The simple banana is one of the world's most perfect fruits. They come in their own package, they are easy to transport, they ripen on your counter, they can be used in sweets, in savories, in smoothies, and are just as delicious on their own.
The simple banana is one of the first foods that many people choose to feed their babies. I know that it was one of the first foods we fed our girls. It’s sweet, soft, and pairs well with so many other fruits and veggies that its almost a no-brainer. They also travel well (mostly), and can be bought in a lot of places.
Some banana facts for you
While over 90% of households buy bananas at least once a month (courtesy of the Banana Police) does everyone really know how great they are?
I did a little poking around on the Chiquita website. You should check it out, I learned a lot. Here are some of the interesting take-away's about these close to perfect fruits:
- A medium banana contains over 10% of your recommended daily value of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that does a whole bunch of fun things. It can help lower blood pressure, help protect the heart, helps support the nervous system and can help improve muscle function. It’s a good one!
- That same banana has 35% of your recommended daily B-6 (a vitamin important for cell growth)
- Bananas also contain magnese, Vitamin A, iron, copper and other great vitamins and minerals, and the powerful Vitamin C which helps strengthen your immune system
- These nearly perfect fruits also contain simple carbohydrates which make them great for a mid-afternoon pick me up, energy before a workout, or a snack before playing hard at the park
Now, you might be thinking...
Why do I need directions on how to puree a banana? Can’t I just mash it up.
You sure can.
In fact, for babies getting used to a bit of texture a mashed banana is perfect. However, pureeing a banana on it’s own and freezing the puree ensures that you have a great building block for mixing foods for your little one in a pinch.
Banana goes well with so many other flavors and foods. Here are a few ways that I like to use banana. Some of them I use with my frozen purees, some of them I puree together from the beginning.
- Rice cereal: a great introductory pairing for introducing solids
- Cooked oatmeal: either use fresh puree or a frozen cube mixed in
- Spinach: pair with a spinach cube for a super healthy combination, and sweetens up the spinach,
- Pears: Banana and pear with a dash of nutmeg make for a yummy warm flavored pairing
- Pumpkin: Banana and pumpkin mix together really well, add a dash of cinnamon to really bump up the flavor
- Strawberry: Strawberries and bananas are a great flavor combination. Mix strawberry puree and banana puree together in yogurt to introduce you little one to a great smoothie flavor down the road.
When pureeing bananas to freeze, I like to use ones that have a few brown spots on them. These are a bit sweeter and softer and puree up really nicely. I often add a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon to the puree.
Cut 6 ripe bananas into chunks and toss into the blender. I use the Vitamix, but any blender should do the trick with a soft fruit like this. Blend until smooth and then pour into the silicone molds for freezing.