Food: Yellow Power

11 Jun 2015
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Bananas are a nutrient-rich food choice and provide a sweet alternative to unhealthy snacks



They might not be the most appealing-looking of fruits, but the humble banana is a super food that should be part of your daily diet.

Wonderfully luscious with firm and creamy flesh, bananas come prepackaged in their own yellow jackets and are available for harvest throughout the year, meaning they are available at supermarkets any month.

Even better, Oman grows its own bananas, the small and super sweet variety from Salalah. The Sultanate produces around 34,000 tonnes of bananas annually.

The average person eats quite a few bananas every year – and it’s no wonder, bananas not only taste great, they are also good for your health, packing a potassium punch like no other fruit.

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As an excellent source of dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients, bananas are low in calories, have no fat, sodium or cholesterol. So incorporating them into your diet just makes sense.

While bananas on their own make a great snack, they can also be enjoyed in appetisers, desserts, salads, smoothies and baked goods, too. When shopping, look for bananas that are farmed responsibly. For example, Chiquita, which is available in Oman, is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, recycles 2,000 metric tonnes of plastic bags and twine used on company farms annually, and is committed to reforestation efforts in the regions where they farm.

Bananas are a great nutrient-dense power food, providing natural energy to fuel active lives. Pack a banana wherever you go and you’ll always have a quick, convenient source of nutrition to pick you up and keep you going.

For a wholesome treat, try this recipe for Healthy Chiquita Banana-Pear Chewy Granola Bars, which relies on fresh fruit for its sweetness instead of refined sugar, making it a delicious, healthful choice.

Recipe: Chiquita Banana-Pear Chewy Granola Bars

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Ingredient ideas:

  • 2 cups large flake rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 3 medium, very ripe Chiquita bananas (but any brand will do)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1 pear, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2  cup dried blueberries

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325ºC. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both long sides of the pan. Set aside.
  • Spread the oats and almonds on a large baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the oats are just starting to brown. Cool slightly
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Fold in the flaxseed, pear, cranberries, blueberries, oats and almonds.
  • Transfer mixture into the prepared pan and pack it down with a spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until firm. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Lift out of pan and continue to cool completely.
  • Cut into 12 bars.

Source: www.ChiquitaBananas.com


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