Skip to main content

5 Healthy, Gluten-Free Green Banana Breakfast Recipes

MsDora, former teacher and counselor, is fascinated by the prospect of joyful aging. She explores and shares habits of happy seniors.

Green bananas growing in my yard

Green bananas growing in my yard

The Benefits of Green Bananas

The green banana made it to my list of preferred foods after my nutritionist told me to avoid wheat gluten, which is a major ingredient in almost all breakfast foods. My first reaction to avoiding bread and waffles was, “No problem." I thought I’d just fill up on fruits, including ripe bananas. Then she warned me to limit my intake of sugar (even fructose).

No wheat? Limited fruit? What else could I have for breakfast that is nutritious, filling, inexpensive, and easy to prepare? This was my dilemma—until I discovered a few wholesome replacements. The green banana was one such solution.

In North America and the United Kingdom, green bananas can be found in grocery or produce stores that cater to Caribbean, Mexican, and Indian immigrant populations.

Green Banana Facts

  • The green banana is 40% starch. By comparison, the ripe banana is 8% starch and 91% sugar.1
  • One cup of boiled green bananas supplies 39% of the daily requirement for Vitamin B-6, necessary for the formation of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the body.2
  • The starch in the green banana is high resistant, meaning that it acts more like fiber than starch and may aid in blood sugar control, reducing the risk of diabetes; it may also help to lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.3
  • The glycemic index is low, making it stay longer to digest, consequently making the stomach feel fuller for longer.4
  • Green bananas contain a probiotic bacteria that promotes colon health.5
  • They help absorb nutrients better, particularly calcium.6
  • The green banana is a good substitute for the American potato and the Caribbean breadfruit.
  • They are versatile on the breakfast menu.

Following are five breakfast suggestions. They are all simple and easy to customize according to personal taste.

When the peel cracks and exposes the bananas, they're cooked.

When the peel cracks and exposes the bananas, they're cooked.

Boiled green banana served with saltfish.  Thanks to Cynthia Nelson and "Tastes Like Home: My Caribbean Cookbook."

Boiled green banana served with saltfish. Thanks to Cynthia Nelson and "Tastes Like Home: My Caribbean Cookbook."

Recipe 1: Boiled Green Bananas

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas per person, unpeeled
  • Dip of choice (e.g., hummus, salsa)

Method:

  1. Put enough water in the pot to cover the bananas, and add salt (optional). Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the water to prevent the banana peel from leaving a crusty ring stain around the pot. The stain is not permanent, but the oil prevents it altogether.
  2. Boil for about 15 minutes or until the skin opens, exposing the bananas. Once cooked, they fall out of the skin easily, and they are ready to eat.

Note About Texture: The texture is firmer than potatoes, and it requires a little more chewing. The nutty taste can be enhanced with a little butter or sprinkle-on seasoning of choice.

Recipe 2: Fried Green Bananas

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium bananas
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Cut each banana into four pieces (split lengthwise, then cut each piece in two).
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip each piece into the egg; then fry in heated oil for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Yield: 2 servings

Recipe 3: Diced Seasoned Green Bananas

Ingredients

  • 4 medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for sauteing

Method

  1. Cook the bananas and dice.
  2. Sauté the celery, onions, and garlic in oil and add the bananas.

Yield: 2 servings

Recipe 4: Crushed Green Bananas

In the Caribbean, people say crushed bananas, whereas for other foods (e.g. potatoes) they say mashed. I'm not sure why this is.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium bananas
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk, or more for a softer texture
  • Seasoning of choice
  • Flax or chia seeds (optional for added nutrition)

Method

  1. Boil the bananas.
  2. Crush like you would mash potatoes with milk, butter, and the seasoning of choice.
  3. Sprinkle optional flax or chia seeds on top.

Yield: 2 servings

Recipe 5: Green Banana Porridge

Ingredients

  • 5 green bananas, uncooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • Dash cinnamon, ground
  • Dash nutmeg, ground
  • Dash allspice
  • Dash salt
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Extra hot milk, for a thinner porridge

Method

  1. Peel the bananas (the video above shows how). Chop into small pieces and put them in a blender.
  2. Blend the water and milk and use to grate bananas in the blender. Begin with half the liquid, then keep adding until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Put the mixture in a pan over low heat and stir continuously.
  4. Combine the spices and add them to the mixture in the pan.
  5. Add the hot milk, if necessary, to make the porridge less thick. Stir and add milk to bring to desired consistency.
  6. Sweeten to taste and serve in bowls.

References

1, 4, 5, 6 Angie: For Living Strong, The Nutritional Difference of Ripe vs Green Bananas (08/02/2014)

2, 3. Corleone, Jill: Livestrong.com, Health Benefits of Green Bananas (03/13/2014)

* Nutrition Chart is from FitDay (visited 01/05/2015)

© 2015 Dora Weithers