As I lay down after another tough crossfit workout, that all-too familiar cramping begins from my feet slowly creeping up to my calves. Now what? Reaching for a banana may not help you in this very moment, but it may certainly serve to prevent cramping if incorporated as part of your regular diet.
The banana’s sweet secret? Potassium.
Key Potassium Facts
• Required daily intake: 4,700 milligrams (1 banana contains approximately 420 milligrams, or 10% of your daily intake)
• Claim to Fame: this vitamin helps process and utilize carbohydrates; it is both an essential vitamin and electrolyte
• Other Sources of Potassium: potatoes, oranges, spinach, tomatoes and avocadoes
Bananas curing muscle cramps is not a new concept/fad/treatment—however this tried and true treatment could use a little facelift—after all, while bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the US, according to the Centers of Disease Control, finding new and inventive ways to satisfy your daily potassium requirements can sometimes be a challenge.
Here are a few ideas…
Green Monster Chicken Sandwich
Cook time: 15 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chicken Sandwich Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper
½ cup green pepper, diced
3 tablespoons chives, finely diced
1 cup avocado mayo (see recipe below)
¼ cup pickles, diced (optional)
Avocado Mayo Ingredients:
1 avocado, very ripe and diced
2 tablespoons avocado oil, or olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Remove chicken breasts from package, pat dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat small amount (1-2 tablespoons) olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Place seasoned chicken breast in skillet and cook approximately 5 minutes each side, or until chicken registers 165 degrees F.
Let chicken cool and while cooling, prepare the mayo. Combine all mayo ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blend until smooth (1-2 minutes). Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and combine with mayo, green pepper, chives and even some pickles. Serve by itself, in a wrap, or on some freshly sliced bread and enjoy!
Banana Boat Treats
Cook time: 15 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
2 medium to large-sized bananas
Choice of toppings (examples: mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, Reese’s pieces, butterscotch chips, whatever your fancy)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or heat your grill until it registers 350 degrees F
Using a paring knife, cut the banana (enough to break the skin) length-wise down the banana peel. Pull the peel open and lightly cut slits in banana. Fill the banana boat with all the toppings you like.
Wrap the filled bananas in aluminum foil, being careful not to let them tip over (my first attempt – I had to refill my boats twice because they tipped a few times). Place bananas in oven or on grill for about 15 minutes, until marshmallows begin to melt and brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!