Bananas – Healthy Eating Secrets You May Not Know About
Bananas are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia. In Japan, banana is by far the number one fruit in terms of consumption. It is also the most preferred fruit among the world's top athletes as it can provide instant energy.
Research shows that eating two bananas can provide enough energy for a heavy 90-minute workout. The carbohydrates in bananas are easy to digest so you get an instant boost of energy after just 30 minutes of eating it!
Increase the Banana's Sweetness by Peeling it Properly
Bananas are naturally sweet, but did you know that you can boost its sweetness just by peeling it properly?
Look at the image above. Most people peel bananas by pulling its stem and I bet this is how you do it, too. If you look at it, this seems logical enough and you'll get a high degree of success of peeling it aside from maybe having a mushy top.
The problem with this approach is that it doesn't work all the time. But more importantly, this is actually the wrong way of peeling a banana.
The correct way to open a banana is to peel its skin like a monkey, which is to open it from the bottom and not from its stem!
Step 1. Hold the banana with its stem pointing downwards then pinch the tip gently.
Step 2. Peel the banana downwards towards its stem using your fingers.
There are two major advantages of peeling banana from the bottom:
1. You peel the banana faster and more efficiently 100% of the time.
If you look at the bottom of the banana, you'll notice that it's patterned so it will crack easily when it's pinched. This supports the theory that this is really the correct way of peeling banana.
2. You get to eat a sweeter banana.
The front end side of the banana (not the stem) is sweeter as nutrients gathers around it during the ripening process. Therefore, eating this part first will make the banana taste sweeter overall.
Boost Banana's Sweetness with High Temperature
Like sweet potato, unripe green bananas contain 20% starch. When exposed to heat, the starch will be converted into sugar. That is why sweet potatoes don't taste sweet until they are baked. The same thing applies to bananas.
By immersing the banana in hot water of about 40-50 °C, you can increase its sweetness even more. An enzyme called amylase will break down the starch in the banana fruit into sugar because of the rise in temperature.
So to make the banana fruit super sweet, follow these procedures:
- Immerse the banana fruit in hot water (40-50 °C) for 5 minutes.
- Remove the banana from hot water and store at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
How to Extend Shelf Life of Bananas by as much as Three Times
Bananas naturally turn from yellow to black in just a few days--the more so when you store it in the refrigerator.
However, by using certain methods, you'll be able to make bananas last longer.
Method #1 (Extend shelf life by 40%)
Separate bananas. Bananas ripen quicker when they're still attached. This is because riper bananas emit large amount of ethylene gas and causes other bananas near it to ripen quickly and turn black. The same thing happens if you store bananas next to apples.
Ethylene is a gas that is naturally produced by plants. It acts as a ripening hormone to accelerate the maturation of fruits.
Usually, bananas turn black in just about 5 days. By separating bananas from other riper bananas, you can extend its shelf life by another 2 days.
Method #2 (Extend shelf life by 2 to 3 weeks)
Submerge bananas in hot water temperature. Submerging bananas in hot water temperature of 50 °C for a few minutes will increase the amount of "heat shock proteins (HSP)".
Research shows that heat shock protein plays an important role in slowing down aging. Therefore, high levels of heat shock proteins in bananas will make it more resistant to ethylene gas and delay spoiling. Moreover, bananas will not easily turn black when placed in the refrigerator.
Here's how you can do it:
- Submerge the banana in hot water with temperature ranging from 40-50 °C for 5 minutes.
- Remove from hot water and cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
- Wrap the banana with poly bag and store inside the refrigerator.
Also read our article about heat shock proteins.
Please feel free to share any thoughts you have about bananas. Post your feedback in our comments section at the bottom of this page.