Ten Questions: Bananas

Bananas on countertopTen questions about bananas. Are there ten? You bet there are. Bananas are an interesting fruit for many reasons and we are going to delve into just a few of them. Bananas are one of the first foods introduced when babies begin to eat solid food. Who can resist a banana split? Or a snack of chocolate covered bananas? But I digress.


I have the following ten questions about bananas. Do you have more questions? We can find out together.


Do all bananas grow on trees?
No. Actually all bananas are tree-like (arborescent) perennial herbs. They grow from a root structure that grows an above ground stem. Not only is the plant an herb, but the banana that we eat is not a fruit. It is actually a berry.

Are bananas truly good for you?
They certainly are. They are the only fruit that contains tryptophan plus vitamin B6. They work together to help your body produce seratonin which is the natural chemical that alleviates depression. It is the chemical used in prozac. They contain almost no fat or sodium or cholesterol, are high in Vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium as well as numerous other vitamins and minerals. The FDA believes that eating bananas can lower you risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

What do you call a group of bananas?
A bunch of bananas is called a hand. One single banana is a finger.

Are bananas really slippery?
In 2001, there were 300 injuries involving bananas in Great Britain alone. Most of these were from slipping on banana peels.

Are bananas only grown in tropical areas?
Bananas are grown in Iceland in soil heated by geysers.

How many different kinds of banana are there?
There are about 1,000 types of banana but most do not taste good. Due to a fungus called Fusarium wilt that attacks bananas, the type of banana that we used to eat is gone. We now eat Cavendish bananas. Experts believe that these may succumb to the fungus and be wiped out in about 20 years.

What other parts of the banana plant are edible?
Pretty much the whole plant is used for food. The leaves are used to wrap foods to be steamed. Even the flowers taste good.

How long do banana plants live?
Some continue to produce bananas for a hundred years, but most banana plantations replace them after 20 or 30 years.

Do bananas boost energy?
Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose
and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant,
sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has
proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a
strenuous 90-minute workout.

How do you know if a banana is ripe?
There are actually 14 stages of ripeness for a banana. Stage 1 is when they are picked while they are still green. Stage 7 is when the yellow banana starts getting brown spots. These spots are sugar and this is when the banana is perfect for mashing to make into banana cake or banana bread. Higher numbers usually mean throw it out.

Now we know just a bit about the banana. I would love to know what you know about them. Let us know if you enjoy this feature and we may do ten more questions on a new subject.

Comments

  1. Bananas. Isn't that a lovely word? Bananas can be used as a temporary lubricant in mechanical bearings. I like this feature.

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  2. Sun food is what a friend calls them.Great info Emma.

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  3. Did not know that a banana is actually a berry!

    My question to you is...can you freeze bananas!

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  4. To Don't Unplug Your Hub: I did not see that tidbit in my research. Thank you

    To Out on the Prairie: Yummy is what I call them. Thank you for your comment.

    To Marian Love Phillips: I have frozen them by removing the peel and placing them in individual freezer bags. I don't know if that is the correct way but it worked for me. Good question. By the way, they get mushy and slimy in the refrigerator.

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  5. When I was a little girl my father grew bananas in our yard in the northwest part of GA. We had about a half a dozen plants and they produced bananas each summer. In the fall my dad would dig up the plants, wrap them in burlap and store them in our basement until spring when he would replant them.

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  6. To SquirrelQueen: How fun that must have been for you. Thank you for your comment.

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  7. I'm not too fond of bananas, I don't like how they look but when I was incredibly sick everybody kept on telling me to eat them because they're a great source of potassium, we have an abundance of banana treats here in the Philippines, we have bananacue which is caramelized bananas, banana chips, banana wrapped in spring roll wrappers and of course, my mom's all-time favorite, banana cake!

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  8. To Chip: I can't imagine not liking bananas but I have relatives who feel the same as you do. They do have so many benefits if you are not feeling well. Potassium is just the beginning.

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  9. That's an excellent post! I had no idea about most of the things mentioned here - thanks for the info!

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