If I told you there was a banana that tasted like ice cream, would you believe me? What if I added on the fact that, before ripening, it’s blue?! Well, while the first may be a little easier to believe and the second almost impossible, those are both completely true! The Blue Java banana tree grows a delicious, creamy, dessert banana variety that has a blue hue before fully ripening.
Since it’s likely you’ve never heard much about this banana, read on to learn some really interesting information and facts about the Blue Java banana, including how you can try one for yourself!
About the Blue Java Banana Tree
The Blue Java banana tree is a hybrid banana tree that originated in Southeast Asia. It also grows naturally in Hawaii and other Pacific islands. It is nicknamed the “ice cream banana” because there’s a unique flavor and consistency to the fruit that remind people of eating vanilla custard.
If you do a Google image search for the Blue Java banana tree, you’ll see pictures of very bright, vivid blue bananas. As amazing as that would be, those photos are fake and have actually been edited.
The blue java bananas aren’t a bright blue when they’re unripened, but more of a blue-ish green. The unique hue actually comes from the banana’s waxy layer. As the fruit matures, it turns yellow. It may not be bright blue, but it’s certainly still wildly different from the bright green you’re probably used to!
The Blue Java banana tree produces a fruit that’s a bit shorter and squatter than the average bananas found in a grocery store.
History of the Blue Java Banana Tree
As mentioned before, the blue java banana tree is a hybrid of two other banana trees native to Southeast Asia: the Musa acuminate and Musa balbisiana varities.
The trees are said to have been discovered in Indonesia, but they also grow wild in Fiji and Hawaii. Since they originated as tropical trees, they’re considered to be some of the hardiest among banana trees, able to withstand high wind and low temperatures.
The bananas go by many other names, including the “Hawaiian banana.”
Eating the Blue Java Banana
Besides its unique color, there are other things that set the Blue Java banana tree apart from other banana varieties. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a fruit is nicknamed the “ice cream banana,” you’d better believe I’m intrigued and want to know more! So here it is—everything about eating this famed Blue Java banana.
What do they taste like?
Many different descriptions have been given for the Blue Java banana’s flavor. While the most agreed upon is a subtle vanilla flavor, other people have said that it reminds them of berries or apples.
Everyone who eats it says it’s much creamier and even “gooier” than a traditional banana, lending it to be compared to ice cream or custard.
What do they pair well with?
Bananas from the Blue Java banana tree are meant to be enjoyed as a dessert. Pairing them with other fruits, chocolate, espresso, and chocolate are all definite crowd-pleasers.
How can I use them in cooking?
These bananas are basically on this planet to be enjoyed as dessert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook them! Here are a few recipes to try in which you can substitute regular bananas with Blue Java bananas.
And for everyone 21 and over, here are a few adult beverages that would be made 10x better with the addition of a sweet, Blue Java banana!
Are they good for snacking?
Absolutely! These bananas are perfect for snacking. Their soft, white, fruity flesh is a great snack for the whole family.
Will my kids like them?
Would you have liked to eat a blue banana when you were a kid? YES! They’ll especially love them if they know they taste like ice cream. Here are a few fun ideas for how you can serve bananas to your kids besides just whole and fresh.
- Banana Dog: Basically, you use a regular hot dog bun, slather it in peanut butter, put your Blue Java banana where a hot dog would usually go, and then top it with all your favorite fruity toppings. Things like granola, mini chocolate chips, whipped cream, and other types of tropical fruit would all be delicious additions.
- Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas: Peel your Blue Java bananas, put them on a skewer, dip them in melted semi-sweet chocolate, and then pop them in your freezer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet until the chocolate is hardened and then enjoy your chocolate-covered ice cream bananas!
Health Benefits of the Blue Java Banana
Blue Java banana trees bear a fruit that’s an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Fiber is important in your diet as it helps you feel fuller for longer and improves your digestion.
Vitamin C is good for your body because not only does it help boost your immune system, but it’s also critical in the health of your skin and nails.
Blue Java bananas, like most other bananas, are chock-full of antioxidants, which help keep your body healthy at a cellular level.
Growing Blue Java Bananas at Home
Thankfully, because of its naturally high level of hardiness, if you live in plant hardiness zones eight through 11, you have a fighting chance to grow your own Blue Java banana tree in your own home.
Blue Java banana trees need a lot of sun. In order to really thrive, your Blue Java banana trees will need at least eight to12 hours of direct, full sunlight every day. They can survive with a little less, but they won’t reach their full potential.
Water is also critically important to banana trees. Since they come from tropical environments, these trees love their water! They need to be thoroughly soaked every day in the summer, but the soil needs to have good enough drainage that there isn’t ever any standing water at the base of the tree.
As far as temperatures and humidity go, the warmer and more humid the better, but they’ll do fine in a place that averages days between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 50 percent humidity. If prepared correctly, Blue Java banana trees can even survive temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s not ideal for them.
Your Blue Java banana tree should start to bear fruit within a couple of years of planting it.
Speaking of planting, when you’re planting your banana tree, make sure to give it plenty of space. These trees can grow to be anywhere from 12 to 15 feet tall!
Where to Buy A Blue Java Banana or Tree
You might have guessed it by now, but these bananas aren’t going to be found in your regular grocery store!
If you live in Hawaii or maybe even somewhere in south Florida, you may luck out at a farmers market, so keep your eyes peeled.
For everyone else, you get to order the fruit online or order and plant your very own Blue Java Banana tree in your backyard!
Wrapping up the Blue Java Banana Tree
While it may sound like something out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, the Blue Java banana tree is 100% real and a delicious, nutritious treat that your whole family is sure to love! Next, read more about everything you need to know about other banana varieties, and how o use them!