Unzip a Banana was a catch phrase for a British TV ad campaign in the 1960s. To this day I cannot peel a banana without thinking, “Unzip a Banana.”
For cyclists a banana has to be one of the most convenient foods you can carry on a ride. It is the perfect size and shape to fit in your jersey back pocket, and comes with its own bio-degradable wrapper. (Its skin.)
An important source of Potassium, the banana is one of the healthiest fruits. Vitamins and minerals are abundant, offering vitamin A, a full range of B vitamins are present with Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, vitamin B6, and of Folic Acid.
There is even vitamin C, with minerals Calcium, Magnesium, with trace amounts of iron and zinc.
About a 100 calories for a small banana to 140 for a large nine inch one, with 36 grams of carbs, it is a good source of energy to take on a ride.
Last Saturday I went on a long ride, 76 miles to be exact. I knew I would need to carry fuel for the trip; my choice was a double-decker sandwich. Three slices of whole grain bread; one layer of butter and cheese, the top layer a sliced banana.
A whapping 600 calories, enough to get me home from the halfway point. I used cheese because it is what was available at the time; I could have substituted jam or peanut butter.
I cut the sandwich in half, and tightly wrapped the two pieces separately in cling-film so they wouldn’t crumble and fall apart in my pocket. Then I placed both halves in a zip-lock bag.
The sweetness and moistness of the banana made the whole thing very easy to eat. It was cheaper than Energy Bars, and packed a lot more fuel. (Calories.) I find some energy bars are either dry and tough to get down, or tend to melt and get sticky.
I always try to keep bananas on hand, but try not to buy too many at once as they tend to ripen and quickly go soft. If they a over ripe they just end up a mushy mess in your pocket when carried individually, and if this is the case then the best way to carry them is in a sandwich as I have just described.
Another little tip; when you peel a banana, start fom the stem end. You will find you get less of those stringy bits that hang from the side of the fruit.
There is a lot more info on the banana on this website. What is your favorite food to carry on a long ride?