General description

Banana blossom, also known as a “banana heart”, is a fleshy, purple-skinned flower, shaped like a tear, which grows at the end of a banana fruit cluster. Traditionally used in south-east Asian and Indian cooking, it can also be eaten raw and its chunky, flaky texture makes it an ideal substitute for fish and it is trending in the UK as a vegan meat and fish substitute.

The fruit itself is the 4th largest fruit crop of the world, following the grape, citrus fruits and the apple. The flower is an exotic ingredient that is prevalent in Thai cuisine.

When can I pick it?

Banana flowers are sporadically available year-round with a peak season of late fall through early winter.

The inside part is the real banana flower. These white tubular flowers within the rough exterior are what provides the food value in banana flowers. In their natural state, they are slightly bitter and somewhat starchy and quite different from the taste of a golden ripe banana.

Benefits

  • Wards Off Infections: Banana flowers treat infections, thanks to their ethanol based extracts. …
  • Reduces Free Radical Activity: …
  • Reduces Menstrual Bleeding: …
  • Manages Diabetes And Anemia: …
  • Rich Source Of Vitamins And Minerals: …
  • Boosts Mood And Reduces Anxiety: …
  • Helps Nursing Mothers:
  • It has vitamins A, C, E, magnesium and potassium.
  • Rich in fiber
  • Anemia : it is rich in iron and helps with red blood cell production
  • Treats infections, thanks to the ethanol-based extracts contained within banana flower
  • It helps stop excessive bleeding in women during their period

Cooking

To prepare the tender interior portion of the banana flower, simply peel away the dark outer husk.

It’s important to wear gloves and work on a papered surface to avoid coming into contact with the liquid that’s present between the flowers. It stains heavily and it’s next to impossible to remove those stains once they’ve occurred.

The younger blossoms are sweet and tender and may simply be sliced and eaten raw in salads. These are the ones closest to the heart of the bulb.

More mature blossoms are larger and best sautéed in a stir fry or simmered in a soup.

To remove bitterness, add a generous amount of salt to the sliced banana flower and leave for two hours. Then wash off the salt thoroughly.

Banana flowers oxidize quickly when cut open and exposed to air. Place the sliced banana flower in a bowl of water with lemon juice to prevent browning as soon as you take it out of the bulb. It also helps get rid of the bitter sap that runs between the petals.

Pictures from the garden

Categories: Plants