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Banana Stem is the fibrous stalk of the banana plant. It has high water content, fresh and crispy textured stalks with mild taste. The outer layer of the stem is a fibrous, green sheath. Underneath this layer, the core is the edible portion of the stem and is white to pale green-yellow with a firm, dense consistency.
- Banana stems are cooked with lentils and spices, cooked into curries and coconut milk, fried into crispy snacks, chopped and mixed into subzis or vegetable stir-fries, or are made into a stew and served over white rice.
- Banana stems are also sliced, juiced, and combined with buttermilk, salt, or lime to create a refreshing beverage
- e. Banana stems have a mild flavor that readily absorbs accompanying flavors and pairs well with turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chiles, lentils, and grated coconut.
Dishes such as vazhaithandu usli (dry cooked banana stem with lentils), vazhaithandu kootu (banana stem cooked with lentils), vazahaithandu porial (banana stem tempered and garnished with coconut) are popular in Tamil Nadu. Thor chapper, a dish made of banana stem and lentil, is consumed in West Bengal.
Video on how to prep and cook Banana Stem :
The stems should be used immediately for best quality and flavor and will only keep 1-2 days when stored in the refrigerator.
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- In India, Banana stems are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a cooling element to counteract the hot, humid climate and are used to promote overall health. The stalks are predominately juiced, and the juice is left unstrained for use as a nutritional drink to help regulate blood pressure and to maintain insulin levels.
- The juice is also used as a diuretic to remove toxins from the body and help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
- Banana stem is a rich source of fibre and helps in weight loss. Its high fibre content creates a feeling of satiation and hence, reduces the intake of food. It also helps ease constipation.
- Banana stem is rich in potassium and vitamin B6 just like the fruit. Vitamin B6 helps in production of haemoglobin and insulin. Again, it improves the ability of the body to fight infection. Potassium helps in the proper functioning of muscles, including the cardiac muscles.
- It also helps prevent high blood pressure, and maintain fluid balance within the body.
- Banana stem is said to be a diuretic and helps detoxify the body. It is used prevent and treat kidney stones.
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