Eating a serving of fruit with breakfast helps kids and adults alike get a healthy start to the day. Bananas are one of the more versatile choices because they can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of recipes. Each medium-sized banana provides 105 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein, plus at least 10 percent of an adult's daily recommended vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.
Add banana slices to any type of cereal for an all-in-one breakfast. If the mushy texture of bananas in cereal bothers you or your kids, use plain unsweetened dried bananas instead. Their crunchiness holds up in milk even better than most types of cereal do.
Mix a banana into any type of pancake batter, including whole wheat, cornmeal or buttermilk, to make banana pancakes. Include chopped nuts to add protein and texture, and add a couple dozen chocolate chips if you would like a little extra sweetness. If you are using an especially ripe banana, mash it with a fork until you have banana puree and mix that into the batter. For a firmer banana, peel it, cut it lengthwise in half twice to make four long strips and then slice these to make small chunks to mix in.
Quick breads and muffins can both include bananas as a major component. Reduce the sugar in the recipe to ensure that the baked goods are healthy enough for breakfast. Serve them with a thin layer of cream cheese or peanut butter to add protein to the breakfast. Banana bread and muffins both freeze well, so bake enough to last for a few weeks and thaw them when needed. Slice the banana bread before freezing it so you can thaw one slice at a time in the toaster.
Serve up a fun and appealing breakfast in the form of a banana parfait. Layer banana slices, yogurt and granola a few times in a slender glass. Because the banana and granola are both sweet, use plain yogurt to keep the parfait from being too much like a dessert. Another way to cut down on sugar is to use a non-sweetened cereal instead of granola. Add other fruits, such as berries or peaches, for additional nutrients and color.
Eat a whole banana on the side of any breakfast, preferably a low-sugar breakfast with protein to maintain a balanced meal. If you'd rather drink your breakfast, mix a banana, frozen strawberries, wheat germ, protein powder and milk in the blender to make a power-packed smoothie. Another high-protein option is to deconstruct the classic peanut butter and banana sandwich. Just toast whole-wheat bread, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on it and add long strips of banana, which stay on better than slices.
- Self Nutrition Data: Bananas, raw
- "Joy of Cooking"; Irma S. Rombauer; 2006
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