These fermented bananas are sweet with a subtle tang. Packed with probiotics, they are an easy way to sneak beneficial bacteria into your smoothies or banana bread.
Although my fermentation journey is at the beginning, I am making progress and enjoying it. I found it fascinating to transform ordinary ingredients into delicious and healthy treats. This traditional way of preservation enhances foods’ flavors, textures, and nutritional values. Each fermentation project has its own course and requires a different approach. From fermented apples, tomatoes, cauliflower, garlic honey fermentation to yogurt, wine, or cider, these are all ferments worth exploring and experimenting with. So join me in the world of fermentation.
What are fermented bananas?
Fermented bananas go through a natural process of fermentation in which bacteria eat all starch and sugars in the bananas and convert them into organic acids or alcohol. Therefore, people who have made dietary changes or are following a low-carb diet and cannot consume regular bananas can opt for the fermented version. This process not only alters the flavor and texture of the bananas but also enhances their nutritional value.
Why are Fermented Foods Good for You?
During fermentation, microorganisms consuming the sugars in the bananas also produce lactic acid and other organic acids, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria. These compounds contribute to a sharp, tangy flavor (mainly lactic acid) and improve digestion. This process is called lacto-fermentation, which enriches bananas with probiotics, live microorganisms that offer potential health benefits when consumed. Probiotic-rich food promotes a healthy gut microbiome, aid in digestion, and boost the immune system. In addition, fermented bananas are a great source of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, choline, manganese, and vitamin B6. This is because fermentation breaks down these nutrients into readily absorbable organic compounds.
Moreover, fermented bananas also contain high levels of tryptophan, which converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter enhancing mood.
Additionally, it’s not just the banana pieces you should eat, but also the banana water. It is packed with potassium and other nutrients and is rich in probiotics. Please don’t throw it away. If you don’t like its smell, use it as a fertilizer to make your plants happy, at the very least.
What Does Fermented Banana Taste Like?
Fermented bananas have a distinct taste that differs from fresh, ripe bananas. Despite the tangy notes, fermented bananas still retain some of their sweetness. The time of fermentation has the highest impact on the final taste. Longer fermentation enhances tanginess and alcohol content and adds depth and complexity of banana flavor. A shorter fermentation time result in a mild tangy flavor with mild fizziness and without the development of alcohol.
Although they smell like bananas, they have a sharp flavor and are slightly fizzy. I kept them for five days, though.
Watch out for unpleasant smells, as the banana fermentation was unsuccessful, and your bananas are ruined.
Ingredients to make fermented bananas
Look for fully ripe bananas with a firm texture, not mushy. The bananas should be sweet and have developed flavor. Always use organic bananas to ferment to avoid any potential pesticide residues in the fermentation process.
Lemon juice lower the ph of the mixture and help to create an environment favorable for good bacteria. It also adds a refreshing citrusy taste and to help preserve the color and quality of the fermented bananas.
I added cinnamon and vanilla to enhance the overall taste and for additional benefits. Cinnamon pairs well with banana and aid digestion, whereas vanilla adds its sweet and aromatic flavor.
Salt also creates a favorable environment and helps preserve the apples.
Ferment starter (optional)
You can use one tablespoon of a probiotic capsule as a starter culture or yeast to kickstart the fermentation process or use brine from a previous ferment, such as sauerkraut juice, water kefir, or kombucha. However, iI didn’t use it and rarely on the sugar and salt content, and it worked.
Recipe for fermented bananas
First step – Prepare the brine.
Combine salt, filtered water, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl. If you use a starter culture, add it to the mixture at this stage. Whisk all the ingredients well and set aside.
Second step- Prepare bananas.
Peel four medium fresh bananas off and chop them into slices. Transfer banana slices to a clean mason jar or a fermentation crock. Add cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
Third step – Pour in the brine.
Pour the brine into the jar or a crock. Add enough filtered water so all banana pieces are below the brine. Leave about 1-1.5 inches of room left at the top, as bananas will expand when fermented. Remove all air bubbles and insert a disc to help all the contents stay completely submerged in the brine, as exposure to air can cause spoilage. You can also use glass weights that are easy to wash.
Fourth step – Start the Fermentation process.
Close the jar using an airlock system or screw on a lid loosely to allow the release of CO2. Cover the vessel with a clean cloth or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band or string. Let the bananas ferment at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for 2-5 days. Once the bananas have reached your desired level of fermentation, remove any weights and transfer the fermented bananas with brine to a canning jar. Seal the jar tightly with an airtight lid and store it in the fridge or even a freezer to preserve them longer. The time to ferment bananas varies. While it is quicker in summer, it may take longer in winter.
How to use fermented bananas
- Eat fermented bananas as a snack. Simply take a spoonful or a small portion and savor the tangy and flavorful taste.
- Blend them with other fruits, milk, and yogurt into a delicious, probiotic-rich smoothie. The tangy flavor of the fermented bananas adds a unique twist to your favorite smoothie recipes.
- Fermented bananas are a great topping for yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal. They add a tangy and sweet element that complements the creamy or crunchy base.
- Incorporate them into baked goods like blueberry banana muffins, bread, or pancakes.
- Fermented bananas may be a base for making banana Daiquiri, wine or banana beer.
What is fermented banana water?
Fermented banana water is the liquid that results from the fermentation process of bananas. Unlike banana peel tea, it also contains all the nutrients and healthy bacteria of bananas from the fermentation process. The best way to enjoy the health benefits is to drink it. But you can also use it in smoothies, in baking, or freeze it in ice cubes and use it later. If you don’t like it, dilute it with a 1:1 ratio of regular water and use it as a plant fertilizer. Fermented banana water boosts low potassium levels in your garden.