Yes, We Do Have Bananas
Chef and marathon runner NATE APPLEMAN shares his favourite ways to cook with – and get the most from – the runners’ staple
New ways with an old favourite
BANANAS, the go-to food for many runners, can boost the nutritional punch of any meal (they contain carbs and fibre and are a good source of vitamins and minerals). ‘ When I started getting serious about running, I gave up added sugar for two years and had bananas mashed into porridge with almond butter nearly every morning – it really sustained me,’ says Appleman. Here are six novel ways to use the runners’ favourite fruit to deliver maximum taste and fuel your body.
PRAWN BANANA CEVICHE
Serves 2 Prawns add lean protein and extra potassium.
FOLD 8 medium-sized cooked prawns with 1/2 diced ripe avocado, 1 diced firm banana and 2 tbsp chopped red onion, and dress with 1 tbsp each lime juice and other fresh citrus juice, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp chopped coriander. For a kick, add finely chopped chillies or red pepper flakes.
TOASTED CRUSTY BREAD WITH PROSCIUTTO
Serves 1 Refuel tired muscles with this proteinrich snack.
TOP a slice of toasted wholegrain bread with 1 smashed ripe banana, 30g thinly sliced prosciutto and 1 tbsp shaved pecorino cheese.
SWEET FRIED BANANAS
Serves 2 Pair with rice and black beans for protein, fibre and a dash of Latin American flair.
SLICE 2 peeled firm bananas, lengthwise.
FRY in a pan in 1 tbsp butter over a medium heat until soft (roughly 3 to 4 minutes).
BANANA AND PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH
(Not pictured) Serves 1 Tahini and honey add a twist to the classic peanut butter and banana combo.
TOP 1 slice wholegrain bread with 1/2 sliced banana, 1 tsp honey and 1 tbsp tahini.
WHOLE ROASTED BANANAS
(Not pictured) Serves 4 This dessert is high in vitamin C and heart-healthy fats.
HEAT oven to 230C.
PIERCE 3 whole ripe bananas with the skin on, using a fork.
PLACE on baking sheet and roast until black and oozy (1520 minutes). Let cool and remove skin.
SLICE and serve with 250g Greek yoghurt, 30g toasted pecans and peeled segments from 1 orange or blood orange and sprinkle with 2 tsp brown sugar.
Serves 2 Boost your immune system with a big hit of antioxidants.
SLICE and combine 1 apple, orange, grapefruit, banana and pear.
MIX 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp zest and 2 tsp maple syrup; drizzle on fruit.
Toasted crusty bread with prosciutto In addition to potassium, bananas are a good source of vitamins C and B6, which helps your body process protein. Shrimp banana ceviche Fruit salad A medium banana has 105kcals, 422mg of potassium to aid muscles and 3g of fibre to speed digestion.