You can use every part of a banana, it is just the best. Living in N. California, ripping out my non-edible/useful plants, I knew I wanted bananas.
Bananas can not actually produce fruits this far north, but I was after their leaves. Banana leaves are used throughout Asia and in Central/South America in steam cooking. Here is a list of common uses (mine are for Peruvian tamales at Christmas time, and Thai steamed fish).
Despite my admiration, my banana never survives to Christmas. The first frost in N. California is in November and kills the plant down almost instantly, so it’s necessary for me to preserve them while the gettin’ is good. So if you have a ornamental or producing banana in your yard… you’re missing out if you’re not using them for some tasty food!
The steps are exceedingly simple.
- Cut off the banana stem
If you’re in the mood, cook Banana Stem Kootu or simply Prep your Banana Stems for later use
- Slice the banana into 8-inch wide pieces
- Layer between wax paper
- Store in freezer-safe bag, remove as much air as possible
- Store THAT in another freezer-safe bag
Done. The leaves will become very dark, but will thaw and still be useful for steaming.