The Versatile Brazilian Ingredient Made With Unripe Bananas

It's no secret that Brazilians love their bananas. In fact, they are the largest producer of bananas in the Americas, and a whopping 95% of those millions of bananas churned out annually are consumed within the country. From eating them whole to stuffing them in empanadas to mixing them into açai bowls, there are plenty of ways to enjoy bananas the Brazilian way. Potentially one of the most iconic Brazilian banana dishes makes a great dessert. Fried sweet bananas are made of ripened bananas or plantains with cinnamon and sugar for an easy sweet-tooth fix that can be enjoyed for breakfast or in the evening.

Bananas are also more likely to not go to waste in Brazil as their peels are often enjoyed in recipes, as well. Carne louca de banana is a great vegan dish made with marinated banana peels that emulates Sao Paulo's iconic beef sandwich, carne louca. However, Brazil's love for all parts of the banana doesn't just end with yellow, ripe ones.

Brazilians often incorporate the often lesser-enjoyed green bananas into plenty of their favorite dishes. There are many beloved recipes that can be made with unripe bananas or plantains that are popular across the nation, including slicing up the firm fruit for frying. However, one of the most popular ways to enjoy green bananas in Brazil is whipping up biomassa de banana verde.

Biomassa de banana verde is popular for fitness fans

Bananas often find themselves at the center of various health fads across the world, as the high-fiber and low-calorie fruit often makes an easy and filling snack. For Brazilians, biomassa de banana verde is a fitness fanatic's go-to recipe.

To make this simple dish, the green bananas get boiled and blended down to form a thick purée. This purée is often seen as a substitute in recipes to "healthify" them, as it lacks a strong flavor and has a great consistency. It is very versatile, as it can be mixed into virtually anything, such as sauces, breads, soups, smoothies, desserts, and more. While many people mix this dish into meals, others will simply eat a tablespoon on its own for the perceived health benefits.

Much of the conversation about green bananas being great for our health comes from the idea that it is a great source of resistant starch. Resistant starch, according to Healthline, does not get digested in the small intestine, so it is considered a dietary fiber. However, when the bananas ripen, that starch gets converted into sugar. So, to take advantage of these digestive advantages, the bananas must be eaten while still green.

This food can easily be made at home, and it also comes in powdered forms for easily adding it into blenders and batters.