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Banana stems vary in size, averaging at least five centimeters in diameter when sold in markets, and are cylindrical to elongated in shape. The outer layer of the stem is a fibrous, green sheath that is inedible and tough to remove. Underneath this layer, the core is the edible portion of the stem and is white to pale green-yellow with a firm, dense consistency. Banana stems are crisp with a texture similar to jicama and have a mild, sweet-tart, vegetal flavor.
Banana stems are available year-round in tropical and subtropical climates.
Banana stems are botanically a part of the Musa genus and are actually a flower stalk of a large, herbaceous plant belonging to the Musaceae family. All parts of the banana plant are edible, and though the fruits are the most commonly consumed portion of the plant, the leaves and stalks are also used for a variety of culinary applications in Asia. Banana stems are predominately utilized in South Indian cuisine, favored for its mild flavor, ability to complement many different spices, crisp texture, and high nutritional properties.
Banana stems are high in fiber and can aid in the treatment of ulcers or an acidic stomach. Like the fruit, Banana stems are also very high in potassium and vitamin B6, which together benefit the muscles and the body’s production of hemoglobin and insulin.
Banana stems are most popularly cooked in stews or are consumed raw in juice form. When preparing Banana stems, be sure to remove any additional fibrous pieces that may come from the outer shell as these pieces are inedible and tough. In India, Banana stems are cooked with lentils and spices, cooked into curries and coconut milk, fried into crispy snacks, chopped and mixed into subzis or vegetable stir-fries, or are made into a stew and served over white rice. Banana stems are also sliced, juiced, and combined with buttermilk, salt, or lime to create a refreshing beverage. Banana stems have a mild flavor that readily absorbs accompanying flavors and pairs well with turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chiles, lentils, and grated coconut. The stems should be used immediately for best quality and flavor and will only keep 1-2 days when stored in the refrigerator.
In India, Banana stems are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a cooling element to counteract the hot, humid climate and are used to promote overall health. The stalks are predominately juiced, and the juice is left unstrained for use as a nutritional drink to help regulate blood pressure and to maintain insulin levels. The juice is also used as a diuretic to remove toxins from the body and help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
Bananas are native to Southeast Asia and regions of the South Pacific and have been growing wild since ancient times. Through trade routes, explorers, missionaries, and immigration, bananas were spread throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, including the Southern United States, Hawaii, Africa, South America, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. Today Banana stems can be widely found in local markets in Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific, and in other regions of the world, they can be found at specialty Asian and Indian grocery stores.
Recipes that include Banana Stem. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Padhus Kitchen||Vazhaithandu Soup-Plantain Stem (banana stem) Soup|
|Sharmi's Passions||Banana Stem Stir Fry|
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Patel BrothersNear Chandler, Arizona, United States
1315 S Arizona Ave Chandler AZ 85286
About 657 days ago, 1/07/20