When you buy bananas they can vary hugely in colour and ripeness and many people have their own preferences. There is even a lot of debate surrounding the issue of whether not you can eat green bananas or whether you should leave them to ripen.
You can eat green bananas as long as they are not too unripe to taste good. For some people, like those with diabetes unripe bananas may even be better for you than sweet and sugary ripe bananas.
What Do Green Bananas Taste Like?
Green bananas still have that banana taste but they are a lot less sweet.
If they are too unripe, which you can tell from just how green they are, then they may be very bitter and unpleasant. This is all down to your personal preferences some people much prefer unripe bananas because they are not quite as sweet and sickly as yellow and ripe bananas.
The other thing that is different when eating green bananas is the texture.
Yellow bananas are soft and sweet. The riper the banana the softer and sweeter it becomes. Green bananas are firm in texture and if you bite into one that is too green it might even be hard to bite.
Not everyone likes this texture but again this is down to your personal preference.
How to Eat Green Bananas
Bananas are one of the most useful and diverse fruits no matter whether you prefer bananas green and unripe or ripe, sweet and yellow. If you are looking for a few ideas we have some for you to try:
Add some natural sweetness and flavour to your healthy breakfast or porridge or even your cereal. Chop up your bananas into small slices and sprinkle them over your favourite porridge or cereal.
The banana adds some natural fruit sugars which help to liven up the meal and it also adds some great nutrition too.
A homemade banana milkshake is really easy to do and makes a great treat for your kids (or for you too).
Rather than reach for the shop-bought powders grab some vanilla ice cream, milk and some ice cubes. Chop up a couple of bananas and put all of the ingredients into a blender. Whizz it up and put it into glasses.
Add a straw and you have a homemade milkshake that tastes as good as any you could buy.
Making them with fresh bananas at home helps ensure you are getting some nutrition with your treat too.
Try an alternative to your usual snacks and fry up some green bananas. You do need to ensure you have unripe green bananas for this as when they ripen bananas can get soft and this makes it harder to fry them so that they retain their shape.
Unripe bananas are also not quite as sweet which makes these a great savoury snack.
Peel and cut your bananas into long strips. About the size that you would expect from a chunky fry. Heat up some oil in a heavy pan. You will be shallow frying the bananas so make sure you have enough oil to cover the bananas. Once the oil is hot pop the bananas into it for about five minutes.
You need the bananas to become golden brown. Take your fried bananas out of the pan and pop them onto some paper towel to drain. Add some salt and you have a delicious snack that is a great alternative to crisps or sweets.
Benefits of Eating Green Bananas
Both green and yellow bananas have plenty of nutritional benefits but the benefits do differ a little between the two.
Green bananas have a couple of extra benefits over yellow bananas because they are less sweet.
Bananas become sweet because the fructose has time to develop in them over time. If you have a very ripe banana you will notice they are very sweet indeed!
For those with type two diabetes, a ripe banana may have too much sugar for them to process but they may find they can eat green bananas without suffering from the same problems.
Green bananas are also high in pectin and resistant starch which might help control blood sugar levels after your meals. These two nutrients can also help you remain fuller for longer. This plus the extra fibre can help you eat less. Perfect for anyone watching their waistlines.
Should You Eat Green Bananas?
For most people, there is no reason not to eat green bananas. In fact, the only reason not to would be because you don’t like them. Some people do, after all, prefer the sweeter and softer ripe yellow banana.
If you suffer from diabetes then you may find that green bananas suit you much better because they are not as sweet.
Bananas also contain nutrients that help control blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer!
Green Bananas FAQs
If you’ve got other specific questions about eating green bananas then these might help:
Yes, green bananas will ripen. All you need to do is give them time to turn ripe. They’ll go from bright green to yellow before turning brown.
Yes, there is a chance that eating green bananas can cause constipation which is why they should be avoided by anyone suffering from digestive issues such as IBS.
Ultimately, this comes down to where you live. Most supermarkets these days have shelves of loose bunches of bananas where you can pick the ones you want. You’ll usually find green, unripe bananas if you look.
Lewis is the founder and editor of Let’s Foodie alongside other food-related platforms including FreezeIt and SubstituteIt. He launched Let’s Foodie to provide aspiring cooks with one place to get the answers to some of the most commonly asked cooking questions.