The banana blossom is a beautiful flower that grows at the end of the fruit-bearing bunch of bananas. When in full bloom, the banana blossoms are large, showy, and fragrant flowers, making them a popular choice for floral arrangements, but not only.
Though they are often used as decorations or to add color to a landscape, banana blossoms are edible. They have a sweet taste and can be used in many different dishes. The most popular way to eat banana blossoms is to fry them, giving them a crispy texture on the outside while maintaining their sweetness on the inside. Banana blossoms can also be boiled or steamed and are often used in soups and stews.
In addition to being eaten, banana blossoms also have many medicinal uses. They have been known to treat stomach ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation. Banana blossoms can also be applied externally to bruises and cuts as they help stop the bleeding and speed up the healing process.
As I said, a banana blossom is a flower that grows at the end of a banana bunch. It is long and thin, similar to a cone shape, resembles a tear, and has a light purple color. Once the blossom blooms, the flowers will start to wither and eventually die. When unripe, the colors range from white to yellow-green. As it ripens, the colors will change to red or purple. Submerging the blossom in acidulated water (water with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice) prevents it from discoloring.
How banana blossom it is grown
The banana blossom farming process is fascinating. After the flowers bloom, they are manually pollinated with a small brush. Once pollinated, it takes about two weeks for the tiny bananas to form. The clusters of banana blossoms and fruits are then harvested by cutting them from the stem.
The versatility of the banana blossom in the kitchen
This flower is among the most commonly consumed vegetables in various Asian cuisines, especially Southeast Asia. Vegan fanatics (in a good way) are discovering this practical flower that resembles meat, is used to recreate the texture of fish and provides all essential amino acids. The taste of banana blossom is hard to describe, and some say it tastes like a cross between artichoke and cabbage. In contrast, others say it has a faint banana flavor. Regardless, it is a versatile ingredient used in many dishes. But before we move on to how to prepare this magnificent flower, let’s explore some of its health benefits.
The health benefits
Banana blossom has many health benefits and is a great powerhouse for healthy living. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Additionally, it is a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants like folate and carotenoids. These nutrients support a healthy immune system, maintain cardiovascular health, and prevent chronic diseases.
One of the most notable benefits of banana blossom is its ability to regulate blood pressure levels. This is due to the high potassium content, which helps control blood pressure by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and arteries. Furthermore, the fiber in banana blossoms also helps lower cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids and promoting their excretion from the body.
The most significant benefit I can see from consuming banana blossom is its role in digestive health. The high fiber content helps bulk up stools and promote regular bowel movements, which can help relieve constipation and prevent gastrointestinal conditions like colon cancer. Additionally, the banana blossom’s antacid properties can help relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.
Some beneficial activities that are to believe in banana blossoms:
- Hypoglycemic, and much more.
It has incredible benefits for human consumption and is one’s perfect of the nature can provide.
Some Banana blossom nutrition facts (from healthline.com):
per 100 grams:
- Calories: 23.
- Carbs: 4 grams.
- Protein: 1.5 grams.
- Fat: 0 grams.
How to prepare banana blossom
When shopping for banana blossoms, look for ones that are firm and have a bright color. They will not be as fresh or flavorful if they start to brown or wilt. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container and use them within a few days. Some recipes call for removing the inner core of the banana flower but prefer just slicing it without removing the center. This makes tying them much more manageable and eliminates having to fiddle with unnecessary threads or strings.
Suppose you want to get a bit fancier. There are many prep methods in that case, including working around each petal and removing the inner core. The heart of each blossom is considered a delicacy – technically an immature banana!
The typical Filipino process for preparing these leaves involves scorching them in hot water. Others suggest dipping in salt water. Either way, this helps soften the leaves and eliminates bitterness, so either works fine! These methods aim to make boiled dishes browning in chicken fat or frying more cohesive since the heat breaks down pectin.
For now, I share here some simplest methods you can do:
- Start by removing the tough outer leaves until you get to the softer inner ones.
- Cut off the bottom tip and any brown parts.
- Rinse well and pat dry before using.
Cut the banana blossom into bite-sized pieces and add to boiling water to boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and serve as desired.
To deep-fry, cut the banana blossom into bite-sized pieces and coat in cornstarch or flour. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and Fry for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.
In this article, we explored some of the exciting characteristics of this flower. Among the many flowers that grow on the earth, the banana blossom is one of the most intriguing. This flower is not only beautiful, but it also has a range of unique properties that make it fascinating to study.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of banana blossom and its place in the natural world. We also hope you will be inspired to learn more about this and other flowers that grow on our planet.
- Ramu, R., Shirahatti, P. S., Anilakumar, K. R., Nayakavadi, S., Zameer, F., Dhananjaya, B. L., & Nagendra Prasad, M. N. (2017). Assessment of Nutritional Quality and Global Antioxidant Response of Banana (Musa sp. CV. Nanjangud Rasa Bale) Pseudostem and Flower. Pharmacognosy Research, 9(Suppl 1), S74–S83. https://doi.org/10.4103/pr.pr_67_17
- PN, S. (2019). A REVIEW ON BANANA BLOSSOM: THE HEART OF BANANA. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. https://www.academia.edu/44056845/A_REVIEW_ON_BANANA_BLOSSOM_THE_HEART_OF_BANANA
- Lee, Sarah & Singaram, Nallammai & Hassan, Halijah. (2016). Study of Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Activity of Musa spp. Peel. 10.13140/RG.2.2.33612.10884.