“Um, Excuse me… Sorry. Mr. Tally Man?” asks Fozzie Bear. “Uh, what’s that? What’s a tally man?”
Sesame Street’s guest star Harry Belafonte answers this burning question once and for all. The singer tells his muppet pals the tally man is a very important person. Without him, people in northern countries would have no bananas.
“Daaaaay yo! No bananas?” I holler. “What would kids ever do without bananas?”
“Right on!” replies Chiquita, a well-known pint-sized banana expert who is watching her favorite program with Vinny. “Mashed bananas is one of baby’s first solid foods. They’re just so easy to digest and hardly ever cause allergies. Perfecto!” She snatches one from the bowl on the table and peels off its skin. “What would a peanut butter sandwich be like without the occasional banana slice thrown into the mix? Bananas keep it all from sticking to the roof of your mouth!”
“Well, Chiquita,” I say, not quite able to keep from showing off. “There’s a bit more to bananas than their creamy feel. Bananas tote along a mineral called potassium. For some bizarre reason, the sign for potassium is a capital K. The big K on a food label means a big bonus for your muscles, nerves and brain. K reduces blood pressure and risk of stroke. K also helps your bones absorb calcium to stay strong.”
“That’s all good,” says Chiquita, “but how about this? Bananas bring you a bunch of feel-good chemicals that pull together to keep you from getting depressed. And vitamin B6 in bananas helps you sleep and keeps you calm.” She smiled. “You’re not the only one to know a little about bananas.”
“Pass me a banana, quick, then,” I say, “I’m starting to feel a little crazy!” Vinny peels a ripe one and gulps it down. He smiles slowly, then passes the peel to Chiquita. “Yes, I do believe I’m starting to feel calmer. But it seems to me you need help from this banana, too, in another important way. Maybe you should press the inside of the peel to that humungous pimple on your nose. It’ll dry it out in a flash.”
“That’s rich, Vinny” says Chiquita, with a toss of her head. “When I’m finished with this slimy old banana skin, I’ll save it for you. You can throw it into your garden to spruce up those sad-looking flowers by your front door you call roses.”
“Daylight come, and I want to go home,” I sing, ignoring Chiquita. “I love that song! It makes me want to bake some cookies. These ripe bananas will be perfect for mixing up some Skinny Monkeys.”
So Vinny and Chiquita get started in the kitchen. Here’s the recipe they use – low on fat and calories (just 47 in each cookie) and high in protein and fiber.
Skinny Monkey Cookies
- 3 bananas
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup cashew cream (or peanut butter)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Dash of cinnamon
- stevia equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar (or less… but sadly, I like it sweet)
- chocolate chips to decorate
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash bananas in a large bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients. Let batter stand for about 20 minutes, then drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Top each cookie with a chocolate chip. Bake 10-12 minutes.
After 10 minutes baking on a silicon pad, the cookies tasted very moist, almost too gooey. I put them back in the oven for another five minutes. The cookies never became crispy. Not much risk of burning these babies, I’d say. They tasted moist and chocolatey but a bit bland.These cookies taste best warm. I nuke them in the micro on low power for 5-10 seconds, until they feel warm to the touch. I have to say, they weren’t much of a hit with the kids at room temperature.
Cool completely, then place cookies in a freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze. To serve, zap on defrost in the microwave until they feel warm to the touch.
Thanks to once a month mom for this nutritious kid-friendly recipe idea featuring bananas.
For interest’s sake, here’s one more, not-so-skinny treat, featuring fried bananas and brown sugar. It comes to us from the Philippines, where banana cue is a popular street food.
(1 banana = 0.422g of potassium, 13% of your daily requirement)