The Banana: A Vegan Love Affair

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Banana

Growing up I never really ate bananas. Something about them seemed to make my throat itch. I am allergic to most tree nuts and when I would eat a banana, I had the same mild reaction. So, I never really ate bananas. Over time, this just went away.

At some point in the past two years, and especially now that I am vegan, I cannot get enough banana. I confess. I am in love with bananas. They are the perfect fruit. The color. The taste. The packaging. And the shape. The shape of the banana is so … well … you know …

In fact, it was the shape of the banana that hindered its early popularity when it shocked the masses at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. One could only imagine the outrage caused by this outrageous, phallic fruit when it was thrust onto the scene. It was unlike any other fruit of the day — it was like comparing apples to oranges.

Besides the sexiness of this tropical fruit, bananas were very expensive. Known as the “luxury fruit,” they were once individually wrapped in foil and sold for an equivalent of $15 each (back in 1880 they cost the same as an hour’s pay). So, very few people were able to enjoy a banana. How many foods, or how many anythings, have gone from $15 to 25¢ in 130 years? One. The banana.

Changes in transport, new importers, and multiple sources of bananas made them more readily available and each passing decade only increased the availability and popularity of the banana and lowered the price.

Thankfully today, bananas have found their rightful place in every children’s book under the letter “B,” and hold the title of “Americas Favorite Fruit.” The unripened chartreuse and the bright, ripe yellow makes it distinguishable from all the other fruits and its popularity is now undisputed. There are a bunch of reasons to love the banana.

Bananas are also an excellent source of potassium and they help overcome depression. They also will lower your blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke. They’re low in calories and gluten-free. You can even rub the inside of a banana peel on a bug bite to reduce itching. Seriously, is there anything a banana can’t do? Banana for President.

It is fun to eat. Easy to peel (especially if you know the secret method). And delicious. Peel and freeze one and blend it the next day in your Vitamix for a delicious whipped frozen banana. Dried, or in bread, or in a split with your favorite coconut milk ice cream, bananas are nature’s perfect fruit.

Grab a banana and have fun with it — and, you know what I mean.

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