Bananas, a beloved tropical fruit, come in a delightful variety of flavors and shapes. In this article, we explore the unique characteristics and delectable taste of Manzano bananas (also known as applebanana), a lesser-known gem in the world of banana varieties. Join us on a journey to discover what sets Latundan bananas apart and how to enjoy their sweet and aromatic goodness.
What are Apple Bananas?
Apple bananas, also known as Manzano bananas or Burro bananas, are a distinct variety of banana that is smaller and more rounded than the common yellow Cavendish banana. They are called "apple bananas" because of their slightly sweet apple-like flavor and the hint of tartness in their taste. These bananas have a creamy texture and are typically eaten when fully ripe.
What do Apple Bananas Look Like?
Apple bananas are smaller than Cavendish bananas, typically around 4 to 6 inches. They have a more rounded shape compared to the elongated, slightly curved shape of Cavendish bananas. Some may even have a squarish or boxy appearance.
The skin of apple bananas is thin and delicate. It starts off green and transitions to a pale yellow to light orange color as they ripen. Unlike Cavendish bananas, they don't develop brown speckles but may have some dark spots when fully ripe.
What Do Apple Bananas Taste Like?
Apple bananas are notably sweeter than Cavendish bananas. They have a rich, sweet flavor that is often likened to the taste of ripe apples, which is how they earned their name.
Along with their sweetness, apple bananas have a subtle hint of tartness. This slight tartness adds depth to their flavor profile and makes them more complex and interesting to the palate.
Apple bananas have a creamier and denser texture compared to the more fibrous Cavendish bananas. Their flesh is smooth, making them enjoyable to eat.
Nutritional Value of Apple Bananas
Apple bananas, like other banana varieties, are a nutritious fruit with several health benefits. Here is the approximate nutritional value of a medium-sized apple banana (about 100 grams):
- Calories: 89
- Carbohydrates: 22.8 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 2.6 grams
- Sugars: 12.2 grams
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Vitamin C: 8.7 milligrams (15% of the daily recommended intake)
- Vitamin A: 81 International Units (2% of the daily recommended intake)
- Potassium: 358 milligrams (10% of the daily recommended intake)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 0.4 milligrams (18% of the daily recommended intake)
- Folate: 20 micrograms (5% of the daily recommended intake)
Health Benefits of Apple Bananas
Rich in Nutrients
Apple bananas are a good source of essential nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber.
The potassium content in apple bananas can help regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension and promoting overall heart health.
The dietary fiber in apple bananas aids in maintaining a healthy digestive system by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
These bananas are a convenient and natural source of energy, making them a perfect choice for a quick and nutritious snack, particularly before or after physical activities.
Apple bananas contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that supports the immune system, promotes healthy skin, and aids in wound healing.
Vitamin B6 is crucial for brain health and the production of neurotransmitters. It also plays a role in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Reduced Stroke Risk
A diet rich in potassium, like that provided by apple bananas, may help reduce the risk of stroke.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of banana varieties, including apple bananas, may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and promote overall well-being.
Bananas, including apple bananas, contain tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can improve mood and reduce stress.
The vitamins and antioxidants in apple bananas contribute to healthy skin by promoting collagen production and protecting against free radical damage.
How to Incorporate Apple Bananas in Your Diet
Incorporating apple bananas into your diet is a delicious way to enjoy their unique flavor and benefit from their nutritional value. Here are some ideas on how to include apple bananas in your meals and snacks:
Snacking: Enjoy apple bananas as a quick and convenient snack. Simply peel and eat them as they are. Their sweet and slightly tart flavor makes them an excellent choice for a healthy on-the-go snack.
Smoothies: Blend apple bananas with other fruits like berries, mango, or pineapple to make a creamy and naturally sweet smoothie. You can also add yogurt, milk, or a dairy-free alternative for extra creaminess.
Fruit Salad: Add sliced apple bananas to your fruit salad to enhance its flavor and provide a unique twist to your typical fruit medley.
Oatmeal: Slice apple bananas and stir them into your morning oatmeal for added sweetness and a creamy texture. Top with a sprinkle of nuts or honey for extra flavor and texture.
Yogurt Parfait: Layer apple banana slices, yogurt, and granola to create a delicious and nutritious parfait. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness.
Baking: Incorporate mashed or sliced apple bananas into your baking recipes. They work well in banana bread, muffins, pancakes, and even cookies. The apple banana's natural sweetness can reduce the need for additional sugar.
Cereal: Top your morning cereal or granola with apple banana slices for a refreshing and naturally sweet addition.
How Many Bananas Should You Have A Day?
One to two medium-sized bananas per day is a reasonable and healthy consumption level for most people. Bananas are a nutritious fruit, but like any food, it's best to consume them in moderation. Eating too many bananas in a single day can lead to an excessive intake of calories and sugar.
How to Store Bananas
Keep unripe bananas at room temperature. Placing them on a countertop or in a fruit bowl is ideal. They will continue to ripen at room temperature.
If you have a bunch of bananas, it's best to separate individual bananas from the bunch. This can slow down the ripening process. If you want to ripen them all at the same time, keep them together.
Also ensure to keep bananas away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as excessive heat can cause them to ripen too quickly.
Ensure there is good air circulation around the bananas. Don't store them in a sealed bag or airtight container, as this can trap ethylene gas, which bananas produce naturally and can speed up ripening.
If you have ripe or overripe bananas and want to extend their freshness, place them in the refrigerator. The cold temperature will slow down the ripening process and help keep them fresh for a few more days. The peel may turn brown in the fridge, but the fruit inside will remain intact.
To further slow down the ripening process, you can wrap plastic wrap around the stem ends of bananas. This prevents ethylene gas from being released, which can help extend the life of the fruit.
Where to Buy Apple Bananas
Apple bananas are a delightful and unique variety of this beloved tropical fruit. With their sweet, apple-like flavor and creamy texture, they offer a taste experience that sets them apart from traditional bananas. Whether enjoyed as a snack, blended into smoothies, or added to a variety of dishes, apple bananas provide a burst of flavor and nutritional benefits. So, the next time you encounter these golden-hued fruits, savor their distinct taste and relish in the delicious world of apple bananas, a true treasure in the realm of tropical fruits.