Blood banana: an interesting and colorful superfood?
Smaller than the yellow variety, but packed with nutrients. Musa acuminate, commonly known as the blood banana, is a type of exotic fruit found in Mauritius. It is rich in vitamins and potassium and comes in beautiful red shade colours, which turn almost black when fully ripe. It is very popular in smoothies and because it is packed with nutrients, it is also considered a superfood…
What is a blood banana?
Compared to yellow bananas, blood bananas are smaller. One piece weighs about 100 g and has its characteristic reddish colour, which varies from purple to brown, depending on the degree of ripeness. The taste is very similar to yellow bananas with a slight hint of raspberry. In Central America, the juice of blood banana is seen as a strong aphrodisiac, and in India it is a symbol of fertility. The main producers are Thailand (here it is used to make a green curry), Ivory Coast, Colombia and Ecuador.
Blood banana: effects
Like the yellow variety, the red banana has many nutrients: it is rich in potassium, it is an excellent resource of energy for muscles and reduces cramps, especially during sports. In addition, blood banana helps regulate blood pressure and support digestion. It also contains carotenoids – pigments that cause its red colour, but they are not just about the colour they also important for healthy vision.
Use in the kitchen
You can peel and eat a blood banana just like a yellow banana. You can tell that a blood banana is ripe when its peel darkens or when you see brown spots on the skin . This is a clear signal that the banana has reached the right level of ripeness. You can add blood banana to fruit salads or you may prepare cocktails and ice cream from them. Blood bananas are also added to bread recipes and other various desserts and pancakes. Overall, the use is very similar to yellow banana.
If you want to grow blood bananas from seeds you need to break the seed casing and soak the seeds in warm water for 48 hours. Change the water regularly to keep it warm. Plant seeds in a permeable substrate to a depth of 2 cm. A flower pot with a diameter of 15 cm will suffice for the first year but the next summer you should transplant it into a larger pot.
After one month, the plant should sprout (ideal temperature is 23 to 25 °C). Place the pot in a light place but make sure there are no drafts, but the plant loves fresh air too so, you have to find the right balance. Beware of strong sun. During the growing season, you should water and fertilize regularly – about once every 14 days, and you should also remove dry leaves – continuously.
Banana tree and fruits
Blood banana tree usually begins to flower after it has developed 50 to 60 leaves and the trunk is sufficiently thick. Flowers should appear after two to three years. They open in the evening and the smell is almost intoxicating, in a good way. Fruit should appear about four months after flowering . Once you harvested bananas, the tree will no longer bear fruit. So, if you want to grow blood banana tree for fruit, you should start growing new plants.
Preview photo: Commons.wikimedia.org
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