A runner who doesn’t eat bananas is about as rare as a nun in a bikini.
You probably know that bananas are a main staple in a runner’s diet — and for good reason. They are nutritious, provide quality carbohydrates for the energy we need and can even prevent muscle cramping.
Prepare to learn something new about your favorite yellow snack. Check out these must-know banana hacks you probably never thought of!
1. Banana peeling 101
What if I told you you’ve been peeling bananas wrong your whole life? Instead of peeling from the stem side, turn it around and open from the bottom. Just pinch and peel. It’s easier and you’ll have less of those annoying strings to pick off. Plus, you can use the stem as a handle.
And yes, this is how monkeys open bananas. Smart little boogers.
2. Speed up ripening
Don’t you hate it when you go to the store and all they have are green bananas? You know you have to wait a few days for them to be edible, but you also know you’re going to need one before your long run tomorrow! (Oh, the struggle is real!) You can either settle for a crunchy banana (ew!) or try these tips to make them ripen faster.
- Paper bag method: Place bananas in a brown paper bag. Ethylene gas will build up causing them to ripen faster. This works for other fruits too. They should be ready in about a day.
- Heat method: Just gotta have your banana — PRONTO? Separate the bananas, place them on a pan and put them in an oven heated to 170 degrees for 30-60 minutes, as needed. Check them often so as not to overripen.
- How many bananas have you wasted because they went bad before you could eat them? Contrary to the last point, sometimes you just have too many coming up ripe at the same time. Ultimate runner pet peeve! Here’s how you can make them last longer.
- Plastic wrap method: Wrap the stems in plastic wrap to buy you several more days of ripening time. You can also separate and wrap them individually to slow down the process even more.
- Cold method: Put bananas in the fridge and they’ll last up to two weeks. Seems like a no-brainer. We put other fruits in the fridge, so why didn’t I think of this before? Face palm!
4. Ultimate smoothies
Whether they are overripe or not, bananas take on new life when frozen. Just use your new monkey skills to peel them, then slice and put them in plastic bags in the freezer. Add to a smoothie to achieve a thick ice cream shake consistency.
5. One-ingredient ice cream.
No joke! Put frozen bananas in a food processor or blender to create perfect ice cream without all the added crap. Tastes great alone, or you can add other ingredients like peanut butter, honey or cinnamon. The possibilities are delicious!
Armed with new knowledge, you may now go about continuing your obsession with this all-time favorite runners’ superfood!