A New Way to Think About a Common Food: Bananas

Bananas are so common in the United States that it’s easy to forget they’re a tropical fruit. The yellow, crescent moon shaped Cavendish banana is America’s favorite. It’s a simple snack, works well added into breakfast (in hot and cold cereals, pancakes, on top of waffles), adds moisture and sweetness to baked breads and muffins, and finds its way into desserts, too – but when’s the last time you saw it in a salad?

26338234565_91fd5c3f90_kPeople don’t always think of fruit in green salads, but they add a naturally sweet dimension to balance more acidic and earthy flavor notes. The natural sweetness of bananas means there’s absolutely no need for any added sugar from dressings, and the fiber in bananas and all those veggies offer a prebiotic paradise for gut health. Last but not least, there are several different textures going on in this salad to keep things interesting.


Baby Greens Salad with Banana-Curry Vinaigrette
A bed of baby greens, tossed with ribboned carrots, diced bananas, slivers of red onion, English cucumbers, toasted pistachios, in a creamy dairy-free curry-banana vinaigrette

Serves 4

Salad:

4 cups baby greens, organic
1/2 cup English cucumbers, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled into ribbons
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 large just-ripe banana, diced


Banana Curry Vinaigrette Dressing:

1 T curry powder
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T champagne vinegar
1/2 small ripe banana
Salt and pepper to taste
*Optional: Use remaining 1/2 banana, sliced, as garnish



26065237690_3d2fbcc78e_kTo make the dressing: 
Toast curry powder in a small pan over medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, remove from heat and transfer curry powder to a medium bowl. Wipe pan clean. To the medium bowl, add olive oil and vinegar and whisk to combine. Puree 1/2 small banana until completely smooth, and slowly add to curry-oil-vinegar mixture, stirring vigorously to fully incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Set aside. Dressing will be creamy. While not necessary, the dressing can be made ahead of time to allow flavors to develop more thoroughly.

 

26309761026_cbb4e9ca1c_oTo prepare the salad: Using same pan that toasted the curry powder, toast pistachios over medium heat until fragrant or toast marks start to show, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, and set aside to cool. Prepare and measure the baby greens, cucumbers, carrots, red onions, and bananas, and add to a large bowl. Top with toasted pistachios. Using a spatula, add just enough dressing to salad to coat (there may be extra). It may be helpful to toss by hand, wearing plastic gloves to reduce mess. Garnish with remaining banana slices if desired. Enjoy.

26309441266_b660946f6a_o

Nutrition: 230 calories, 18g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 3g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 8g total sugars, 0g added sugars.

Daily Value for vitamins and minerals: 20% Vitamin A, 25% Vitamin C,160% Vitamin K, 20% Vitamin B6, 20% Folate, 10% Iron, 10% Magnesium, 15% potassium.

Leave a Reply

56 − = 50