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Raw bananas are green bananas that have not yet ripened. They are a curved fruit with a uniformly tough, green skin. The dense, firm, white flesh has a starchy-tart flavor, as the sugars have not yet developed. Raw bananas are best cooked, and will taste very similar to potatoes.
Raw bananas are available year-round.
Raw bananas belong to the genus Musa, which includes both bananas and plantains. Raw bananas may also be referred to as Green bananas, as they refer to the immature, unripe fruit of several varieties, including Apple bananas and Cavendish bananas. Raw bananas are commonly eaten in India, which is the biggest producer of bananas in the world; in the Caribbean, where they may be referred to as “Caribbean figs”; and in the Pacific Islands.
Raw bananas contain resistant starch, which passes through the body undigested. Resistant starch keeps the digestive system healthy, as it promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract, and it may keep you satiated longer. In addition to starch, raw bananas contain potassium and Vitamins A, C, and B6.
Raw bananas are best cooked, and are often used in savory dishes like curries and stir-fries, as well as in sweet applications. The peel can be left on or removed before consumption, depending on the recipe. They can be cut and boiled to make the skin easier to remove. Raw bananas can be steamed, mashed, boiled, fried, and baked. They can even be dried, ground, and turned into a flour that has a mild, nutty taste, and can be used as a replacement for wheat flour. Raw bananas pair well with other vegetables like peppers, yams and potatoes. In Indian cuisine, they are used in a deep-fried snack called Kachori, where boiled and mashed Raw bananas are mixed with rice flour, filled with grated coconut, seeds, and nuts, then deep-fried. In Kerala, they are cooked with yams in coconut milk and flavored with mustard seeds and curry leaves to make a soup-like dish called kalan curry. In Bengal, a traditional dish called kanchakalar khosha bata utilizes cooked Raw banana peels in a chutney-like dish. In the Caribbean, mashed Raw bananas may be served as a side dish with fish or pork.
In India, Raw bananas are seen as cooling and astringent, and are used in traditional medicines. For example, the ashes of the peels of Raw bananas are used to treat dysentery and ulcers. Raw bananas may also be boiled and mashed with butter and salt, then consumed to help with digestive problems. Raw bananas are used in place of potatoes by those of the Jain religion, who are forbidden to eat root vegetables.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. Scientists believe bananas have been cultivated since at least 8000 BCE, and are native to New Guinea and parts of Southeast Asia. Today, bananas are produced in tropical and subtropical areas around the world.