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My first experience with cooked bananas was like a revelation. Who would have thought bananas could look and feel like candy?
Cooked banana is both like candy and a soothing balm for the digestive tract all wrapped up in nature’s package, especially perfect for the fall/winter and cooler seasons.
Bananas are rich in magnesium, which supports restful sleep. Their high potassium content supports muscle relaxation and calm.
On their own, bananas are a little heavy and difficult to digest. They also don’t combine well with other foods, so it’s best to have them alone, or in an Ayurvedic recipe like this one.
With the wisdom of Ayurveda, you can add a couple of ingredients, and like magic, you can digest bananas easily now.
When cooking bananas, the addition of ghee, sweet spices, and heat enhances the banana’s digestibility, allowing you to indulge your sweet craving without paying a price.
The two recipes I have for you today are magical indeed!
The first way to cook bananas involves frying the bananas in ghee with cardamom, ginger powder, and optional cinnamon.
This way of cooking the banana invigorates the senses in anticipation.
It starts with the buttery aroma of the ghee sweetened with spices.
Then the tropical mix wafts in from the banana, followed by the gentle flip to reveal a crispy, golden-brown crust.
Your mouth is salivating … and then the first bite delights.
That crispy banana crust, and the slimy-smooth interior that is oh-so-sweet. But not sweet like sugar. No. It’s a complex carbohydrate kind of sweet that will satisfy the mind and body and keep you full for a while.
If you aren’t familiar with ghee yet, you can check my post and learn why I recommend ghee as the healthiest fat for most of your cooking needs.
The second way to cook bananas is by steaming them in a saucepan. It takes only 2 minutes and they’re done since you don’t want to overcook them.
The coolest thing here is that the skins of the bananas are left on, so that there’s protection for the banana inside from getting too mushy, and it steams in its skin.
Then you get the delight of opening up the banana pieces to reveal the treat inside.
You’ll notice that the exposed ends of the banana are coated in ghee and spices.
You are welcome to drink the steaming juice as long as you purchased organic bananas.
You can also have these steamed bananas along with other fruit. Since the banana is cooked, it will combine now.
I like the idea of combining with other tropical fruits, such as papaya, pineapple, kiwi, or guava.
Whenever I feel that my intestines are inflamed or irritated—perhaps something I ate didn’t agree with me—that’s when I will desire a banana. Maybe you’ve noticed this too?
There’s a good reason for this helpful craving. The smooth, slimy texture of a perfectly ripe banana is soothing medicine for intestinal irritation, with a natural antacid effect.
Bananas are cooling and sweet in nature. They are also easy to digest, yet heavy. This unique combination of qualities leads to mucus formation in the gut.
In the case of intestinal irritation, the mucus acts as a balm to protect the gut lining from acidic digestive juices.
Ayurvedic practitioner John Immel at Joyful Belly says that bananas can provide relief for weak, tired, or fatigued muscles due to their high potassium content.
A sign that your potassium is low would be the occurrence of muscle cramps (a.k.a. a charlie horse).
You may have wondered why you got one all of a sudden?
It could be a sign of low potassium, electrolytes, and hydration levels.
Immel recommends a banana-lime smoothie to support your muscles, and I personally enjoy this drink – especially in the summer and warmer seasons.
Which dosha is banana best for?
Bananas will be most supportive for Vata and Pitta types.
Vata tends toward dryness and deficiency of fluids while Pitta runs hot, which can burn away fluids.
The soothing, hydrating, and moistening effect of the bananas brings balance.
Kapha types, on the other hand, who tend to feel heavy after eating, or who notice their digestion is slow, may find that bananas are too heavy.
The reason is that Kapha types likely already have all the mucus they need (as well as a little extra), since generating protective mucus is kapha’s job.
The goal is always to find balance. Not too much mucus, and not too little. Like Goldilocks, you want it just right.
When are bananas good for me?
If heat and dryness have you feeling irritation, burning, or heat in your GI, your protective mucus layer may be dry.
In this case, try eating a banana and see how you feel.
Tune into your body after eating. Bananas are a wonderful food and important food in our “food as medicine” chest.
Just be aware of the tendency of the banana to clog your channels. Too much of a good thing isn’t good.
How would I make raw bananas easier to digest?
What if you just want to eat a banana, and you don’t want to cook it today?
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the bare minimum when eating bananas uncooked is to add spices, and perhaps some lemon or lime to lighten them up.
You would chop up the banana, place it in a bowl, squeeze on some lemon, and sprinkle it with a pinch of spices.
You could use cumin, fresh cilantro, or ginger, or go sweet with cinnamon, coriander, or nutmeg.
One spice is sufficient to start. Once you experience your bananas this way, you may never turn back.
Recipe Cooked Banana to Soothe Inflammation
Ingredients for caramelized bananas
- 1 piece banana
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1/2 teaspoons cardamom powder
- 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Ingredients for steamed bananas
- 1 piece organic banana
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt (optional)
Method for caramelized bananas
- Remove the skins from the banana and slice into two halves. Cut each half into two lengthwise.
- Add ghee to a small nonstick skillet and turn the heat to medium. Add cardamom, ginger powder, and cinnamon powder, and sizzle gently.
- Place the banana cut side down and cook until well caramelized and brown (about 1-2 minutes). You will notice the caramelization around the edges before turning.
- Turn the bananas and brown the second side. Careful not to overcook, as the bananas will become overly soft.
Method for steamed bananas
- Slice the tips off each end of the banana, then cut the banana into 1.5-inch lengths.
- Add water, ghee, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt to a small saucepan. Add the prepared banana. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Serve warm with the skins still on. Remove the skins before enjoying the banana.
so in one point you say it is easy to digest yet in another you say they are difficult to digest? which is it?
Hi there, Eaten alone, bananas are difficult to digest. This recipe significantly improves their digestibility by adding ghee, heat, and spices. However, you still want to enjoy in moderation. — Andrea
I love this, I’m from Mangalore and we eat the nendran -orangish variety of banana by steaming them during our fasts and they are so fulfilling
Thanks for sharing that. Thrilled to know that you enjoy steamed bananas in Mangalore. Welcome to Good Gut Ayurveda! Did you subscribe to my newsletter?