We’re Going Bananas!

Eggs, bananas, sugar and raisins

As peak season rolls in, the pace of life here at Serendipity begins to pick up. While we are having great fun designing trips for prospective Serendipity guests, we are also awaiting many preparatory calls from our peak season adventurers, regarding packing, currencies, and other related travel conundrums. My intuition starts to go on “alert”. To me, peak season also means plenty of delicious banana bread loaves for our Serendipity guests.

One of my roles here at Serendipity is to provide our guests with comfort food desserts, including my grandmother’s banana bread recipe, for activity lunches or evening meals. When traveling with us, you and your travel companions are off on adventures of full fledged exploration with our career adventure and naturalist guides. Our guests spend their Costa Rica travel days invigorating their spirits while immersing themselves in the natural world of this spectacular country. We’re talking about a lot of energy requirements, making rich banana bread a priority menu item.

Preparing the banana cake

The banano (in Spanish) is Costa Rica’s largest export crop, followed by pineapples and then coffee.  It’s easy for me to prepare for the peak season by stocking up on bananos from my neighbourhood fruits and vegetables corner store. Costing only $0.30 – $0.50 for a cluster of criollo bananas, one of the many types of banana species, I will have them ready and ripened for banana bread making.

Bananas are not native to Central America, or any part of the American continent. In fact they originate from Indo-Malaysia region of southeastern Asia. They have literally taken over the globe. Their crops are considered the fourth largest in the world. It’s not a coincidence though. The banana has a plethora of nutritionally favorable characteristics, many of which are not offered by any other fruit. The banana is a “super food” and should be eaten around midday or mid afternoon when your morning coffee has worn off. The banana will boost your spirits with a rich dose of potassium, which helps blood circulation to the brain and the entire body. Potassium is also vital for retaining a healthy amount of body water. Bananas will simply make you feel happy! They have a healthy dose of tryptophan, which is a mood regulating substance and helps you relax. Perfect for vacation time.

You would never even guess that bananas have been known to help with mosquito bites. This is a useful tip to remember when you forget your repellent at home. Rubbing a banana peel on your bite helps to relieve itchiness and swelling. And after you have “banana-ed up” those bites, don’t throw the peel into the garbage. A banana peel is much more useful buried near the base of your rose bush for extra flowering. The list of benefits goes on and on, but I’ll spare you all that.

A delicious banana cake

It’s most important to remember that while you are down here in Costa Rica, swinging from tree to tree, rafting down the white water rivers, and hiking Costa Rica’s many active volcanoes with Serendipity, take advantage of the readily available large quantities of bananas. They make an excellent snack, and for dessert, I’ll have them baked up with chocolate chips or nuts in a bread loaf, for you and your family to enjoy!