Corleone, Jill: Livestrong.com, Health Benefits of Green Bananas (03/13/2014)* Nutrition Chart is from FitDay (visited 01/05/2015)
© 2015 Dora Isaac Weithers