Fermenting Bananas: Everything You Need to Know

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bananas are the third most popular fruit in the country. What’s not to love about them – they’re full of vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and they’re an excellent source of fiber.

But they’re also quite sweet, and that’s why some people might avoid them. However, by fermenting bananas, you can get rid of the sugar and gain additional benefits from probiotics.

Fruit fermentation is a well-known process, but it’s not just the peaches and plums that are the most popular options. For example, you can ferment bananas with only a few ingredients. Then, once fermented, you can eat or add them to a baking recipe.

fermenting bananas

What Happens When You Ferment Bananas?

When you ferment bananas, the process that takes place is called lacto-fermentation. This is because the naturally occurring bacteria eat away all the starch and sugar in the bananas.

The by-product of the process is called lactic acid. That sharp flavor is associated with fermented fruits and vegetables – that’s the lactic acid.

It’s also the compound that ensures the bananas remain preserved. If you’re having issues digesting bananas, fermenting them will help your body break them down more efficiently and allow better nutrient absorption.

So, what are some of the health benefits of fermented bananas? First, they can help with many gut conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and skin conditions such as eczema.

How Long Does It Take Bananas to Ferment?

Preparing fermented foods is not for everyone. It will require some patience until you get the final product. Fortunately, the process won’t take as long as it would some other foods.

Once the lid is closed and placed in a dry spot in your pantry, bananas will take a day or two to ferment. However, keep in mind that that process might take longer during the winter months than in the summer.

If the fermentation process is successful, you can place the fermented bananas in the fridge or even freeze them and use them later.

What Does Fermented Banana Taste Like?

If you’re doing a low-carb diet or can’t eat bananas due to dietary restrictions, you can ferment them. This way, you still get to enjoy the health benefit of bananas, plus the probiotics and don’t have to worry about the sugar.

But keep in mind that fermented bananas don’t taste the same as they do fresh.

They’ll smell like bananas, but the taste will be tangy and fizzy. There will be none of the recognizable sweetness a fresh banana has.

Pay attention to any unpleasant smells, though, as that could signify that the fermentation process was unsuccessful.

Can You Ferment Bananas Into Alcohol?

You’re familiar with various types of fruit wine, such as the one made from grapes, berries, and even pineapple. But did you know that you can make banana wine too?

And not just wine; it’s also possible to make banana beer.

Both recipes originate from Africa and have been used in special ceremonies and occasions. Banana wine is clear and sparkling and doesn’t spoil as fast as banana beer.

Click here to learn more about fermenting bananas into alcohol!

How Do You Make Fermented Bananas?

I touched on the subject of fermenting bananas and that it’s not a complicated process. But what does it look like exactly?

While there could be some differences in the approach, banana fermentation entails several ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • A probiotic capsule

If possible, use organic bananas, as the presence of pesticides may slow down the growth of good bacteria. Also, it’s recommended to use brown sugar instead of white.

As for necessary tools, all you’ll need is one Mason jar. An alternative can be a tall glass covered with plastic wrap and a rubber band. If you have only one banana to work with, here’s what you should do:

  1. Cut the banana into small or medium-sized pieces.
  2. Pour filtered water into the Mason jar.
  3. Add one pinch of salt into the water.
  4. Add one tablespoon of sugar into the mixture.
  5. Pour the contents of the probiotic capsule.
  6. Stir the mixture and add the bananas. Make sure there is at least an inch of room left at the top.
  7. Place the mixture somewhere safe.
  8. After a few days, check the Mason jar. If it smells good, you can start eating the fermented bananas immediately.

If you get into a habit of fermenting bananas, adjust the quantities according to the instructions listed above.

Furthermore, if one batch was successful, you can use a little bit of the liquid from that batch for the next one.

You don’t have to add probiotics every time. However, this change might also mean that you need to adjust the fermentation time to work faster.

If you become very efficient in fermenting bananas, you might not even need the additional salt either. Finally, make sure to use glass containers and not plastic.

What Can You Do With Fermented Bananas?

First, let’s take a look at all the many health benefits of bananas. They’re great for heart health because they’re rich in potassium which helps regulates blood pressure.

Bananas also contain high levels of tryptophan which converts into serotonin, a mood-enchasing neurotransmitter.

You can eat bananas for better digestion, vision, and overall bone health. When you pair these benefits with the many advantages of fermented foods, fermenting bananas becomes the best idea ever.

After the process of fermentation is done, the bananas can sit in your fridge or freezer. They’re the perfect addition for a low-carb smoothie, or you can consume them with yogurt or morning oatmeal.

But, of course, one of the best ways to use fermented bananas is to make a healthier version of banana bread.

In Summary

If you have a few bananas that might go bad in your kitchen, perhaps give fermented bananas a try. Some people are pretty passionate about discovering new food they can ferment.

It’s well-known by now that bananas ferment tremendously well and that they deliver numerous health benefits. And the best part is that it doesn’t take too much work.

All you need is a banana, brown sugar, a little bit of salt, probiotics, and water. With the right temperature, you can eat fermented bananas in 36 hours or less.