Unfortunately for me, I can’t eat raw bananas without upsetting my stomach.
I’m also too unfit to swing from trees – so I would make a lousy monkey. There is something in them (maybe tannin) that makes my feel unwell.
I can however eat cooked bananas, so if you have a similar intolerance, try them barbecued or fried with caramelised sugar and rum. Or maybe diced and cooked in pancakes.
Bananas are one of the oldest cultivated fruits and have been eaten by humans in places like India and Asia thousands of years.
Contrary to popular belief, bananas don’t grow on trees or even palms; they are the fruit from one of the world’s largest herbs. And, to confuse the issue some more, bananas are technically a berry.
Bananas grow in large bunches referred to as a ‘hand’ and are harvested green, because they ripen best after being picked. They contain heaps of essential vitamins (particular B-group), complex carbohydrates, potassium, dietary fiber and absolutely no fat.
Varieties commonly available in Australia are Cavendish, Lady Finger and the new Gold Finger variety.
Banana leaves can also be used to make parcels for steaming fish, and I have also used banana flowers in some Asian stir-fries.
Caramel and Rum Bananas
- In a frying pan melt 2 tbsps of butter; add 2 thickly sliced large Cavendish bananas and fry to a light golden brown.
- Sprinkle in 2 tbsps of raw caster sugar and continue cooking until sugar thickens to a caramel.
- Add 2 tbsps of rum and if using gas stove be careful of a flambé effect –whoosh!
- Place the caramel bananas in serving bowls and dollop on a generous scoop of natural yoghurt.