Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by marvz
The banana blossom – puso ng saging – had almost no value until someone got the idea that it can be a good meat extender. Partly to completely using it as burger patties.
From then on, it has endless possibilities. If it can mimic one meat product then others seem workable too – meatball, fish ball, corned beef, and reformed ham. Farmers having hectares of the banana plantation will benefit greatly. The same is true for food processors.
Table of Contents
What is a banana blossom?
The diamond-shaped flower found at the tip of a young banana bunch.
Each banana trunk produces a single blossom. The blossom has bracts that gradually opens, revealing the banana hands.
Banana blossom is also known as banana heart and puso ng saging.
The flower produces fruits. Why pluck it off?
Each banana tree bears a set of fruits. As soon as the blossom – also known as heart – comes out, bracts will open in consecutive fashion revealing flowers that soon develop into fruits.
After a certain number of fruits, bracts will continue opening but the emerging flowers won’t develop. They detach themselves off after consuming energy.
So, farmers pluck off the banana heart. Such practice helps the plant to nourish bigger fruits.
Is banana blossom a good meat extender?
Yes. It has become popular as a vegan and vegetarian alternative.
Banana blossom is fibrous and has a neutral taste. It’s able to absorb meat and fish flavors. In addition, the texture and color are similar to white fish.
Puso ng Saging Recipes
I love them all, but I prefer the ginataang tulingan. I just cannot resist the taste of banana blossom infused with coconut milk and fish flavor.
You may use puso ng saging for the following recipes:
- Ginataang puso ng saging – chopped banana blossom cooked in coconut milk.
- Ginataang tulingan inclusion- mackerel tuna cooked in coconut milk with banana blossom quarters.
- paksiw na pata – pork, leg part.
- for meat extender such as burger patties, meatballs, and veggie balls.
We only use saba banana blossoms
Blossoms of Latundan and Lakatan are cut off and left on the ground to serve as organic fertilizer. Maybe their blossoms are not as good as Saba. But, R&D could be done to make it on par or even better.
I asked my mom why are we only cooking blossoms of saba banana. She told me that blossoms of varieties never taste good.
I’m looking for other recipes
Do you have any useful info regarding the uses of banana blossom and perhaps recipe out of other varieties? I will appreciate it much if you can write it in the comment below.
Trivia, Questions, and Answers
Random facts, questions, answers. I encourage everyone to contribute.
1. The banana with a long bunch
The banana variety popularly known as Hundred Fingers can bear a long bunch of fruits reaching the ground. Fruits are small and packed in close proximity with no visible spaces. It is grown only as an ornamental plant. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s sure a head-turner.
2. Banana is not a tree
Banana belongs to the herb family. The tall green stem you see is part of the leaves.
3. Banana has seeds
Yup. banana has seeds that you can grow. Yet, most of the varieties have tiny seeds. Farmers propagate banana by transplanting the young banana plant – called sucker or suckling.
4. How to remove the banana blossom’s tangy taste
You can remove the tangy taste of banana blossom by :
- mixing the grated blossom with salt.
- then, squeezing out the water.
However, such method is impossible for a dish that requires banana blossom quarters. Often, the flavor of coconut milk or vinegar is enough to mask the tangyness.
5. How to use banana blossom for cooking
To use banana blossom.
- Select fresh and large banan blossom. Small are cheaper but has little edible portion.
- Remove the tough outer bracts, inluding the immature hands that goes with it.
- Quarter if you want to use it for ginataang tulingang and similar recipe.
- Slice thinly if you want it as ginataaang puso ng saging.
- For thin slices, sprinkle with salt. Rest for a few minutes and squeeze out the juice. This process removes tartness.
- Go cook your favorite recipe.
6. How to store banana blossom
Use banana blossom right away. If you store it at room temperature, the bracts will wilt. Then, the edible portion will get smaller.
Putting the blossom in a chiller makes the shelf life longer. Yet, the bracts will still continue to wilt.
7. Which banana variety gives the best banana blossom?
For me, the best variety is Saba Banana, a plantain. Although, my claim is pointless because I’ve only eaten a flower from Saba variety.
My home town only cooks banana flower from saba banana. I only see saba banana flower for sale.
I guess I need to research this topic more. Drop me a comment if you have some information.
8. Can I cook the flower of a fallen banana tree?
Yes, you can. You can cook a blossom without developed bananas or blossoms with partially grown banana fingers.
9. When is the best time to harvest banana blossom?
Get the banana flower when all the fruits have set. Evident when you’re seeing little immature fingers falling to the ground.
Use a bamboo pole with a wedge tip, and avoid damaging the banana hands. Equip the pole with a basket to prevent damaging the blossom.
10. Can I make money with banana blossoms – puso ng saging?
Yes you can. You can either sell the blossoms or process it into higher value products for more income.
If you’re a farmer, having a lot of banana heart harvest means you have plenty of banana. Money from banana blossoms is an extra reward for your efforts.
11. What are the health benefits of eating banana blossoms?
With regular exercise, including banana blossoms in your meal helps you keep a balanced diet. The blossom is a good meat extender and can do as a complete replacement. Great if you’re cutting back on meat.