Wow! Have you all tried the Banana Flower? Did you know banana herbs (trees) had edible flowers on them? That's right, the banana 'tree' is NOT a tree at all. It does not have bark or a trunk like a tree, but rather many leaves closely formed together forming a huge stem that can grow 40 foot tall! The leaves are the 'trunk. This is actually classified as an HERB. One of the largest herb plants known to man. That's a fun fact for ya! Did you know you could eat that maroon beauty that stems beneath the bloomed bananas? YES indeed and it comes packed with a wealth of health benefits for you. Check it out, and check out our fun day of picking the perfect banana flowers!
Thanks to my awesome friend, Anna Shannon, for turning me on to these babies! I am now totally addicted and can't get enought of testing out different recipes with them. My favorite so far, is in the RAW as a salad of it's own. I love using the purple flowers as a bowl for my salad mix too. Also, the little flowerettes inside each leaf can be cut and eaten as well, adding even more nutrition to the salad.
Banana Flower Health Benefits
The banana flower grows on the herb, producing even more bananas. However, there are plenty of bananas to grow and taking banana flowers does not prevent the abundance of the growth of bananas.
A. High in Fiber
B. Abundant in Potassium
C. Teaming with Protein
D. Loaded with Vitamins A, C, E & K
E. Iron is also a huge element in these gems
F. Helps repair the uterus
G. Helps aid in lactation
H. Aids in menstrual cycle bleeding thus relieving pain
I. Wonder food for diabetics
J. Regulates blood pressure
K. Heals anemia
L. Relieves constipation
M. Heal wounds - prevents infections
Due to it's fiber content, these beauties are great for maintaining a healthy colon and relieves constipation!
The abundance potassium content helps to prevent 'charley horses' in the middle of the night or any time for that matter. As we know, potassium is very good for the kidney health, so you might want to integrate these beauties in your daily regime. Being a kidney patient with years of swelling and throbbing after my surgery at age 8, (read my story on the other blog and the about Lynnette page) I find these to be the perfect addition to keep my kidneys in check without feeling overly cleansed. Keep in mind, all cleansing foods are not optimum for some kidney patients. More on that in the kidney blog.
Due to it's rich content of iron, eating this flower often will replenish the hemoglobin levels, thus curing anemia.
We know that Vitamin C in the raw form from eating raw vegetables and herbs is extremely healthful in preventing diseases and reversing illnesses and repairing tissues, therefore, due to this high potency of Vitamin C, it is a great way to mend and keep your uterus in great standing. Eating raw or even sauteed banana flowers continually, during pregnancy and after child birth, helps to strengthen the uterus and tissues. Thus helping to increase lactation by stimulating progesterone hormone levels for breast milk. A great source of nutrition for new mothers and for their baby's health as well!
The banana flower is referred to as the "Heart of the Plant" or Banana Heart. For good reason too! Due to the ethanol based extracts, the banana flower inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacterias such as e-coli, bacillus, subtalis and cerus.
We all know that free radicals are one of the main culprits in premature aging. You will be happy to know that this beauty is beaYOUtiful for more reasons than one! It's abundance of Vitamin A helps to ward off free radicals and repair the skin cells to help faster rejuvenate the new skin cells for reducing the fine lines, age spots and redness. The flowers posses an abundant source of antioxidants and extracts of methanol. These are the great sources along with Vitamin A in which to keep your youthful and radiant skin alive!
To help relieve the cramps, pains and PMS of your menstrual cycle and even help ease excessive bleeding that some women incur, you should eat a cup of cooked banana flower during this time to prevent this from happening. Eating cooked banana flower and even raw salads of banana flower on a regular basis will prevent these ailments from arising in the first place. After all, we do preach about prevention is KEY to any ailment, sickness, disease and even aging. ;-)
The mention of this flower being a 'wonder food' for diabetics is due to it's high content of fiber and iron. Diabetics should consume banana flowers either boiled or alone to reduce the levels of blood sugar and raise the hemoglobin in the body. It also attributes to raising the RED blood cell count in the body which is what a lot of the problem is for many diabetics.
Due to it's high content of the many vitamins listed above, this is a great 'go to' to aid in relieving anxiety and depression! It's true, when you are feeling blue, reach for the banana flower instead of the 'code blue' of Rx drugs.
That's a little run down on the healthy benefits of these little known wonders of the earth! Here are a couple of ways we like to consume the flowers.
RAW Banana Flower Salad with Pesto Dressing
Peel off all the purple leaves of the flower till you get down to the white heart of the flower. Cut the stem off the end. Save all the tiny flowerettes from each leaf and cut them in half to save for mixig in salad. use the purple leaves for the salad 'bowls'. Makes a perfect presentation for guest! Cut the whiter part of the flower in small strips, can cut in rounds or length wise and then in half. Place all cuttings in a bowl of lemon or lime juice and let set for an hour at least. Can set longer. Dice a mango and cucumber too. (you can dice a carrot, cabbage or onion as well) Set all aside in a large mixing bowl.
A large bunch of fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
Nutritional yeast (1/4 cup)
2 large lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
Put all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender and blend very well.
Squeeze all liquid from the soaked banana flower and place banana flower into other diced fruits & /or vegetables and toss well. Place mixture inside banana leaves and top with freshly made pesto! Viola! The best RAW Salad mixture ever!
Sauteed Banana Flower and Black Bean Pasta
Cut and soak banana flower as directed above
Boil black bean pasta till almost tender. Drain well.
Dice a whole bulb of garlic cloves
Slice a small onion.
Put onion, garlic and banana flower in a well oiled skillet and sautee for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add black bean pasta and sautee for another 5 minutes. Dish onto plates and top with olive oil, salt and cracked black pepper. Viola! again , the most nourishing and filling meal ever! (you can top your pasta with the pesto dressing as well or nutritional yeast) ENJOY!
Written by Lynnette Marie. Please see my bio on the Minister for the Environment section.