Almost all the parts of banana tree has wonderful uses and the banana flower is no exception. Banana flowers have wonderful medicinal properties and we should include it as often as we can in our diet. Banana flowers are called valaipoo in Tamil, Mocha in Bengali, Kelful in Hindi.
Many don’t use banana flowers because of the work involved in cleaning the flower, but it is so worth the effort. We should encourage our children also to eat banana flower from their young age to reap all the benefits it offers. If we learn to cook with banana flowers, we can make very tasty dishes with it. Banana flowers if consumed regularly will keep us healthy and will prevent us from lot of diseases.
Banana flowers are especially good for women as it keeps the uterus healthy. My husband’s grandmother who was very good with home remedies always used to say that food itself can be used as a medicine and she followed that principle till she passed away at the age of 96. I have given all the ways to include banana flowers in the diet, hope you will find it useful….
How To Clean Banana Flowers?
To clean banana flowers first oil your hands to prevent discoloration and then remove the red petals one by one. You will see a bunch of white florets inside each petal (it is shown in the main picture), now take each floret and open it using the hands. You will find a transparent, reddish part remove it along with the thick stamen, do this for each floret.
Continue peeling the petals and cleaning the florets like mentioned above till you reach the middle inner white part. Now cut the cleaned up florets and immerse it in thin buttermilk. You can also cut the white middle part finely and add it to the buttermilk.
This might take from 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the flower you are using. I would suggest cleaning up during the weekend when you have plenty of time. Once cleaned, cut and immersed in buttermilk, it can be stored for about a week in the refrigerator. Just change the buttermilk alone once in 2 days.
5 Top Uses & Benefits Of Banana Flowers:
1. Banana Flower for Menstrual Problems & Weight loss:
Banana flower is one of the best home remedy for excessive bleeding in women as it helps increase progesterone in the body. To make the remedy, cook the 1/4 cup of cleaned banana flower in little water and salt till completely cooked and let it cool completely.
Now add grind little coconut (1/4 cup) with 2 g.chillies and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds to a fine, thick paste. Add the ground coconut mixture to a cup of thick yogurt along with the cooked banana flowers and required salt. Have this along with rice for a few days when you have excess bleeding.
This gravy also can be included in weight loss diet as it full of fiber and nutrients, is very soothing on the stomach and tastes great! I love to eat it with rice during hot summer months for lunch.
2. Banana Flower For Diabetics:
A study conducted showed that insulin levels lowered for diabetic patients when banana flower extracts were given to them. Though the study is not proven clinically, it is a good idea for diabetics to include banana flowers in their diet as often as they can.
Make this simple banana flower stir fry as often as you can: In a pan heat oil and season with mustard seeds and once it crackles, add 1/2 tsp of urad dal and channa dal and fry for a few seconds till they brown a little and then add 1/ 8 cup of cut shallots and curry leaves.
Fry well and now add the cleaned and cut banana flowers ( 1cup) along with a tsp of sambar powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and salt. Cover and cook till it is fully done. Open the lid and fry in low flame till the water evaporates fully and finally add a tbsp of fresh coconut scrapings and switch off.
This traditional, simple stir fry has amazing health benefits and should be included in everyone’s diet, especially in diabetic patients diet to keep the blood sugar stable.
3. Banana Flower for Pcos & Uterus Health:
Banana flower comes to the rescue if you suffer from pcos and in fact keeps the uterus in peak health. I have always loved and enjoyed cooking and nothing makes me more happy than making delicious home cooked food and serving my family and friends.
Though I love to cook fancy foods once in a while, I get tired of them soon and always prefer simple home cooked with traditional ingredients that keep us healthy. This simple decoction made with banana flowers is a good home remedy for pcos and for all the problems of the uterus.
To make the decoction, take the cleaned banana flowers and boil it along with few peppercorns and cumin seeds pounded coarsely together along with 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and salt till it is reduced in half. Drink this decoction if you are suffering from any problems related to uterus.
4. Banana Flower for Pregnant Women:
I am sure many of you must have been advised to include banana flower in your diet during your pregnanacy. Banana stem is high in fiber and it prevents constipation during pregnancy. This homemade banana flower pancakes is a delicious way to consume banana flower during pregnancy.
To make the dosai or adai or Indian pancakes soak 1cup rice along with 1/4 cup toor dhal, 2 tbsp urad dhal, 1 tbsp moong dhal and 1tbsp channa dhal in water overnight. The next day morning first grind 2 red chillies, a small piece of asafoetida, little bit of coconut and a tsp of cumin seeds finely and then add the soaked dhal and grind to a coarse paste along with required salt.
Fry the cleaned and cut banana flower in little bit of oil and add to the batter and make dosais. These pancakes are very filling, high in fiber and will greatly prevent pregnancy constipation. If this recipe seems too laborious, take the fried banana stem flower and add to the regular dosai batter along with little fried onions, g.chilli and coriander leaves and make thick dosais.
Banana flower if fried with spice powders like turmeric powder, coriander, cumin, garam masala powders along with onions and tomatoes can be used as a filling for anything.
If you are not used to eating dosai and adais try using banana flower mixture that I mentioned above as a filling for sandwiches, tortillas, flat breads, etc along with other spices that you use regularly for the filling like mayo, mustard, etc.
5. Banana Flower for Lactating Mothers:
Banana flowers are amazing for lactating mothers as it helps increase the breast milk supply. As you can see banana flowers are a real boon to women of all ages: It treats excessive bleeding, keeps the uterus healthy, prevents constipation during pregnancy and improves lactation, so please try including banana flower in your diet.
Banana flower has a bland, starchy taste so always combine it with other spices to make it taste good. A little creativity in cooking is all needed for consuming this amazing flower.
When selecting banana flowers always select flowers that are fresh and one way to ensure that it is fresh is when you open the petal, the florets should be firm and fresh, if they are discolored then the flower is old.