- Food and Cooking
Banana Plant - A Completely Useable Plant for Food & Health
Banana Plant - Banana facts and information
Banana Plant is a herbaceous large plant with its grown-up height ranging from around 8 feet to 20 feet according to the soil and climatic conditions. The plant above ground level is simply a soft stem with long leaves spread around it from bottom to top. Actually, the stem of the plant is made up of the bottom portion of these leaves becoming a sheath and thus supporting the plant. So as new leaves sprout up, the stem height also increases. When the plant matures, new leaves stop and a flower spike sprouts up from stem carried by a new inner stem. This flower spike, in some very fertile soils, fruits even at only 6 or 7 feet height and gets loaded with bunches of bananas. I used to cut the bananas from the hanging bunch with my hands some 30 years ago when I was 30 years old. The normal average height of the plants is around 10 to 15 feet which bear at least one bunch of bananas. A good plant can yield up to 2, 3 bunches of bananas at the same time containing hundreds of bananas in each bunch. At the end of the season, the plant dies and new plants sprout up from the base.
Banana plant with flower and fruits
Each and every part of Banana Plant is Usable
You can use any part of the plant in some way or another. Eat the fruits, cook raw bananas to prepare curry or chutney recipes, prepare recipes with its stem, prepare wonderful recipes even with banana flowers also. Prepare banana chips, fries or doughnuts filled with banana. Eat banana ice creams and try other delicious preparations with ripe bananas. Use the leaves of the banana plant as plates for eating food or packing food. Spin yarn and ropes with its fibre for multiple uses.
Banana stem facts and recipes prepared with Banana stem
Banana plant stem is made up of an inner stem and an outer false stem. The false stem forms first with the help of the bottom ends of the leaves forming as the sheath. Each leaf's bottom end coils into a round or half round to create the stem from the base itself. The base below earth's level is known as corn from which plants in the form of leaves sprout. So the banana plant stands with the help of this false stem which is hollow. Later, another stem from inside emerges which carries the flower to the top for becoming a bunch of bananas.
This inner stem is used for food. We can prepare many delicious and healthy dishes with this inner stem which contains lots of fibre, iron, potassium and calcium needed for our body.
Cutting the banana stem for recipe
How to Prepare Banana Stem Recipes
Banana stems are sold in vegetable markets after removing their outer harsh layer. They are sold in pieces of around one-foot measure for easy utilisation by buyers. Or, if you have plants in your neighbourhood, you can get them for your use from the cultivator after its season is over.
Make a cut on the stem piece vertically to remove the remaining layers of the outer stem as shown in the above image with the knife. Remove the layers tearing with your hand. Then use the inner stem. Cut the stem into small pieces as shown in the image after removal of outer layers. Now you will prepare the recipes with these minced pieces.
I usually prepare two kinds of Banana Stem Recipes (side dishes for meals). One is prepared with tamarind juice which will be sour and spicy. The other one is prepared with curd which is also very delicious.
Banana Stem Recipe with tamarind juice & mustard paste
Sour Banana stem recipe
Ingredients required: Minced pieces of one-foot banana stem, Tamarind Juice 2 tablespoons, mustard seeds, red pepper long size (2no) split into pieces, salt, turmeric powder. You may add ground nuts, cashew nuts and other ingredients as shown in the video.
Put the cooking pan on the heat with a tablespoon of oil. After heating oil, add the red pepper pieces and other ingredients of ground nuts, cashew nuts, etc. (according to your taste and quantity of recipe) and a half-teaspoon of mustard seeds. After frying them till splitting sound, add the minced pieces of the banana stem to it and mix well for a minute on the heat. Then add tamarind juice and mix it adding some water (say 50 ml water). Add one teaspoon salt and half teaspoon turmeric powder and after mixing well cook it for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a paste of mustard seeds taking a tablespoonful of mustard seeds and grinding them with some water so that it becomes a soluble paste with white foam. When the banana stem recipe gets cooked, remove it from heat and add this mustard seed paste to it and mix well. Now your banana stem recipe is ready for serve. The video is linked from the website which is in the Telugu language with some sub-titles in English. My preparation may be somewhat different from the video. You can follow my instructions as I cook in my own way.
From one foot long stem of banana, you can prepare recipe enough for serve to 5, 6 people with above quantity of ingredients.
Banana Stem Recipes with Curd
Ingredients required: Minced pieces of one-foot banana stem, salt, turmeric powder, half spoon mustard seeds, one cup curd.
Cook the minced pieces in a cooker with very little water (say 2 tablespoons of water) adding one teaspoon salt. After one whistle you can remove it from heat and allow to cool. After cooling, remove it into a bowl and add the curd and half spoon or quarter spoon of turmeric powder and mix well. The turmeric powder is added for good colour, taste, and appearance. After mixing it, take a small frying pan for frying the mustard seeds in a little bit of oil. Heat the oil and fry the mustard seeds till splitting sound and add it to the recipe. Your curd recipe is ready now for serve.
Banana flower recipe with split green gram (Video is explained below in text capsule)
How much do you like Banana Recipes
Banana Flower recipes
Many recipes are prepared with banana flower also. But it is a time-consuming job. You need to remove all the outer layers of the flower which are coloured until you reach the inner white layered flower. Most people use the outer flower buds known as florets that are lined up in between the layers also for cooking in the recipe. But to avoid too much strain, better take only the inner white layered flower for preparation.
This inner flower is cut into pieces and then minced in a jar to become fine pieces. While cutting the flower or stem or any banana part, your hands will become dark with its sticky juice. To avoid this, you may apply some oil to hands before starting to cut.
I prepare two kinds of Banana Flower recipes
- One recipe is prepared just like the above banana stem recipe with tamarind juice and mustard paste in the same procedure.
- Another dish is prepared by adding split green gram which is to be soaked for 20 to 30 minutes in water before preparation. This procedure is clearly shown in the video linked at right above. It is in our Telugu language. So, I am explaining it below in my own way.
First, you will cook the minced flower in a cooker or micro oven for 5 minutes and dry the cooked ingredient by extracting water, if any, from it.
Then, place the frying pan or a cooking bowl on the heat with some oil. Fry some split chickpea nuts and split black peanuts and mustard seeds, cumins, etc. Then add the soaked split green gram or green peanuts and the cooked banana flower to it. Fry for one minute adding salt and turmeric powder. Your Banana Flower recipe will be ready now for serve.
Bananas Raw & Ripe
Uses of Bananas in raw form and in the form of ripe fruits is already popular all over the world.
- Great varieties of dishes are prepared with raw green bananas as curries for side dishes and as breakfast items.
- The raw banana recipe is prepared either by cooking in steam and then sauteing with spices and curry leaves or by cutting into pieces and frying in a pan and then adding spices before or after removing from heat or preparing curry in an ordinary way through cooking in a bowl with salt and spice or tamarind juice and spice powders.
- Dry chips are also prepared with bananas by cutting thin rounds of it.
- Ripe bananas are mostly used as fruits by eating them in original form. A lot of desserts are prepared from them in many different forms adding various ingredients with cream which are mostly popular in every corner of the world.
Uses of Banana leaves
Banana leaves are very useful and good for health. Taking food in banana leaves contributes to your health as they are more clean and hygienic than other plates. They are eco-friendly also in contrast to other paper and disposable plates; as the leaves degrade quickly in the earth. Further, the wonderful aroma and chemical properties of the banana leaves add a great taste to your food besides making you healthier.
Medicinal properties of banana plant
- Eating bananas after meals is good for digestion. You can consume it with milk or buttermilk as per your likes. They act as antioxidants also.
- During loose motions, eat a banana and you will get immediate relief.
- The iron and calcium properties in banana fruit, stem and flowers are very good for health. They increase hemoglobin production and control blood circulation.
- It is good for growing children and those suffering from weakness to eat banana fruits or take the banana recipes.
- People suffering from depression also get some relief by eating bananas as they control the brain nerves.
- The rich fibre content is very good for digestion and acidity problems and growth of your body.
Nutrition Facts of Banana Plant Stem (raw)
|Serving size: 100 gram|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 2 g||1%|
|Sugar 0 g|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Now, I hope that you are able to see the multiple uses of banana plants and their health factors. I prefer eating bananas daily and prepare one of the above recipes once in a week or ten days to enjoy the health benefits of this great plant. They are comparatively cheap also which is one more plus factor.
References for my hub
Besides my own experience, I took facts from the following sites.
Nutrition facts source: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/raw-banana-stem-51260846