Biomassa banana de verde / Green banana biomass
While living in Brazil, I went to a cooking workshop at a health food store and the nutritionist/chef made a curry using this ingredient I had never seen before. It was called ‘biomassa banana de verde’ or biomass of green banana and she spoke of its versatility in the kitchen and fabulous potential to support digestive health. As a nutritionist and total food explorer, I was intrigued!
During the workshop I discovered when green bananas are boiled in their skins they are transformed into a palatable and edible ingredient. When prepared this way, the flesh (or biomass) of the banana becomes a resistant starch giving it similar properties to insoluble dietary fibre. Here is how it works, once consumed through the diet, the biomass cannot be absorbed in the intestinal tract and instead, ferments as it makes its way through the large intestines producing short-chain fatty acids. This doesn’t sound so good but in fact, quite the opposite is true and it is what gives this food the status of being a ‘prebiotic’. These short-chain fatty acids directly provide an energy source for the production of our beneficial intestinal bacteria that we require for a healthy immune and digestive system.
Further to this, the biomass also creates a healthy environment for the beneficial bacteria’s to live in by assisting with the maintenance of the mucosa of our intestinal wall. It’s this ever so important wall that not only ensures we absorb nutrients from the foods we eat, but also keeps out destructive substances that if escape into the blood stream can result in allergies and inflammation. In other words, biomassa banana de verde assists with providing a nice safe home for our beneficial intestinal microflora to be produced, live and do their job efficiently!
The health benefits of biomassa banana de verde don’t stop there! Unlike many other starchy foods, this superfood is also low GI meaning it is great for the management of weight and sugar cravings. Once digested, glucose released into the bloodstream is slow and gradual, meaning there is less requirements for insulin and you have effectively avoided a spike in glucose levels which can be followed by fat storage. Satiety (feeling of fullness) and cravings are managed as the transit of the banana is slow and glucose levels remain stable.
Similarly, another bi product of the preparation of green bananas in this way is green banana flour. This can be added to recipes instead of wheat flours and has a big following in the paleo community.
During the workshop we didn’t make the actual biomass, we simply added to the curry a ready made frozen portion which you can find in health food stores! I love this product, it is gluten and dairy free, paleo and autoimmune protocol friendly….now we just need to get it to Australia!
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some prepared biomassa, add to smoothies, casseroles, curries, stir-fries to increase the nutritional profile to your food or you can try making your own from anywhere in the world.
- Wash unpeeled green bananas very well and rinse
- In a pressure cooker with boiling water (to create thermal shock), cook the unpeeled green bananas, covered with water for 20 minutes
- Turn off the heat after the first 8 minutes and let the pressure continue cooking bananas, waiting for the steam to escape naturally.
- At the end of the 20 minutes, keep the bananas in the pan of hot water and gradually remove the pulps from their skins and put through a high speed blender or food processer until it is a thick paste. It is important to do this while the bananas are still hot.
- If not using immediately, store the pulp in Tupperware in the freezer for up to 4 months.