If you grew up only eating bananas once they have turned yellow, then you’re probably clueless about how to use green bananas. Maybe you got some bananas that won’t ripen, or you just want to experiment a bit. Whatever the case may be, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several ways that you can use green bananas!
Are green bananas OK to eat?
Green bananas are fine to eat, but they are quite starchy when raw and you probably won’t like the flavor that way. Some people like to blend raw green bananas into smoothies, or use them as a thickener in stews. Both ways are safe.
If you’ve never learned how to eat green bananas, I’d definitely recommend cooking them first. In fact, I’d say the best way to eat green bananas is cooked, whether that is by boiling, roasting, grilling, baking, or frying.
Can bananas be cooked like plantains?
Yes, bananas can be cooked like plantains. You can plantains with bananas in almost any recipe.
The only recipe I would not use green bananas for is mashed green plantains (also knows as twice fried plantains and tostones). Since they are much smaller and not quite as starchy, you won’t get the same exact effect.
What can I do with unripe bananas?
Here are several ways you can use unripe bananas:
1. Boiled Green Bananas
You can remove the skin from the green bananas and boil them until they are tender. Boiled green bananas is often served whole and eaten in Jamaica with breakfast. But it is also at times served with dinner.
We love to pair it with fish such as cod or red herring. One person will typically eat 2-4 fingers of banana, depending on the size and their appetite.
2. Mashed Green Bananas
Mashed green bananas make a great replacement for mashed potatoes. They are very flavorful and can be replaced 1:1. You can season any way you like your mashed potatoes, such as with butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can even add gravy if you desire!
Pair with anything you like, such as chicken, fish, or even steak!
3. Fried Green Bananas
Fried green bananas are often served with breakfast in Jamaica as well. It’s also made as a snack any time of day because they are so delicious. We peel the green bananas, half them lengthwise, and fry in a frying pan then add a little bit of salt.
They are delicious by themselves, but can also be enjoyed with fish or eggs. Some people also choose to fry green bananas whole!
4. Fried Banana Chips
Fried banana chips is probably one of the most delicious ways you can enjoy green bananas. These chips have so much flavor, and are crispy and salty to boot. They are an easy snack well loved by people in my home country.
5. Boiled Bananas In Soup
Bananas and plantains are often added to soups in Jamaica. We consider them “ground provisions” along with pumpkin, yellow yam, dasheen (taro), and a wide variety of other root vegetables.
Many Jamaicans keep the skin on their green bananas when cooking, with the belief that the skin adds valuable nutrients to the broth, including iron for strength.
You can boil green bananas to add to this Jamaican chicken soup recipe.
6. Green Banana Porridge
Porridge is a common breakfast in Jamaica, and we have plenty of different types of porridge!
Some of the porridge types my family has includes:
- green banana
- green plantain
- hominy corn
Green banana was not one of my favorites, but my younger sister absolutely loved it so it was still made regularly in our household.
Many people LOVE banana porridge, however, and it’s an inexpensive and easy, yet hearty meal!
In what ways do YOU use green bananas?
Now you know several ways you can use green bananas that won’t ripen. Or you can be adventurous and go buy some green bananas to try some of these awesome dishes! The best place to find green bananas is generally Caribbean/Latin markets.
Regular supermarkets tend to carry bananas that have at least begun to start turning yellow.
How have you used green bananas so far? Which one of these ways of preparing unripe bananas do you plan to try next? I’d love to hear your experience!