Susie Burrell Bananas Are a Great Breakfast Choice Interview
When it comes to quick and easy nutrition, it is hard to go past a banana - nutrient rich, sweet and tasty and packed in its own container, a banana is a popular snack option or quick meal on the run. A common misconception about this delicious nutrition boost is that it is high in sugar, and as such, not a great choice nutritionally. While bananas do contain naturally occurring sugars, like all fruit, this does not mean it is a poor choice. Rather it comes down to what you eat them with, and what your overall nutritional plan looks like.
A medium banana contains 100 - 120 calories, 2 - 3g of fibre, 18 -20g of total carbohydrate and a good dose of magnesium, potassium and a good dose of resistance starch, the type of fibre particularly good for gut health. Compared to other popular breakfast choices including smoothies, juices, toast and muffins, a banana contains about 1/4 - 1/3 of the calories and 1/3 of the sugars. While bananas are often considered high in sugars, they are actually relatively low compared to other popular breakfast choices.
Grabbing a banana for breakfast rather than skipping the first meal of the day makes a nutritional, light breakfast option. But this means that you will need to refuel 2-3 hours later so you are full and satisfied until lunchtime. An even better option is to team a nutrient rich banana with another breakfast option that is high in protein - a small milk coffee; tub of Greek style yoghurt; handful of nuts and seeds or a protein shake. This combo of nutrient rich carbs and proteins will help to keep your blood glucose levels controlled through the morning, helping you to keep full and satiated until lunchtime.
Another great way to use a banana as part of your overall nutrition plan is as a quick first breakfast before early morning starts or exercise sessions. Often early in the morning we do not feel like eating anything too substantial. It is though much better to have something small and carb rich early in the morning to get the metabolism going. Once you have eaten this you are then in a position to have a more substantial breakfast an hour or two later.
When it comes to good nutrition, you will never go wrong with fresh, natural foods. While some foods including dairy and fruit do have naturally occurring sugars, when they are consumed as part of an overall balanced diet, they will trump foods purchased away from the home every single time. So no need to stress about eating a nutrient rich banana for breakfast, you may simply need to pair it with something else to keep you fuelled and energised all morning.
Banana Muffins are a sweet and healthy snack option to share with friends and family.
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup LSA mix
1/2 cup rolled oats
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 12-hole deep muffin pan.
Sift flour and brown sugar into a bowl then add LSA mix and oats.
In a separate bowl, add bananas, egg and oil.
Combine the two bowls and mix lightly. Be careful not to overmix, the mixture should be quite dry. If too runny add more flour.
Pour mixture into muffin tin and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for 15 mins then allow tin to cool. Serve.
Nutritional Intake per Serve:
Breakfast Power Smoothie
A Breakfast Power Smoothie is the perfect way to kick-start your morning.
1 cup (250 ml) low fat milk
1 small banana, chopped
2-heaped tbsp. rolled oats
1 scoop (20g) vanilla or chocolate protein powder
2 tbsp. natural low fat yoghurt
1 tsp. LSA
Ice to blend
Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve.
Nutritional Intake per Serve
Interview with Susie Burrell
Question: Why are bananas a great breakfast choices?
Susie Burrell: Bananas are a nutrient rich wholefood that compliment many a healthy breakfast and can stand alone as a quick and easy breaky on the go. No mess, packed full of carbs for energy, fibre for gut health, and vitamins and minerals, bananas are a naturally sweet convenient breakfast option adults, kids, babies and athletes love.
Question: What are the fantastic health benefits of a banana?
Susie Burrell: They are a natural source of carbohydrates for energy and rich in dietary fibre, in particular resistant starch which has been shown to promote gut health. Bananas are a rich source of potassium for muscle function and fluid balance in the body, magnesium for energy production and muscle function, and Vitamin B6 for positive mood and energy.
Question: Why are bananas great as a pre and post exercise meal?
Susie Burrell: Bananas are quickly digested so they deliver fuel to the muscles quickly to optimally fuel and refuel before and after activity.
Question: Should we only be eating one banana a day?
Susie Burrell: The amount of fuel each person needs depends on how active you are. For the average child or adult one will be enough, where as active people or teens may have 2 -3.
Question: How can we balance the sugar found in bananas?
Susie Burrell: First of all it is important to remember that bananas are not overly high in sugars - with 20-25g of sugars per serve which is less than a smoothie or packet of sultanas. Natural sugar consumed via fresh fruit or dairy is a normal part of a healthy diet. Consuming a banana with a protein rich food such as nuts, yoghurt or milk will help to regulate blood glucose levels after you have consumed a banana.
Question: What's your favourite way to eat bananas?
Susie Burrell: Either in my delicious homemade banana bread or as a quick breaky with my coffee while I feed my 8 month old twins their oats with a banana of course!
Nutty Breakfast Toast
Pair a fresh Australian Banana with nut spread and your choice of bread to stay fuller for longer.
1 slice sourdough / mixed grain bread
1 tbsp. sugar free nut spread
1 small banana
Enjoy a slice of toast with nut spread and sliced banana.
Nutritional Intake per Serve
A summer twist on a healthy smoothie favourite, the perfect afternoon refresh.
Handful of kale
1/2 a banana
1 kiwi fruit
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. chia seeds
Blend all ingredients together with ice and top with the chia seeds.
Nutritional Intake per Serve
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Recipes created by Susie Burrell, dietitian and Australian Bananas ambassador