Care of Andrea Howe at glowingongreens.com 

With warmer weather on the horizon, fresh fruits and vegetables are near in sight. Our always-in-season banana helps us through the winter months with its amazing nutrients!

This versatile fruit can be used in baked goods, smoothies, toppings, or just on its own! Bananas are known for their potassium content which helps with regulation of blood pressure, and thus lowers the risk of heart disease.

But, they also have other impressive compounds such as their fibre content. Bananas contain both soluble and insoluble fibre to help you feel full longer, and can reduce risks of development of chronic disease and cancers. Did you know, the riper the banana the more anti-oxidative compounds it has? Basically, as the banana ages and gets more brown spots, it produces more beneficial phyto-chemicals that can reduce damage from free radicals and lower risk of diseases.

Bananas are great in vegan baking as an egg substitute due to their binding capabilities, as well as being a natural sweetener. Try this delicious Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients:

 3-4 ripe bananas

 1/4 cup vegetable oil (sunflower or canola work)

 1/4 cup non-dairy milk

 1/2 cup brown or cane sugar

 2 tsp vanilla extract

 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 2 cups flour

 1 tsp baking soda

 Pinch of salt

 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized bowl, mash bananas until thin but chunky. Add the oil, non-dairy milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Combine with a spatula.

3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold together until just combined.

4. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into pan. (Mixture will be thick)

5. Bake for 55 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to touch.