Region of Origin

Commodity:

Banana Leaf

Description & Origin

Banana leaves are the broad, vivid green leaves of the banana plant. They are wide, elongated, and slightly rounded on the tip. The surface is waxy, flexible, and glossy. The color of banana leaves’ can vary from bright green, olive green, to very dark green. Banana leaves are too fibrous to eat. They are primarily used to wrap foods as they cook or as a serving vessel. They impart a very distinct...

Health Benefits & Nutrition

Banana leaves cannot be consumed, so little is known about their nutritional value. In India, banana leaves have had many uses in traditional medicine, including as a dressing for wounds; a decoction to treat indigestion and acid reflux; and treatment of nosebleeds, snake bites, and heat stroke.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Mexico
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Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Banana leaves are far too fibrous to be edible. However, they have a variety of uses in the kitchen. Packets made by folding the leaves are used to steam starches, meats, rice, and vegetables. Leaves can be placed over the grill and used as a mat when barbequing fragile or small items. The vibrant leaves are also used as serving mats.

Flavor Pairings

Plantain, Green Chile, Garlic, Ginger, Onion, Corn, Curry, Cinnamon, Rice, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Salmon

How to Prepare

Banana leaf preparation is relatively simple. Wash banana leaves thoroughly and pat them dry. Cut in the direction of the fibers to the size required for intended use. Be sure to trim off any browning edges or spots. The central stem may need to be removed for better flexibility. Leaves can also be par boiled to make them more malleable, if needed. Prepare as desired.

How to Store in the Kitchen

Store refrigerated in a sealed bag. The leaves will hold for up to one week if refrigerated. They can also be frozen for up to six months. Frozen banana leaves can be used for wrapping food, but no longer make a good decoration or serving mat.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

Compost banana leaf scraps.

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

40-54°F

TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

40-54°F (Cool Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING:

Yes – If stored close to 32°F banana leaves may begin to show surface browning.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

85-95%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

Unknown

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

Unknown

Quality Assessment

Banana leaves should be vivid in color and malleable. Some browning on the leaf edges is normal, but excessive browning, tears, or spots of decay may be considered defects.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, banana leaves may last up to one week.

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