May we introduce the baby banana – the perfect snack for those of us who are figure-conscious but also have a sweet tooth. It is wonderfully sweet, provides key nutrients and boosts energy. Today we tell you what makes this mini-banana so healthy – and how you can best enjoy it.
What are baby bananas?
The baby banana is the smallest variety of banana. Also known as “Lady Fingers”, they are popular with both young and old lovers of fine food. And that’s not surprising, as baby bananas are sweeter and creamier than their big sister, the dessert banana. Baby bananas grow in Costa Rica and Ecuador, among other countries, and are available on this side of the world with consistently good quality all year round. Their skin is luminous yellow and sometimes also slightly pink. The small “freckles” that gradually appear on the baby bananas are an indication that they have reached optimum ripeness and are ready to enjoy. At this stage, they taste wonderfully sweet and have an intense banana flavour. That’s because the small freckles on the skin are caused by the fructose in the baby bananas, which increases as the fruit ripens.
How healthy are baby bananas?
When it comes to nutrients, the baby banana can easily compete with the dessert banana. It is rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and also protects cells with its antioxidant effects. Additionally the baby banana is rich in dietary fibre, which has a satiating effect and is good for the digestive system, and the abundance of potassium, which regulates water balance. The nutrient mix also includes B vitamins for good nerves, calcium for strong bones and teeth, iron for blood formation as well as magnesium and some protein for building muscles.
Good to know: The relatively high fructose content also makes baby bananas one of the fastest and most reliable sources of energy. Perfect for athletes or school lunches, or as a snack when the afternoon slump hits in the office. So they make an all-round healthy and substantial snack, especially as they contain only 89 calories and less than 1 g of fat per 100 g.
What’s the best way to enjoy baby bananas?
They couldn’t be any handier: baby bananas come with their own packaging! Good to enjoy on their own, this makes them the perfect snack, not only to eat at home but also while you are out and about. At breakfast time, baby bananas are a good option to liven up muesli, porridge, fruit salads or overnight oats. They add a beautiful moistness to cakes and pastries and a creaminess to smoothies. Dried baby banana crisps make the perfect TV snack. Try them as an ingredient in exotic dishes such as prawn curry or tandoori chicken.
Our tip: Baby bananas don’t like the cold and should not be stored in the fridge. They are best kept at room temperature. This will also help to ripen those that are not quite ripe when you buy them.
Good to know: The flesh of the banana gradually turns brown – but the banana itself will remain firm and delicious!
Your Dole Team