What’s a Blue Java Banana?
Have you ever heard of this variety of banana? Just like the name suggests, it’s a blue-ish type of banana that shares most of the features – at least aesthetically. Just like yellow regular bananas, blue Java bananas are also sweet, although their taste resembles vanilla ice-cream instead of just being sweet. The flesh of the fruit is kind of yellowish, which is another key difference between this variety and regular bananas.
Also known as ice cream or Hawaiian banana in Hawaii, the blue Java banana originates from South Asia. Although bananas (and tropical fruits in general) don’t thrive in cold areas, this variety can withstand temperatures as low as -7 degrees. Due to this, it’s grown in different countries in the world.
How to Grow Blue Java Bananas on Your Own
In the USA, blue Java bananas are grown in zones 9b-11. Occasionally, you might spot them in zones 8-11. Just like with all tropical fruits, it’s best to grow them in warm zones. A fully-grown blue Java banana palm may reach 15-20 feet up. It takes around 9 months for it to grow and should be watered regularly if you want to reap fruits later.
These bananas love a warm and rich soil that’s pretty damp, which means you need to water them properly. Of course, you don’t want to skim it too much as water can damage the roots and ruin the plant.
To support your plant’s growth, you need to use an NPK fertilizer with supplements in a 3:1:6 ratio. Put compost all around the roots and water down the particles properly. You need a measure of compost per month. For every 2 extra feet the plant grows, add an extra measure of manure to the mix.
Being a tropical fruit, blue Java bananas love sunlight. Make sure the tree gets plenty of it. You should also prune the shoots around the rhizomes, but leave one to improve photosynthesis.
How to Consume Blue Java Bananas
Apart from eating them raw like regular bananas, blue Java bananas can be used in different desserts and meals. Thanks to their vanilla ice cream flavor, they go perfect with coconuts, coconut milk, and cinnamon. You can also use them in smoothies or make banana-based desserts and other recipes. Banana cakes made with this variety taste like a slice of heaven.
Additionally, it’s not just the fruit that can be used. The plant has wide and long leaves that can withstand high temperatures, which means you can barbecue food in them. Steaming works great as well. The leaves are considered a great replacement for aluminum foil, but since they’re permeable, you may expect slight leaks. To prevent it and keep the juices in the food where they belong, collect the juices in a small dish, then pour them over the meat or any food you’re preparing in the leaves.