In terms of nutritional value, bananas are rich in potassium, riboflavin, niacin and fiber, making them a nutritious snack. While baking a banana by itself will change the texture and temperature of the banana, the nutritional facts stay relative to the ripeness of the banana.
Banana Nutrition Facts
According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a single serving of a slightly ripe or ripe banana, approximately 7 1/4 inches long, contains:
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- 113 calories
- 0.33 grams of fat
- 26 grams of carbohydrates
- 5 grams of fiber
- 1.85 grams of protein
A banana also has 463 milligrams of potassium per serving. In addition, bananas are composed of 2 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, as well as 15 percent of vitamin C.
Variations in Ripeness
While your typical ripe banana will not change in nutritional value during the baking process, the ripeness of the banana itself will have a direct effect on moisture levels and the overall nutritional value of the fruit itself.
According to a March 2019 issue of the African Journal of Biotechnology, as a banana ripens, its magnesium levels decrease. In addition, moisture content increases in bananas until they become overripe, resulting in a dried, discolored banana.
While baking bananas, the temperature of the oven will cause the bananas to prematurely ripen. This premature ripening results in changes to the magnesium content and moisture found in the bananas.
While it's possible for you to bake bananas without additional ingredients, it's more common to incorporate bananas into other, more ambitious baked goods, such as breads, cakes and cookies.
The nutritional value of a banana in this context may change in that the banana is usually mashed with flour, sugar, baking soda, butter and a variety of other ingredients. After the ingredients are baked together, the nutritional value of the banana itself would only have changed if the banana has absorbed some of the sugars and ingredients during the baking process.
While baking bananas is a healthy and flavorful way to enjoy them, it's important that you use proper caution when consuming bananas of varying degrees of ripeness. Bananas that are green and unripe inhibit the enzyme amylase, limiting the digestion of complex carbohydrates.
In addition, overripe bananas run the risk of developing mold or other types of bacteria on them. If you notice any discoloration on the banana or skin of the banana, that's not a natural darkening, don't eat it. Natural darkening will turn the peel of the banana black or brown, while mold or bacteria will appear white or green.