The short answer to the question, “Can you juice a banana,” is no. However, this is a fair question. If you’re new to juicing, you may wonder what fruits and vegetables are best.
Bananas are beloved fruit for their distinctive shape, bright yellow color, and portability. In addition, they stack high in the fruit rankings for their nutritional value and culinary versatility.
As delicious as it sounds, bananas aren’t a great juicing option. But they can be enjoyed in several other ways. In fact, because they are so nutritious, they should be enjoyed in as many ways as possible.
We will dig into the reasoning behind why bananas aren’t easily juiced, banana nutrition, and alternative ways to enjoy bananas that don’t involve juicing.
Nutritional Benefits of Bananas
Bananas are a rich source of essential nutrients and have energizing properties from carbohydrates. Additionally, they are easy to peel and easy to eat!
Here is the nutrition Information for one medium-sized banana according to the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA):
Calories: 110 calories
Fat: 0 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 28 grams
Sugar (natural): 15 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Bananas are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. The main things bananas provide from a nutritional standpoint are potassium, vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
Potassium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Therefore, a high potassium and low sodium diet has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
One banana contains about 450 mg of potassium. The adequate intake (AI) for potassium is 2,600 mg for women and 3,400 mg for men. These figures may vary for pregnant women or breastfeeding children, adolescents, and adults taking medication.
Along with having several other jobs in the body, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage. Antioxidants fight free radicals that cause inflammation and disease.
There is approximately 10 mg of vitamin C in a banana. The recommended dietary intake (RDA) for vitamin C is 90 mg. Vitamin C does have a set tolerable upper limit (UL) at 2,000 mg, which is the maximum amount of a nutrient that can be ingested without any observed negative health effects.
Fiber is immensely important for digestive health. Bananas have about 3 grams of fiber, a pretty good amount for a fruit. Fiber lowers the risk for diseases and conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, constipation, and some cancers.
The USDA recommends 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 for men. For adults aged 50 and over, women should aim for 21 grams and men 30 grams. Unfortunately, most Americans do not reach this daily recommended amount.
Vitamin B6 is one of eight B vitamins. It has a variety of health benefits, like lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Morning sickness is also commonly treated with B6. Bananas have around 0.5 mg of vitamin B6.
Since magnesium has so many important roles in the body, magnesium deficiency leads to a plethora of health problems.
One medium banana contains roughly 32 mg of magnesium. The RDA for magnesium is 400-420 for men and 310-320 for women, but pregnant women may require more. However, it’s important to note that too much magnesium consumption above the RDA can cause unwanted side effects.
Can You Juice A Banana? Here Are The Challenges
Because bananas are high in fiber and low in water, this makes them difficult to juice. The fruits that are most effectively juiced are those that have high water content.
If you try running a banana through a juicer, it may clog your juicer and not produce much juice, if any. If your juicer does manage to produce banana juice, it will probably be more like a thick, pulpy smoothie rather than juice.
You can technically obtain banana juice with a fair amount of determination and patience. A method of extracting the juice involves boiling peeled bananas in a plastic bag. Even then, you don’t really get much juice and will probably need to strain it a few more times if you don’t want much pulp in your juice.
Another way some have tried to acquire banana juice is by juicing the peel since it has higher water content. This will work a bit better than the banana flesh, but frequently there are harmful germs and chemicals on the outer peels of bananas. If you juice this, you may get a concentrated amount of this residue. If you choose to juice a banana peel, give the outside a thorough scrub before juicing it.
Alternative Ways to Enjoy Bananas
If you enjoy the taste of bananas, juicing isn’t the best way to go, but there are many other ways to use this delicious fruit in food and beverages.
The Perfect Snack
Bananas must be one of the easiest fruits to pack as a snack to have on the go. Since they come with a handy protective peel, you won’t have to worry about washing off germs if you are out of the house.
For fruit, a banana is super filling due to its fiber content and is also a good source of carbohydrates for an energy boost before a workout or other forms of physical activity.
Bananas are a base for many smoothie recipes and the star of some! A simple banana smoothie with yogurt and fruit juice is an excellent sweet and filling snack. They provide a perfect creamy consistency while maintaining a low-calorie count. Another popular smoothie recipe is a peanut butter banana smoothie. It’s super filling from the high-protein peanut butter and tasty at the same time.
If you ever have bananas in the house that are nearing their expiration, this is the perfect time to peel and prep the fruit to be frozen. Though using fresh bananas for smoothies works, frozen bananas create a refreshingly cool smoothie without the need for ice cubes.
Baking with bananas is another excellent way to use bananas that are facing the trash can in the next few days. The riper they are, the sweeter they are, making extra-ripe bananas the perfect ingredient for banana bread or other recipes.
Bananas can be used as a butter substitute for dense baked goods like cookies, muffins, and slices of bread. To use ripe bananas in baking, swap the amount of butter in a recipe for the same amount of mashed banana.
This is a kitchen hack that some have used to make healthy and delicious banana ice cream. If you routinely freeze bananas for smoothies, why not change things up and make banana ice cream?
You’ll need a food processor, blender, frozen bananas in small pieces/chunks, and a bit of time, and you can make this one-ingredient ice cream. Of course, you could also get creative and add chocolate chips or other flavorings to the ice cream.
Bananas are a good source of nutrients but are difficult to juice. However, there are many other ways to enjoy bananas besides juicing. If you are looking for a way to get the nutrients of bananas without the hassle of juicing, try eating them plain, adding them to smoothies, or using them to make baked goods or ice cream.
Once you establish some go-to recipes using ripe bananas, you’ll never let tasty and nutritious bananas go to waste ever again.
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