Bananas: The ultimate hunger buster

By Shaun Chavis

Ever grab a snack but then feel hungry again 20 minutes later? Next time, reach for a banana. It's loaded with Resistant Starch (RS), a healthy carb that fills you up and helps to boost your metabolism. Slightly underripe medium-sized bananas have 12.5 grams of RS-more than most other foods. Ripe bananas give you 4.7 grams of RS, still enough to keep hunger pangs away. Check out these tasty ways to work in this wonder food.

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Banana "Ice Cream"
Peel, slice, and freeze 1 small banana. Place frozen banana pieces in a blender with 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk; blend until thick. Top with 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts.

Banana Salsa
Make a quick salsa with 2 diced peeled bananas, 2 tablespoons minced red onion, 1 tablespoon minced cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced serrano or jalepeno pepper, juice of 1 lime, and brown sugar and salt to taste. Use it to top fish or pork tacos, jerk chicken, or jerk pork.

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Broiled Bananas
Slice 1 peeled banana in half lengthwise. Put banana pieces, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the banana pieces with 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and broil on high until the sugar bubbles and the bananas brown (about 2-3 minutes). After broiling, sprinkle with cinnamon-or drizzle with 1 teaspoon rum for an extra-special treat.

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Coffee and Banana Smoothie
Place 1 sliced peeled banana, 1 cup 1% low-fat milk, 1/2 cup cold black coffee, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 cup ice in a blender. Blend until smooth-and enjoy.

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Tropical Fruit Salad
Make a fruit salad with 1 sliced peeled banana, 1 sliced peeled kiwi, and 1/2 diced peeled ripe mango. Squirt juice of 1/4 lime over the salad, and serve.