Do you think bananas grow on the trees? You’re not alone. Most folks think so and even sing songs about it. But the fact remains, banana plants are technically herbs since they contain no woody tissue. These plants are made of densely packed leaves which makes them perennial herbs like a lily or an orchid. In fact, they are the world’s largest herbs, capable of growing as high as 30 feet. Therefore bananas are either fruits or berries of said plants.
You can’t mistake a banana tree… oops, a plant, for anything else. Its enormous leaves are over 6 feet long.
Once a banana plant is fully grown, it blooms. Its flowers are on the top of the plant, and they are edible, too. Aren’t they beautiful?
Did you know? Bananas can make a houseplant, especially a dwarf variety. They need lots of sunlight and a large enough pot to accommodate their roots. The indoor banana plants like hot and humid conditions and require frequent feeding. But don’t expect to harvest any bananas at home.
Nutritionally speaking, bananas are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and various antioxidants. Their Glycemic Index or GI for short, ranges from 40s to 50s, depending on their ripeness. This shows how quickly the carbs from a banana enter the bloodstream. Relatively low GI of bananas is due to the high content of fiber which in turn mitigates the blood sugar rise after a meal (postprandial). Fiber also keeps you full which is an added benefit.
Overall, bananas can help keeping your blood sugar levels stable. From the morning oatmeal or any other hot or cold cereal to mashed banana toast topping to smoothies, bananas are easy to include in one’s diet. When eaten with a toast, the low GI of a banana counteracts the high GI of the bread, hence a more balanced result. Freezing bananas is my next project. I freeze most everything which makes lots of sense when living in a studio. This way the frozen fruits last much longer than in a fresh form. Off to the freezer they go in their little containers. Then out one at a time which is perfect for my compact studio refrigerator, as well as for not indulging. These bananas in a basket are ready just for that.
Banana peels are edible, too. I did try blending them and mixing with everything else. The peels added on some woody taste that I didn’t really enjoy. However, I am thinking, it might go away if I cook banana peels. This remains on my list of the next projects.
Some sites quote a bunch of so-called side effects of eating bananas. Gee, and I thought that side effects only happen with the meds. Side effects of bananas reportedly include weight gain, migraine, drowsiness, constipation, and even nerve damage, to name a few. This however happens if you eat lots and lots of bananas. Like participating in a bananas eating competition. I don’t know about you, but I am not thriving on bananas alone. I am usually trying to eat a variety of fruits, a little of everything, in moderation for most of the time.
Go bananas! Pun intended.