I spent a good part of my childhood hating bananas simply because my brother loved them. Sibling rivalry at its strangest. In reality, I liked the taste, but the strings (technically called phloem, pronounced “FLOM”) scared me. All that chatter about peeling the banana upside down and not getting any strings is a bunch of banana bologna!
Fast-forward to today and I cheerlead for what bananas do for creamy smoothies, how they turn so nicely from frozen chunks into ice cream, and how important they are for banana bread. Ever made banana bread without bananas? It’s REALLY hard. Plus, who doesn’t love a fruit that has its own online museum?
So, when DOLE asked me to host a “Peel the Love” banana fest, I was psyched for an excuse to get a little bananas with bananas. They gave me banana recipes on a banana-shaped flash drive (dude!). But, the dietitian and direction diverter in me had to put a green spin on the yellow. Enter, the green Pina Colada….
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
2 medium bananas
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in the fridge section of the grocery store)
2 teaspoons spirulina powder (I like this one, and I get it at Whole Foods Market)
Blend and drink. Freeze leftovers in popsicle molds.
Nutrition info per serving: 188 calories, 3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 431 mg potassium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 6.5 g protein, 470% vitamin A, 300% vitamin B12, 85% vitamin C, 40% calcium, 87% iron
Why Spirulina? It takes any smoothie from zero to hero. Check out the nutrition info again! Look at all that iron! Sorry Colada, but that is from the Spirulina alone. Spirulina is a TASTELESS blue-green algae that does everything from cleaning your house (well, your body’s house), boosting your immune system, getting your sex hormone situation in order, to lowering high blood pressure. It even helps prevent cancer. Did I mention it’s tasteless? So you can add it to pretty much anything. Annnnd, it has *more* complete protein than meat! Spirulina is 65-71% protein. Red meat is 22%. Just 2 tablespoons of spirulina per meal gives you all the protein you need. I know, I know. Green powder on your dinner plate is even a little too extreme for a dietitian. But, throw it in a smoothie, stir it into a fresh juice, add it to pancakes on St. Patrick’s Day, or mix it into your brownie batter. You *could* take it in pill form, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂
Next up… Brownies made with bananas, pecans, and black beans. And you thought eating algae was weird! XOXO