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Banana Sushi – A Creative, Simple Snack

By Kelsie White

Banana Sushi – A Creative, Simple Snack

Nutrition Bites | Week 21

Welcome back to Nutrition Bites, Week 21! This week I will be sharing a snack recipe for Banana Sushi, as well as talking about fruit: the benefits, the sugar content, as well as some snacking tips and how to compare food “packages.” Let’s dive in.

Banana Sushi

Ingredients:

  • 1 sprouted whole grain tortilla
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Other topping options include almond butter, honey, hemp seeds, flaxseeds etc.

Directions:

  • Spread peanut butter on one side of the tortilla.
  • Peel banana and straighten it a bit (it’s okay if it cracks a little).
  • Place on tortilla. Sprinkle with chia seeds and cinnamon. Roll tortilla up around the banana, trying to make it as tight as possible.
  • Slice your “sushi” into 1/2-1-inch rounds and serve.
Tips for Healthy Snacking 

When it comes to snacking, there are a few tips I want you to keep in mind. This will help ensure that your snacks are healthy and well-balanced. I have shared these tips in some of our other Nutrition Bites sessions, but I want to share it here again just in case you missed it. When it comes to snacking, think of the phrase, “Produce + Protein.” This essentially means having a fruit or vegetable plus a protein source when choosing a snack. The reason to do this is to have a well-balanced snack that contains carbohydrates such as glucose and fiber as well as protein to help keep you full for longer. Some balanced snack ideas that follow the “Produce + Protein” suggestion include:

  • Carrots and hummus
  • Leftover scrambled tofu with veggies
  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Grapes and almonds
  • Roasted chickpeas and blueberries
Health Benefits of Fruits

There are many reasons to include fruit in a well-balanced diet. Fruits are a great source of both glucose and fructose, or the sugar molecules that our body uses or converts into energy. Fruits are also a great source of dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble in different proportions depending on the specific fruit. They are also high in micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, many which have antioxidant properties. Fruits are generally low in calories and fat, with only a few exceptions including avocados and coconuts. Because of all these wonderful properties, consumption of fruit has been associated in research studies with a lower risk of chronic diseases and better health overall.

Does Fruit Have Too Much Sugar? 

You have probably heard conflicting opinions when it comes to eating fruit. Some individuals claim that fruit has too much sugar and should be limited or avoided completely. This is not the case. Fruit definitely has a place in a well-balanced diet, as it supplies many key nutrients. Should we eat a diet consisting only of fruit? Probably not, because again, we would be lacking many other nutrients. Rather than focusing on the extreme ends of the spectrum, I think it is better to come back to the idea of balance. This means including all the plant-based food groups such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes to ensure getting a variety of the nutrients we need. Aiming for 2 cups of fruit per day is a great way to begin incorporating more fruit in your diet.

Comparing Food “Packages” 

If you are still hesitant about eating fruit because of the sugar content, I want to propose an idea to you, which is comparing food “packages.” When we take two different foods that are high in sugar, such a piece fruit and a piece of cake, we want to compare the characteristics of the foods as a whole before making any assumptions about the health status of that food. No food is simply one nutrient alone, rather it is a “package” of many nutrients that comprise that food. It is all these components that we want to look before deciding if a food is a healthy choice or not. For example, a piece of cake not only contains sugar, but it also likely contains saturated fat, cholesterol, and is low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Compare that to a piece of fruit, such as an apple, which indeed also has sugar, but also comes “packaged” with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, vitamins, minerals, a little bit of protein, and phytochemicals. Overall, the food “package” has more beneficial nutrients when it comes to our health.

More Snack Ideas

I wanted to share just a few more healthy snack ideas with you. If you look closely, each of these recipes follows the “Produce + Protein” recommendation. Click here for a booklet of snack ideas to try out.

Weekly Challenge 

I hope that this article has helped to show you just how good fruit is. This week, I want to challenge you to try and eat 2 cups of fruit daily. Enjoy!

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