Bananas

Bananas

Like many of you, I grew up always having bananas in the kitchen. They were a staple in our household. But when I began to do my research for this blog, what absolutely astonished me was that I’d never seen an actual banana flower before. When I found a picture of one, it seemed almost alien, something that must have arrived from another planet. I’ve included one of the photos first, before the video links, because I’m curious to know if any of you have ever seen a banana flower before. There are several photos of this flower below as well, so you’ll get to see all aspects of how it functions and how it produces row upon row of bananas. Once again, nature is amazing.

Here’s a 4-minute video on all the benefits of eating bananas. If you have the time, this 18-minute video, set in a village, possibly in India, is a fascinating look at how the locals use banana flowers to create two different, open-fire recipes. (The number of interruptions because of ‘ads’ was annoying but it still didn’t stop me from watching the whole thing.) Finally, here’s a 3-minute video featuring four awesome banana recipes.

FunFacts about Bananas: (Source)  

  • Basic Information, quote: A banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called “plantains”, distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible seedless (parthenocarp) bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. (Source)
  • Bananas are native to Australia, parts of southern Asia, Malaysia and India.
  • Bananas were most likely first domesticated in Papua New Guinea.
  • Today, bananas are grown in 135 countries.
  • There isn’t a huge distinction between ‘bananas’ and ‘plantains’. Bananas tend to be considered a sweet, dessert fruit while plantains are a firmer, starchier fruit used for cooking.
  • The banana plant is the largest of all herbaceous flowering plants.
  • Banana plants produce a flower spike called an inflorescence. Here’s a description, quote: The inflorescence contains many bracts (sometimes incorrectly referred to as petals) between rows of flowers. The female flowers (which can develop into fruit) appear in rows further up the stem (closer to the leaves) from the rows of male flowers…The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers (called “hands”), with up to 20 fruit to a tier. (Source)
  • Bananas are slightly and harmlessly radioactive. Check out why this is true here.
  • The vivid yellow color of bananas is caused by the ripening process before the fruit arrives at the local supermarket. This process involves ethylene gas. Ethylene is an important and natural plant hormone.
  • Bananas have many health benefits. They have potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure and improve circulation. Bananas also have tryptophan which can aid with depression.

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Disclaimer: As with any food, herbal remedy, beverage or concept on this blog, be sure to contact your physician before eating, imbibing or using for medical purposes any substance discussed on this blog. Always err on the side of caution and keep yourself well-informed. ~ Caris Roane

(Photos from Pixabay ~ Pixabay is a free site, so feel free to share, pin and enjoy these wonderful photos.)  

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42 thoughts on “Bananas

  1. I love bananas! I have never seen a banana flower either, it’s an interesting looking flower. I enjoyed watching the videos. I never had a banana fritter before, but maybe I will try making some. I love banana pudding and banana bread.

  2. I love bananas as well! If I have ever seen a banana flower I never realized that that was what it was. (I live in Florida and I’m sure I’ve seen a banana tree at some point in my 41 years.) Great pics & fascinating info!

  3. With how many bananas I’ve eaten over the years, I’m surprised that I’ve never even seen a picture of a banana flower before. Recently, I’ve heard that eating green bananas might be better for those watching their sugar because it has “resistant starch” while the yellow bananas have more sugar content (as a result of the ripening process).

  4. I love bananas, I eat one every day – either by it self, with my cereal or mashed up with peanut butter (yummy). The flower is alien looking. Enjoyed the pictures and videos (watching her cook out in the open with limited sources was amazing). Thanks for sharing.

    • Sheryl,
      As you can imagine, my time is limited so I don’t often indulge in videos longer than 8-9 minutes. But I honestly couldn’t stop watching her cook in the dirt, in her bare feet, on a simple open fire. I thought her plastic containers and her cooking pot and utensils looked very clean. The whole thing was amazing to me…

      Caris,
      Buckeye, Arizona USA

  5. I love bananas. One of my childhood memories is of my mom making banana pudding, which was totally awesome. I love banana sandwiches and banana bread.

    I remember seeing a green banana plant, but not the flower part, while watching a documentary about poisonous snakes and how they hang out in the banana fields.

    My kids love bananas.

  6. I love bananas so much. They are such a “super food”. They are portable, can be used for baking up yummy breads, muffins and cakes and are healthy. I love a banana sliced on my cereal. I have learned so much from reading and seeing the pictures on this blog! It is so interesting and the banana flower is beautiful and versatile also. I keep forgetting to say where I am from: Overland Park, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City)

  7. Bananas are so intriguing! I have never seen a flower before and it is like nothing I have ever seen. Thank you for showing us nature at it’s best.

  8. Never really thought about a banana having a flower before but it’s wild looking isn’t it. I don’t really care for bananas but if I do eat one I prefer it on the green side. My family loves banana pudding so I make it for them.I like mayo & banana sandwich which I know a lot of you are going ewwww. Lol. They are good though. I couldn’t figure out what the lady was putting in the water with the first cooking video though. I love love love the last photo of the banana dolphins!!! So adorable☺☺

  9. Wow what beautiful flowers, I have not seen one. But they do look like they come from another planet. I like bananas. Never eaten a banana and peanut butter sandwich.

  10. We used to grow bananas here in Florida. The plants are very prolific and put out new stalks all the time. Trimming the dead fronds is a lot of work and we had to wear old clothes when we did that because the sap from the plants will stain terribly.

  11. Surprisingly bananas are one of the few fruits I don’t like the texture of. I love the flavor but just not the texture.

  12. Bananas!
    Now you’ve talking.
    They are my all time favorite fruit and I always have them in the house.

    I also have two banana trees, although the growing season isn’t long enough in NC to produce fruit, which is ok since it’s the foliage that’s striking in the garden.

  13. I love the smell and the taste of bananas but, they do not agree with my system. They end to give my body an overdose of potassium. However, I know how to make a mean banana pudding!

  14. Okay, now I am hungry! I need to go to the store! I love bananas. Now I understand some to the “bad” press. Besides the radioactive thing, the drug companies sure don’t want us eating bananas. They are just too good for us. Thank you for this very informative blog on a favorite fruit.

    And those pictures. Awesome as always. I have never given much thought to exactly how bananas would grow so these help me know more. Not to mention the displays of lunch? breakfast? whatever. Beautiful. Thank you.

  15. we had a banana tree plant when I was a kid. Someone near us grew them and my dad got one from them. It flowered, but it never produced fruit because it needed to be pollenated and fertilized.

    I can’t eat bananas, I have a food allergy to them.

    denise from maryland

  16. Hahaha! Fell in love with that last photo! Shared it with half my family! I love baking stuff with bananas. The house favorite happens to be banana bread. Sometimes others things are added like cranberries, chocolate chips, strawberries, or whatever else is around.
    Sanford, Maine

  17. A lot of people grow banana trees in their yards in Southern California. It was a very common sight to see those big blossoms and then to watch the bananas get bigger and bigger. The San Diego Zoo also has banana trees as they use the fruit and foliage to feed some of the animals.

  18. I love bananas, plain, in cereal, in my pancakes, making banana bread. Enjoyed all the pictures. Buy them all the time. AZ

  19. Bananas are my favorite fruit. I never get tired of eating them. I never heard of a banana flower until now. the pictures are very pretty. the facts are interesting thank you so much

  20. Hi, Everyone,
    Thanks for all your comments. I love reading them! I also had to look at the pictures one more time because of those alien-looking flowers. They absolutely fascinate me. And they seem so sensible with their rows of flowers, then bracts, then more rows of flowers, another layer of bracts, and voila, you get this massive stalk of bananas. How else would this happen except with such an unusual, totally engineered flower!

    Caris,
    Buckeye, Arizona USA

  21. Our family loves bananas too and always has them around! There’s always banana bread if you don’t eat them before they get too ripe. I enjoyed the pictures of the banana flower. It’s amazing how this fruit grows.

  22. Love Bananas!!! Try to eat at least one a day! Living in central Calif. they tend to ripen too fast in the summer so hard to keep them around!!! 🙂 They are an amazing fruit!

  23. I think I saw banana flowers in Puerta Vallarta in a hotel garden. The guests were served fresh bananas from those trees.

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