Friday, 22 February, 2019

The beauty of the banana plant

 

BANANA IS A TROPICAL plant which grows best under warm conditions. Most are tall-growing and have green leaves. For ornamental purposes, bananas may be planted as close as 2 to 3 feet apart, but those planted for fruit production should be spaced about 8 to 10 feet apart.

After fruiting, the mother plant which bore, should be cut off near ground level, as it can never produce again. Use the remains in a mulch bed or compost heap.

Ripe bananas are consumed fresh out of hand, in salads, compotes, ice cream dishes and pudding. Overripe fruit can be pureed in the blender for use in ice cream and baking. Green bananas can be steamed, fried and added to your favourite curries.

The banana tree or rather plant, adds a festive touch and dresses up a tropical party or a special occasion.

Hindus use the banana plant outside their homes, which they decorate with marigold garlands, during a wedding at home. Some use this plant with the fruit, in marriages to symbolize a successful life ahead. Some people that live in rural areas use the banana plants during a marriage celebration to give their guests directions to the venue.

The banana leaf consists of a long, tube-like structure called a sheath or leaf blade. One plant may have over 40 leaves during its lifetime.

Bananas can be eaten daily, within limits. A banana weighing 100g contains about 384 kilojoules, and a large banana counts as two fruit portions.

Nutritional values

Calories 62

Potassium 270 mg

Vitamin B6 0.19 mg

Vitamin C 7 mg

Niacin 0.5 g

Per 100g ready-to-eat, weighed with the skin

 

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