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Raw bananas grow on large, twelve foot tall plants that are actually perennial herbs, not trees. They are less sweet tasting than ripe bananas, and are uniformly green rather than yellow and/or brown. Their taste and texture is similar to the potato or plantain. Commercial bananas are seedless, which was originally a naturally-occurring mutation.
Raw bananas are available year-round.
Raw bananas are simply the green, unripe versions of yellow, ripe bananas. Almost all commercially-produced banana are the species Musa acuminata, commonly called Cavendish. Another edible variety, Musa babisiana, is commonly grown for local use. They are considered a staple food in many regions around the world.
Many people eat bananas raw instead of ripe for their nutritive benefits. Raw bananas have a high starch content. They specifically contain resistant starch, which passes through the body undigested. Resistant starch may help those wanting to restrict calories feel fuller, and keeps the digestive system healthy. It also promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract, important for a healthy digestive system and overall wellness. In addition to starch, raw bananas contain Vitamins A, C, and B6, and potassium.
Unlike ripe bananas, raw bananas are generally cooked before consumption to make them edible. They are used in boiled, steamed, mashed, fried, and baked dishes around the world. They make a good substitute for those wanting to avoid eating potatoes. To remove the peel, use a knife or a peeler. Choose raw bananas that are green, firm, and free from blemishes. Use them immediately or they will ripen, or store chopped or grated in the refrigerator. Cooked raw banana will last properly stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Bananas are a central food in many tropical and subtropical cultures. Besides using the banana fruit in its raw and ripe form, other parts of the plant can also be used. The flowers, stalk, and leaves of the banana are all edible. The plant's sap is used as glue and the leaves as umbrellas, plates, or wrapping paper. Various parts of the plant can also be burned to make ash, which some use as a salt substitute.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide, although most are grown for home or local consumption rather than for global export. Scientists believe bananas have been cultivated since at least 8000 BCE, and are native to New Guinea and parts of Southeast Asia. Today they are produced in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Raw bananas are eaten in places such as the Caribbean and India. India is in fact the biggest producer of bananas in the world.
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