Can a banana tree produce fruit

Can a banana tree produce fruit

Can a banana tree produce fruit in the middle of winter? The over-ripe question pops into my mind whenever I am confronted with a patch of snow outside.

All too often, I’ve seen a sun-ripened banana in an over-abundant crop. It looks like a yellow sun melting in the rays. It’s tempting. You know you want to eat it. You might not be able to. But it’s still hard to resist.

The green fruits offer a fresh but satisfying dish. It tastes like a young avocado, only with a faint banana note. You just have to know what to look for.

A few weeks ago, during the 2013 winter freeze, I was delighted to see a few small bananas ripen and freeze. The seeds I sowed in fall had taken over the field, growing almost to the sky. The brown vines were surrounded by ice crystals in many shades of green.

The banana patch

In this blizzard of color, I kept a keen eye out for the ripened fruits that dotted the landscape. They were often too small to notice from a distance. The green-green leaves of the banana canopy barely gave away their presence. I followed the tips of their stalks until I found them.

The ice-like crystals on the banana leaves looked like big, solid icicles hanging in a field of green. The banana is a botanical oddity. It is technically a herb, but has fleshy leaves and a long, tapering trunk. On the farm, it is called ‘giant fern’. It is an interesting plant. No wonder the Incan shamans saw it as a symbol of rebirth.

When you are standing near one of these stalks, the banana looks tough. If you want to eat it, you have to cut it from the vine. My favorite way to enjoy this herb is to cut the green leaves, peel, and make banana-ice spears. Serve it as a vegetarian main dish with rice or a salad of greens.

But not all bananas taste the same. Many have strange after-tastes that don’t live up to their juicy appearance. Their taste lacks sweetness. One source of the bitterness is a chemical called ‘inulin’. It’s part of the fiber that gives bananas their digestive kick. Other bananas contain high amounts of sucrose. They are the traditional kinds we are used to eating. They are sweet and juicy.

Interestingly, you can make a banana cream pie by adding liquid (1/3) and powdered (2/3) bananas and sugar to an already baked pie crust. The result is smooth and just as tasty as cream pie. The banana cream pie recipe is also a reliable starter for kids. A few spoons of powdered banana can help them learn to accept their first bowl of ‘real’ soup.

Keep in mind that unlike other fruit, the banana produces much less juice after it has been sliced. To juice it, you’ll need a hand juicer, an electric one is fine. The pulp has to be shaken well to get the banana seeds out, so be careful with your hands. Next, I cut off the banana peels, slice them and squeeze out all the pulp into a bowl. I store them in the fridge in a glass jar for future consumption.

It’s best not to eat too many of the green bananas. They are, after all, a herb. There’s nothing wrong with the taste of the green fruits. But the red bananas are better. This year, I’ll have plenty of green bananas and hope the red ones will get plentiful.

Now, it’s your turn. Have you seen a green banana in the winter? What do you do with it?

Once upon a time, I remember watching black and white photographs of archaeological excavations that revealed complex civilizations under the deep snow. The yellowish color of the snow concealed the rest of the buried ancient city and all the tools used to get there. The remains of life on the ground – and even in the water – was kept safely preserved until new technological advances revealed a whole new perspective on our ancestors.

When archaeologists started to use a specialized scanner to scan for electromagnetic waves, we started to see how cavemen actually survived in the cold. In caves, we can now see what they ate, how they decorated their skulls and met their demise.

Winter was once a time of barren beauty. It provided clear days for hunting. People lived in huts by the fires and hid from the snow monsters that came out of the dark forests. Animals couldn’t be heard in the long, freezing nights. Winter was the time of silence.

The winter has also been the time when the food was planted and tended to by people. Villages found their food supply in the freezing soil. They grew berries and