Breakfast & Brunch/ Jamaican/ Quick, Easy & Under 30/ Sides/ Vegan

Boiled Green Banana

March 23, 2024

Boiled green banana is a Jamaican delicacy known for its simplicity and delicious flavour. Learn how to boil green bananas so you can enjoy them as a healthy side dish or add them to your favourite Caribbean recipes.

close up view of boiled green bananas with a few pieces sliced

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Boiled Green Banana is a Jamaican delicacy known for its simplicity and delicious flavour. Learn how to boil green bananas so you can enjoy them as a healthy side dish or add them to your favourite Caribbean recipes.

Want to try more green banana recipes? Check out this supremely creamy Green Banana Porridge next!

close up view of boiled green bananas with a few pieces sliced

Boiled green banana

When it comes to Jamaican food, bananas are a staple. Jamaica was the first commercial banana producer in the Western Hemisphere. The export trade began in 1866 and it’s been thriving ever since.

Chances are you’ve eaten a raw banana, adding it to smoothies, cereal, yogurt and more. But have you ever tried boiling them? Boiled bananas are a simple, affordable dish popular across the island and beyond!

Here’s why you’ll love this boiled banana recipe

  • Nutritious: Bananas are a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium. They’re also packed with fiber and low in calories.
  • So Easy: Simply salt some water and add in your green bananas. The whole process takes just 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Versatile: This boiled dish works as a tasty, healthy side for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
boiled unripe bananas in a bowl

What are boiled bananas?

Boiled bananas are unripe or green bananas boiled until tender. The ideal texture is soft, but not mushy. Boiled green bananas have a subtle sweetness but are not as sweet as ripe yellow bananas.

This Caribbean staple is enjoyed as a side dish or snack and are often eaten as a vegetable, boiled, blended, mashed and rarely ever eaten raw. 

Are green bananas edible?

Although they’re less sweet than ripe yellow bananas, you can eat green bananas. They contain more starch, with a firmer structure which makes them great for boiling. Enjoy them while they’re hot.

bright green bananas

What happens if you boil a banana and drink the water?

You can drink the water used to boil the fruit. It’s essentially banana tea, a healthy beverage that can prevent bloating and help you get a good night’s rest.

green bananas submerged in a large pot of water

Boiled banana benefits

  • Weight Loss: The pectin present in boiled bananas increases the feeling of fullness, which eventually leads to reduced body fat.
  • Sleep Aid: Boiled bananas contain magnesium and tryptophan, which promote relaxation and help regulate sleep patterns, making them a natural sleep aid.
  • Digestive Aid: Green bananas can ease the discomfort of diarrhea due to their fiber and probiotic content. They also contain resistant starch, which promotes healthy digestion. Additionally, their probiotic content supports gut health and overall digestive function.
whole green bananas boiling in a pot of water

Ingredients

  • Green Bananas: Select blemish-free green bananas with a little give.
  • Water: For boiling.
  • Salt: Add to taste.
overhead view of a cluster of green bananas

How to cook boiled green banana

  1. Wash the bananas thoroughly under cool water. Trim both ends of each banana and make a shallow cut in the skin along the outer (long) side without piercing the fruit.
  2. Add water to a large pot and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to the water (about 1-2 teaspoons, or to taste), then carefully add in the bananas.
  3. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the bananas simmer. Allow them to cook for about 20-30 minutes or until they become tender. You can check the doneness by inserting a fork into the bananas; they should be soft but not mushy.
  4. Once cooked, the skin of the banana should come off easily. Discard skin, serve while hot and enjoy!
green bananas in boiling water

What to serve with boiled green banana

  • Callaloo: This traditional Caribbean dish is bursting with leafy greens and rich coconut milk. Served with bananas, it’s a tasty vegan balance of earthy flavours and creamy textures.
  • Ackee and Saltfish: Enjoy a flavourful combination of tender ackee fruit sautéed with salted cod and subtly sweet boiled bananas for the ultimate Jamaican breakfast.
  • Saucy Dishes: Saucy and savoury curry or brown stew would pair well with this dish.
  • Carb Substitute: Serve this starchy fruit the same way you would potatoes or rice.
bananas submerged in a pot of salted water

Tips

  • Remember to rinse the bananas under cool water to remove any dirt before boiling them.
  • Gently score the banana skin with the tip of the knife so you don’t pierce the flesh of the fruit.
  • Boil the fruit with the peel on. It prevents the bananas from staining (as much) and also makes them softer. Also, boiling the fruit makes it easier to peel later.
  • The peel will grow darker in colour the longer it sits in the boiling water. That’s totally normal.
  • If you want to try boiling them without the peel, add a little oil and a peel so the bananas keep their natural colour.
close up view of boiled unripe bananas

Storage & reheating instructions

Store leftover green bananas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a splash of water or milk, until warmed through.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What are boiled bananas good for?

Boiled bananas are a nutritious side dish that can be added to soups and stews.

What does boiling banana peels do?

Boiling underripe bananas tenderizes the fruit, making it soft and easier to eat.

Why should you boil a banana before bed?

Bananas contain magnesium and tryptophan, which can help relax the muscles, making it easier to fall asleep.

Are boiled bananas high in carbs?

One serving contains 27g of carbohydrates however, green bananas contain more resistant starch, which isn’t fully absorbed by the body. So the impact on blood sugar levels is lower than ripe bananas.

plated boiled green bananas

Interested in more delicious Jamaican recipes? Check these out!

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close up view of boiled green bananas with a few pieces sliced

Boiled Green Banana

Taneisha Morris
Boiled green banana is a Jamaican delicacy known for its simplicity and delicious flavour. Learn how to boil green bananas so you can enjoy them as a healthy side dish or add them to your favourite Caribbean recipes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast & Brunch, Jamaican, Sides
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 105 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 4-6 Green Bananas
  • Water for Boiling
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash the bananas thoroughly under cool water. Trim both ends of each banana and make a shallow cut in the skin along the outer (long) side without piercing the fruit.
  • Add water to a large pot and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Add salt to the water (about 1-2 teaspoons, or to taste), then carefully add in the bananas.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let the bananas simmer. Allow them to cook for about 20-30 minutes or until they become tender. You can check the doneness by inserting a fork into the bananas; they should be soft but not mushy.
  • Once cooked, the skin of the banana should come off easily. Discard skin, serve while hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 1gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 422mgFiber: 3gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 76IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.3mg

Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a star rating and a comment below! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!
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