Bananas are great super food which provides us with energy, make us feel full and provide our body with essential nutrients and high amount of fiber. The scientific name of banana is Masa acuminata and Masa balbisiana.
It is natural that we always mistake a banana for a plantain. Plantains are a member of the banana family. They are bigger in size and bright green. When compared to bananas plantains are thick skinned. While banana can be eaten raw plantains are not usually eaten raw because of its starch content. They serve an important role in many traditional diets. When used in cooking they are treated more like a vegetable than a fruit. Plantain contains less sugar and so they usually cooked or processed before being eaten. When it is little mature they can be fried, boiled, baked, micro-waved etc. The chips made out of green plantains are one of the favorite dishes in the Southwestern Indian state of Kerala.
Varieties: They come in colors say, green, yellow, purple and red. Most of the varieties are perennial (grown throughout the year). They are native to tropical southeast asis, but now are grown almost in all places. They are known as either "Dessert" bananas (when fully ripe) or cooking bananas
Banana plant can be found very easily in one's yard or gardens as they are very easy to cultivate and it is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. It can grow up to 6 to 6.7 meters (20 to 24.9 ft) tall and its leaves can grow up to 2.7 meters (8.9 ft) long and 60 cm (2.0 ft) wide.
Single Banana of average 125 grams has about 75% of water and 25% of waterless substance. It has protective external layer called peel or skin and many threads around between the peel and internal layer. Its seed is like tiny black specks present in the interior portion of the fruit.
While exporting banana, it is take into air-tight rooms filled with ethylene gas for ripening. While artificial ripening process the flavor and texture are affected.
Unripened Banana can be cook as potatoes. It Can be fried, boiled, chipped and has similar taste. The banana and potato has same calories.
There are different varieties of bananas like apple bananas, Cavendish bananas, lady finger bananas, pisang raja, Williams bananas and cooking bananas.
Cooking bananas are better thought of as potatoes than as bananas. They can be roasted, fried, steamed and otherwise used like any starchy vegetables. Yellow, red and green bananas are rich in nutrients and have the same amount of calories.
Upon purchasing, bananas last for a week, but after some time there are black spots that appear on them growing bigger until the bananas turn black. We think they are rotten and throw them away. But the fact is that the spots on the banana increase the value of the fruit. The brown spots represent the tumor necrosis factor. This cancer-fighting substance present in the banana helps to fight against abnormal cells in the body; however it is not proven clinically.
How to buy fresh Bananas?
Unlike most other fruits, bananas develop their best eating quality after they are harvested. This allows bananas to be shipped great distances. Almost our entire supply of bananas, available year-round, is imported from Central and South America. Bananas are sensitive to cool temperatures and will be injured in temperatures below 55 °F. For this reason, they should never be kept in the refrigerator. The ideal temperature for ripening bananas is between 60 and 70 °F. Higher temperatures cause them to ripen too rapidly.
Look for: Bananas which are firm, bright in appearance, and free from bruises or other injury. The state of ripeness is indicated by skin color. Best eating quality has been reached when the solid yellow color is specked with brown. At this stage, the flesh is mellow and the flavor is fully developed. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor potential.
Avoid: Bruised fruit (indicating rapid deterioration and waste); discolored skins (a sign of decay); a dull, grayish, aged appearance (showing that the bananas have been exposed to cold and will not ripen properly). Occasionally, the skin may be entirely brown and yet the flesh will still be in prime condition.