A lot of you may not even eat this often or perhaps you never even had it at all. You can buy them whole or with the first few layers peeled, but it takes quite a bit of work if you are up to it. You must peel away it’s very enclosed, reddish purplish petals to reveal it’s heart and long, noodle-like flower buds that make up the pale core. These are to be separated and lightly salted rubbed and soaked in some water for 1-2 hours before going in to a dish. You can also purchase already picked and dry-salted banana blossoms to make things quicker. Be sure to soak the dried ones in hot water 2 or 3 times because they are really salty.
It is compared to artichoke in structure, texture and bitterness but banana blossom is milder and neutral actually. It is used in soups, salads and braised meat or veggie dishes and is like a pleasantly chewy noodle, it is affordable and unique. It adds more veggie and nutritional content to dishes without ever being overpowering, the textural interest it adds to other vegetables and chunks of meat is heavenly when all is simmered down properly.
So before we get into recipe ideas, what is its nutritional value?
For every cup of banana bloom, there is:
Nearly 6 grams of precious fiber. Fiber is scarce in many diets that are usually Westernized or simply leaning more on sugar, fat and carbs than anything else. Developing a habit of not taking enough fiber is very dangerous in the long run and you will not be as strong and well-circulated as you could be.
1.6 grams of protein. Wow, that is a bit more expected from a veggie-like flower with neutral taste.
0.6 grams of fat, plant fat is good fat. Very light, this flower is great for diets.
10 grams of carbohydrates. Carbs straight from plants are easier to burn especially with the other antioxidants.
A whopping 74 miligrams of Phosphorous. Banana blossom is high in minerals. Phosphorous aids in formation of bones and teeth and also plays an important role in our body properly using carbs and fats. It even helps produce protein for cell health maintenance and growth.
56 mg of Calcium. Enough said. To prevent Calcium deposits in your body, exercise regularly and get your fill of Vitamin K2- which is found in fermented foods like kimchi.
56 mg of Iron. Feeling anemic? 70% of our body’s Iron is found in our blood, Iron is a major component of blood production.
13 mg of Copper. Copper works hand in hand with Iron to produce red blood cells and maintain the health of the blood vessels, nervous system and bones.
Over 500 mg of Potassium. Key in maintaining hearth health and proper skeletal and muscle contractions.
Almost 50 mg of Magnesium which aids in hundreds of bodily function including nerve, muscle, immune and heart health, along with bones, glucose, fat and protein levels are regularized too.
Banana blossom also have a bit of Vitamins A, C and E.
Banana blossoms help:
Improve lactation in nursing mothers and regulates periods
Helps with anemia
Great filler for weight loss
Try making Thai or in general Asian-inspired salads, the texture and taste goes well with Asian ingredients. Soups can be made with the blossoms nearly mimicking noodles. They can be added to veggie wraps. They can be braised with rich pork or beef stews.