​Ingredient Glossary: Banana

​Ingredient Glossary: Banana

Posted by Emily on 1st Dec 2019

Originating from what is believed to be the Arabic word for 'finger', 'banan', bananas have comfortably claimed the title of the most sought-after tropical fruit worldwide. There's a delightful array of varieties, such as:

Red bananas - are recognised by their yellow-pink exterior and matching flesh.

Sugar bananas - Petite in size, measuring around 3 inches.

The UK predominantly markets the Cavendish variety. The lengthier ones predominantly hail from Latin America, owing to their late harvest, whereas the shorter variants come from the Caribbean, where harvesting is earlier.

Nutritionally, bananas are powerhouses. They're laden with potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and fibre. Their high sugar content ensures an instant energy surge, making them a prime snack choice.

Availability

All year round. Fancy growing bananas? Seek advice from the seasoned gardeners at Gardeners' World.

Selecting the Best

If you're aiming for immediate consumption, opt for bananas with minuscule black spots, indicating ripeness. If not, those with a yellow hue and green-tipped ends are the ones to go for, as they'll ripen at room temperature. Steer clear of entirely green bananas - they're not yet ready to be eaten.

Preparation

A simple peel and you can slice or mash as per preference.

Storage

Could you keep them in a fruit bowl, Refrigeration results in blackened skins and a lingering banana scent in the fridge.

Cooking Suggestions

  • Mash them for delightful banana bread, or savour them with cream and sugar.
  • Blend them into smoothies.
  • Encase in foil with lemon juice, butter, muscovado sugar, and a hint of rum or cognac, then bake for 20 minutes.
  • For a savoury twist, peel, halve, drench in lemon juice, sprinkle sugar, grill until tender, and pair with gammon or fish.
  • Make some deliciously addictive Brilliant Banana & Chocolate Pancakes.
  • Fry up some crispy banana fritters
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