Have you tried Banana Blossom before? You may be wondering what this crazy ingredient is … it’s actually a purple skinned flower that grows at the end of a banana cluster! You can imagine how many banana blossoms go unused. Due to its’ texture, banana flower an ideal substitute for fish.
My favourite Vegan Chef on instagram, @edenvegan (check out her page for heaps of inspirational recipes), has been using this superfood to create delicious dishes some of which we shall share in the coming weeks.
Banana blossoms are the delicate yellowy-white florets that are on the inside of the reddish purple teardrop shaped cluster of leaves that grow and produce bunches of bananas. They are neither fruity nor flowery but have an aromatic slightly tropical flavour that has subtle banana undertones.
They are a fantastic substitute for fish because of their texture and their ability to take on other flavours. The easiest way to buy them in New Zealand is in a can – @naturescharm can be found in most Countdown and New World supermarkets and also at Naturally Organic stores.
Nutritionally banana blossoms contain magnesium, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids, and antioxidants that help to neutralise free radicals, prevent oxidative damage, and reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
Check out these interesting nutritional facts
How to prepare fresh banana blossoms
Firstly pick your flower (the younger the better), then peel away the dark outer husk to reveal the blossoms inside.
Remove the blossoms from the stem and place in a bowl of water that you have added a few squeezes of lemon to. This will help stop them going brown – like bananas, they oxidise quickly when exposed to air. Store them this way until using.
If you have young blossoms they can be sliced and eaten raw in salads. More mature blossoms are best cooked, try them sautéed in a stir fry or add them to your favourite vegetable soup. They also go very well in Asian dishes, particularly Thai. Take out the chicken in recipes and add in banana blossoms instead.
Banana Blossoms are a delicious meat alternative.