Summertime is in full swing; its heat and humidity are finally upon us. My family has a few methods by which to cope with the rising temperatures. One is to drink plenty of water... not soda, energy drinks, iced tea, or even fruit juice... but ice-cold water.
Another favorite summer refreshment is a fruit smoothie. We make it by blending fresh or frozen fruit such as grapes, peaches, or berries, with frozen bananas. Our family is a bit crazy about bananas. We can usually be found with a "wall" of them as you can see by the picture below.
Why all the bananas? Well, they are not only delicious, but are also very nutritious. Bananas provide you with mineral electrolytes which keep much-needed electricity flowing through your body. They can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and can lower your blood pressure. Bananas are a great weight-loss aid and can even help you overcome depression. The list goes on and on. Having a couple bananas every day is very easy to do! Simply slice and serve on cereal or yogurt, or eat them plain.
Sometimes we have overripe bananas that we make into banana bread. Here's how: Blend 2 cups of mashed banana with 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup oil (We use safflower oil or 1/2 cup of melted butter. Or you can substitute 1/2 cup of plain yogurt in order to lower the fat content.) You can add 1/2 cup of honey for added sweetness, although the bananas alone will sweeten it quite a bit. Raisins or chopped dates can also add sweetness. Add a dash of vanilla if desired. Mix together 1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add a handful of plain quick oats, walnut pieces, or flaxseed if desired. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Pour into lightly greased loaf pan and bake at 325° for 1 hr & 20 min. Cool & enjoy!