Why would someone not go bananas when served with the delicious banana or plantain fruit?
Since we were young, we have grown to love this long, yellow, and sweet treat. It is often eaten directly as a dessert right after eating, and sometimes, it is included in pudding, cakes, cookies, and pastries. It can also be a flavor for ice cream, candies, and butter. In addition to that, you can make it into chips and risotto. There are also viands and different dishes that include it in the ingredients’ list. The possibilities of savoring this delightful, super fruit are undeniably endless!
Make sure to read through this article to enlighten yourself about this nutritious yet very savory fruit. We will fill you with enough knowledge regarding the most asked questions about it. You will also be amazed by some surprising facts and trivia you never knew before. So brace yourself and be ready with all the information you will be getting as you explore this read.
First things first, Are Bananas Berries?
This particular fruit has been with us all our lives. It is very prevalent and widely available, from local wet markets to supermarkets in the malls. Because of its natural softness and sweetness, even the babies who are just starting to eat are loving it. However, no matter how familiar we are with this fruit, there are still confusions about whether it is really a fruit or technically a berry? Well, to know that, let us first define what fruit and a berry are:
Fruit must be surrounded by three main structures, the ‘Exocarp’ which is the skin or the outer part of the fruit, the ‘Mesocarp,’ which is the flesh or middle of the fruit; and the ‘Endocarp,’ the inner part that encloses the seeds or the seeds.
Have you noticed something? The last part is missing in the fruit, the ‘Endocarp,’ the inner part that encloses the seed or seeds.
Now, let’s define what berry is:
It must have a soft ‘exocarp’ (the skin of the fruit), and it must have a fleshy mesocarp (the flesh or the middle of the fruit). And get this, the ‘endocarp’ (the part that encloses the seeds) must also be soft and may possess one or more seeds!
Now, it perfectly fits this description! However, berries are also considered a fruit. So technically speaking, it’s not wrong to call it a fruit or a berry. Furthermore, all berries can be called fruits, but not all fruits can be considered berries.
Is it a tree or an herb?
It is an herb, a large one to be exact. Its herb category mainly stems from botanical reasons. It is considered an ‘herb’ because it never forms a woody stem the way trees do; instead, it creates a succulent stalk or pseudostem. It can grow as tall as 40 ft high, making it one of the world’s tallest herbs.
How to Keep Bananas Fresh?
Keeping your fruit fresh even after several days after buying it is always challenging. It is indeed a waste of money if you have bought too many pieces of this fruit for yourself and they ended up rotten. So if you are afraid that they might go terrible before you can consume them, here are some tips and tricks on keeping them fresh even after multiple days.
- Place them away from sunlight or any direct heat like your stove, heater, and window.
- Store them by hooking them and prevent them from being bruised.
- Please place them in a plastic bag, seal it, and keep it in your fridge.
How to Ripen Bananas Fast?
There are times that there are no available ripe fruits of this kind in the market, so you will have no choice but to buy them unripe and let them mature in your home. Sure, you want to consume your bought fruit as soon as possible, and we sure understand that. So here are some proven ways to ripen this particular delicious fruit fast.
- Please place them in warm places. With this, it will take them 24 to 48 hours to ripen.
- Please put it in a paper bag. It would take 12 to 24 hours to mature inside and be ready to eat.
- Other vendors ripen their fruits quicker by the use of calcium carbide or karburo. Karburo is put at the bottom of the container, where you will store and keep for at least 24 hours. The Calcium carbide releases heat when enclosed, thus making them ripen faster than usual.
Types of Bananas
You might already be familiar with the different types of this fruit since it is ubiquitous, and we had grown to love it since when we were young. But some of us are not aware of the variations’ actual names, so here are the top four (4) varieties of this fruit to add to your ‘banana-vocabulary.’
This variation has that sweet taste and firm texture that everybody loves. It is commonly planted and grown in South American countries, Asia, and its believed origin, Hawaii. They are available all seasons of the year and are often paired with other fruits like strawberries, apples, and blueberries. People can also use them in making desserts like tarts.
They are mostly available at local supermarkets and are slightly sweet. This variation is the most common in puddings, cakes, cookies, and desserts’ dishes.
Go bananas for bananas (Cavendish variant) used in cakes.
This goodie is one for the books, especially when topped with icing and salted caramel. It is indeed very delicious, sweet, and savory. Your kids will ask for more slices.
Cavendish for Banana Split Recipes
It is one of the most mouth-watering ways of serving this fruit. Imagine having a taste of it when it is topped with ice cream and chocolate syrups? Oh, so yummy that it will make you go bananas for sure!
Cookies from Cavendish Recipes
It is already a given that cookies are delicious, how much more if it is made of our delicious, featured fruit. It will be not only mouth-watering cookies but also healthy and nutritious treats. It is perfect for your family’s snack during a lazy afternoon living room bonding.
Lady’s Finger Type
Lady’s finger tastes almost the same as the cavendish but is relatively smaller and, most of the time, sweeter than the former. They are exceptionally delicious and thin-skinned. They can be eaten when fresh or used as an ingredient in numerous sweet, tasty treats. There are dwarf variants of Lady’s Finger, while there are 12 to 16 feet tall.
Pisang Raja or Latundan
Latundanor Pisang raja is widely known because it is naturally sweet but because it is cheaper. It still gives you that same delicious goodness even though you bought it for a lower price.
The Saba variant is not as sweet as the other variations of this fruit. It can be eaten fresh, but we highly recommend and prefer to consume it when cooked. In the Philippines, they turn it into turon or banana cue. It can also be used as ingredients in viands like pochero and pork or chicken estofado.
- Turon – Turon is a Filipino merienda made of our featured fruit wrapped with spring roll wrappers. They are deep-fried until the wrappers are crunchy. Then, it is soaked in caramelized sugar that makes it a lot sweeter and delicious. It can also taste a lot better and smell nicer if you roll it in the wrappers with langka or jackfruit.
- Banana cue: This sweet dessert is a staple to turon as they always come together when sold at local markets and stores. It is done by caramelizing the sugar first on a pan, and when melted enough, the fruit is added and fried. Once done, Filipino usually use bamboo skewers to swerve them. The thrill of eating it on a bamboo stick makes you have a more enjoyable merienda, especially when you refresh yourself with sago and gulaman.
- Ginataang Saba (Saba with Coconut Milk) – This delicacy is one of Filipinos’ most favorite meriendas. Our highlighted fruit is sweetened by putting them in a pan with boiling caramelized sugar. Gata is then added with the already boiled sago or tapioca pearls. It is very delicious, creamy, and sweet so try it for yourself.
Aside from the variations mentioned above, there are still different types of this plantain you ought to know. These are the original variant, the organic, red, and green ones.
It turns out that the variants we see now are merely a result of a mutation that brought us away from the original form and nutrients of this fruit until the actual fruit became extinct.
The original variations are said to have been cultivated about 1,000 years ago. But what’s fascinating is, the cultivation of the actual plant is believed to pre-date even before the rice!
Organic varieties are grown and processed free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and cannot be genetically modified.
Red varieties are various yellow plantain with colors that range from purple to brown, which signifies the degree of their ripeness. It has a similar taste to the yellow ones, but with a slight hint of raspberries.
This type of our featured fruit is less sweet, tastes bitter, and firmer than yellow variants. It is high in starch that turns into sugar. It turns yellow as it ripens.
Are Bananas Good For Diabetics?
Since our featured fruit is indeed sweet and sugary, it might be a worry to let your family member with diabetes consume it. You might be so curious and ask: “Are they good for diabetics?” This fruit is high in both carbs and sugar, which are two big red flags for diabetics. It would be too risky for people with diabetes to consume high carb, which can drive their blood sugar levels up. However, due to its high fiber content and relatively low glycemic index, this fruit can still be eaten by diabetic persons. It is safe to consume but, of course, moderation, as anything too much can put their conditions at risk.
When Should You Eat This Fruit?
Some people want to eat this curvy, yellowish fruit when it is still not that sweet but already soft. Others prefer to consume it when they have fully ripened. But there is no particular recommendation on when you should eat it. It is solely based on your taste preference and nutritional requirements. If you want to feel full for a more extended period, then the newly ripped ones are ideal for you, as they have high starch content.
On the other hand, if you want to consume and digest it immediately, opt for the well-riped ones. You can distinguish them quickly because they have dark patches on their skins. They are also responsible for providing you with an energy boost, primarily if you are engaged in physical activities.
Can The Banana Peels Be Eaten?
Well, studies suggest that this part of our feature yellow fruit is edible. And surprisingly, it contains many nutritional benefits like potassium, amino acids, and fiber. It also has antioxidants essential for the body. However, even though it is edible and packed with so many benefits, it tastes bitter and acrid. So if you can tolerate those unpleasant tastes, go on and satisfy yourself!
What particular time should you eat this fruit?
we understand that you always want to taste this fruit whenever you see it on your table, like screaming to your face, “eat me now!” However, you should not consume it after dinner as it may cause indigestion. It can worsen your cough and colds too.
Amazing Health Benefits of Bananas
This fruit will not have been almost everybody’s favorite if it is not delicious and nutritious at the same time. It has so many nutritional contents that are all beneficial to our body. With that being said, here are the top benefits of this particular fruit that you must know:
- It helps in removing unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys.
- It maintains your nervous system and keeps it optimum.
- It helps in your weight loss plan because of its fiber content.
- It aids in your digestion and helps prevent ulcers, heartburn, and constipation.
- It can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD), and it’s just some of the clear proof that this fruit is ideal for you.
- It is good to eat it before a workout as it has natural sugars that maintain the body’s muscle and nerve functions throughout the workout period.
- An average of one to two pieces of this fruit a day is deemed to be moderate consumption.
- It contains tryptophan, which is ideal for reducing the risk of depression and mood swings.
- It has a significant amount of Vitamin A that is essential for maintaining eye conditions, and reduces the risk of having poor eyesight.
- It reduces the risk of kidney cancer due to its high content of antioxidant phenolic compounds.
Nutrients and Vitamins in Bananas
Unquestionably, this fruit has so many nutritional contents and vitamins. It is one of the many reasons why it is loved by many. Here are the top nourishments it has that can do so much favor for your body’s overall functionality.
- Calories – To set things straight, a ‘calorie’ is not a thing but a unit of measurement. It measures the amount of energy in a food or beverage. You can determine the calories in this fruit depending on their size.
Here’s a chart that can serve as a quick guide for your calorie measurement for it.
Small size 6–7 inches long,101 grams, 90 calories
Medium size 7–8 inches long, 118 grams, 105 calories
Large size 8–9 inches long, 136 grams, 121 calories
- Protein – Per hundred grams of this fruit, there are approximately 1.1 grams of proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles and are also the transport mechanism for our body’s oxygen.
- Vitamin B6 – with a consumption of about medium-sized of this fruit equals to ¼ of our daily Vitamin B6 body requirements. Vitamin B6 is known to be ideal for the eyes, heart, and body. It can also reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s diseases.
- Fiber – It is recommended that a person consume 25 to 30 grams of total fiber a day, and one plantain meets about 10 percent of your daily fiber. Like carbs and calories, you can measure the fiber content by merely determining the fruit’s size.
Small Size 6 to 7 inches long 2.5 grams of fiber
Medium Size 7 to 9 inches long 3.1 grams of fiber
Extra Large Size over 9 inches long 4 grams of fiber
- Potassium – Our featured fruit is naturally rich in potassium, which is approximately 42 milligrams. Potassium is an aid in regulating blood circulation, muscular movements, and heart contractions, which are essential to maintain and keep our body fit. It also holds the body’s fluid balance and is very necessary for the nervous system.
This particular fruit, when weighing 100 g, contains approximately 358 mg (potassium). But what does the potassium in this specific fruit do to our body? This mineral has a significant role in muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, and the body’s heart and kidneys’ proper functioning.
It also helps regulate the body’s fluid balance and blood pressure in cells with other minerals like sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
- Carbs – Carbs or Carbohydrates are macronutrients, which means that they are one of the three main ways that your body obtains energy or calories.
Did you know that their size can measure carbs in this yummy fruit? Here’s your quick list on how to measure the carbs of this fruit only by its length measured in inches.
Small 6–7 inches long, 101 grams 23 grams
Medium 7–8 inches long, 118 grams 27 grams
Large 8–9 inches long, 136 grams 31 grams
Things you didn’t know about this Super Fruit.
This featured fruit might be too common for you, but there are unbelievable facts and trivia about it that you still do not know. Among these surprising things are:
- In general and botanical terms, this delicious fruit is considered a berry. Mind-blowing, right?
- You can prevent its rapid ripening if you place it inside the refrigerator.
- People use this fruit in making Ketchup dips, specifically in the Philippines.
- This fruit floats in water as it is less dense than it.
- 50% of our DNA is the same as these fruits.
- There are over 1000 varieties of this fruit all over the world.
Different ways of cooking this fruit
Cooking this fruit is always as easy as pie. It is very versatile that you can cook this through crispy frying, oven baking, just boiling, and even grilling. Whatever way you choose to prepare this particular fruit, it is always as sweet, soft, and tasty. The ways you can savor it is undeniably limitless.
Deep-fried variations consist of a 5-ingredient recipe composed of the fruit, all-purpose flour, eggs, bread crumbs, and oil. One only needs to cut the fruit in half, bread them in flour, eggs, bread crumbs, and deep fry them in oil. Your children will go bananas for this recipe, especially when you top it with chocolate syrup! So delightful!
Yummy Oven – Baked
Baked variations bring out the fruit’s natural sweetness and leave it with a soft, gooey texture. It is best served with toppings like chocolates, syrups, and ice creams to complement its natural sweetness.
Peel-off and Boiled
It is so easy to make this variation of food made with our featured fruit. You only have to bring water to boil with salt and water. Cut the top and bottom of the fruit. Gently core the sides, then add the fruits to the boiling water—Cook them for approximately 15 minutes. Then remove the skin, and serve while still hot.
This variation is made by grilling the fruit with cinnamon powder that gives it a very tempting aroma that will make you go bananas. It is best served with vanilla ice cream, but of course, any ice cream flavor will do and make it extra creamy and delightful.
This fruit, when crispy-fried has no added sugar or preservatives; they taste just right and are not overly sweet. It’s a great snack when you’re on-the-go and fills your tummy so well with its crispy and crunchy goodness. Yum!
Sweets and Desserts that are Made With Bananas
This very delicious fruit can be harvested and cooked even when it is still green. It is generally eaten when still green and starchy, but some are eaten half-ripe and in ripe stages. The riper it becomes, the more nutritional content it has. They can weigh as heavy as 300 grams, but not all of this fruit’s sizes to be cooked are large. Some can be small and maybe around 50-100 grams in weight.
Thus, here are samples of savory treats and dishes made out of this yummy yet nutritious fruit that will make you go bananas for bananas, indeed!
Sweet Bananas Foster
It is a dessert made of our highlighted fruit and vanilla ice cream. It is often served with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liquor. You will indeed love this combination as the sauce gives another layer of texture and flavor to the already delicious ice cream and soft fruit.
Healthy Soft Bread
This nutritious variation is a type of bread from mashed plantains and is most often a moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread. It is readily available in different local bakeries and coffee shops. It is so delicious and goes surprisingly well with coffee. Try this combination with your family and friends and taste it for yourself. This bread is ideal to be paired with other cold beverages like soft drinks or soda, juice, or even water aside from coffee.
With Coconut Milk
Go bananas for this fruit that, when cooked, is more popularly known as ginataang Saging in the Philippines. It is often mixed with sweet potatoes, ube, langka or jackfruit, and small pearls or sago. The combinations of these individually delicious components are one for the books! Its unique, delicious, and creamy taste makes it a good dessert or Filipino merienda that many people undoubtedly love.
This fruit can also be processed and used as a flavoring for dessert ingredients. One of those is the pancake. There are powder pancake mixes that are flavored with it. And let us give you a tip: that pancake will taste even more delicious if you include real fruit in mixing it. It will be more delicious, nutritious, and delightful.
Graham cakes can be more delicious if you top it with our featured fruit, sliced and sweetened. The creamy condensed milk poured on the fruit toppings of the soft graham goodness will say it all. Very delicious and is ideal for different occasions and parties.
Aside from sweet baked and cooked treats, this particular fruit can be turned into smoothies, too! It is a nutritious refreshment that is very easy to prepare. You can use frozen fruit or other fresh ones in making this. Just slice them, toss them inside the blender, add some yogurt, honey, and dairy milk. Blend them for several minutes until the consistency is creamy enough for your liking. Taste it and make necessary adjustments according to your taste preference.
Going bananas for bananas is only natural because of its undeniable sweet and delicious taste. It is more than just Monkeys’ favorite fruit or a character on a famous series. Whether deep-fried or raw, dried or on ice, this fruit goes well with anything. Its delightful, sweet taste makes it a fruit for kids and even those in the dawn of their life.
There are so many benefits a person can get just by eating this fruit once a day. It can give you so many vitamins and nutrients that your body essentially needs. With that being said, ensure that you take care of your body’s wellness by consuming it regularly but not too much, as anything much is dangerous.
We hope you learned a thing or two from us today. So, see you on our next food blog!