This post is part of the Food Therapy series and Carol Taylor creates wonderful recipes for foods that should be included in our regular diets as part of a ‘Cook from Scratch’ approach to health.
The Banana also known as the fruit of wise men.
I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket; these bananas will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the Gros Michel which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.
This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all.
The Banana a most versatile of fruits with so many uses…..Here in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.
So much so that I always freeze some ready to make smoothies.
The Bananas scientific name is “Musa Sapientum“ which roughly translated means “Fruit of wise men”
Here it is called Kluay pronounce “ glue eye” spellings vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry.
Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork.
The purple flowers are steamed and eaten with a spicy Thai dip.
To make Thai spicy dip:
Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.
Mashed and mixed with a tbsp of heavy cream and a tbsp of honey and then applied to dry hair covered with a shower cap and a hot towel. Left for an hour and then rinsed off before shampooing the hair it is a wonderful moisturising treatment.
There is no end to the properties of this low calorie, no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol berry which is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and B6.
Here it is used to make bread and muffins.
- 2/3 ripe bananas.
- 1/3 Cup melted butter.
- 1 cup sugar (I only used slightly less than 1/2 cup) don’t like it too sweet.
- 1 egg beaten.
- 1 tsp vanilla essence.
- 1 tsp Baking Powder.
- 1 1/2 Cups Flour.
- Handful walnuts chopped (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350/175 degrees.
Use a 4 x 8 inch loaf tin.
- Mash Banana, Stir in butter. Mix in Baking Soda and salt. Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix in flour.
- Bake for 1hr- 1hr 10 mins.
- Cool completely before removing from tin.
Once cold it can be eaten sliced on its own or with butter…I serve mine with a passion fruit butter sometimes it is nice to experiment with different flavoured butters.
If cooked the banana skins are edible, you will see fried bananas in abundance on the street food stalls…they are fried in batter, grilled on the BBQ in their skins and turned into golden fritters ( Kluay phao)
Banana spring rolls with a sweet dip or eaten green and raw with a spicy dip. (See recipe above)
They can be used to make a beautiful Banana Blossom stir fry.
Just wash the blossoms and put in a bowl of cold water with some lemon.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp yellow split peas/chana dhal
- 1 tbsp split green lentils/urad dhal
- 1-2 dry red Chilli halved
- 2 tsp tamarind juice
- 5-8 Curry Leaves
- 1 Banana flower blossoms
- 1 large red onion, diced
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut, fresh/frozen
- Salt to taste
Bring some water to the boil in a cooking pan and add the banana flower to a boiling water pot and cook for 10 minutes, until they are soft and done. Drain the water through a colander and squeeze with the hand to remove any excess water. Set them aside.
Heat oil in a cooking pan and once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, Let them pop, add lentils and halved red chillies. Now add tamarind juice and curry leaves and mix well, Mix in finely chopped onion and saute on a medium flame till they are light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric and mix well.
Add the cooked banana flower to the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes at on a medium flame until they are mixed well with the spices.Add salt to taste and sprinkle grated coconut on top and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot with steam rice.
Green unripe bananas are also used to make Tam Maak Kluay which is a version of the famous Som Tam (Papaya Salad) which I first had from a roadside stall near Bang Tao beach in Phuket and it is beautiful.
Just a piece of trivia…did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.
About Carol Taylor
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US
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