In all the talk of potato starch as the most concentrated form of resistant starch known to man (80% RS by weight, 20% moisture, easy to dose—even in plain water), I’ve not written much about two other very respectable sources of RS, both in whole foods: green plantains and green bananas. They’re about 50% RS by weight in their unripened state, but have the added advantage of including other types of beneficial fibers, as well as a decent nutritional profile. It’s whole food, as old as the hills.
Green plantains are tough to deal with and about the best to be done is peel, slice and dry them (I haven’t tried them in a smoothie, though). You can also use various dry spice & herb. I’ve done them with salt (somewhat like a saltine cracker, good dipping substrate). I also did them with cinnamon & sugar. Not bad.
Enter the banana. Literally, the food Dog created with the human hand and mouth in mind. One marvels at the profound wisdom of Dog when considering that man’s crowning achievement at a delivery device is a metallic cylinder with an environmentally polluting aluminum pop top. Behold, the atheist’s nightmare.
I suppose I was destined to be curmudgeon on the whole Dog thing, because I’ve just never been much of a banana fan. Don’t care for the texture, the flavor is “just ‘ok’ for me,” and it’s kinda too sweet. At most, I tolerate a few slices in a mixed fruit salad. When I have eaten a whole banana, it’s got to be absolutely firm. They even smell off to me when even slightly beyond that state.
Enter the green banana. Now, I’ve purchased green bananas before, but conventional wisdom says you leave them out and in a couple of days, they ripen. Incidentally, what is resistant starch prior is entirely consumed, converted to sugars as they ripen. I suppose RS is ripening fuel, or something. Recently, I found that I really like just eating a green banana whole. You have to peel it differently, Dog’s ingenuity notwithstanding. Cut off both ends, slice lengthwise through the peel, disrobe. …No, the banana, silly!
They’re also just really great for smoothies and here’s a hint: they’ll stay green far longer if you keep them in the fridge. I suppose you could peel, slice & freeze as well and use as needed in smoothies. Here’s a typical recipe for me:
- 1 whole raw egg
- 1 whole green banana
- 2 TBS potato starch (optional)
- 2-4 oz any fruit juice or “Odwalla” style bottled smoothie (mixed berries is my fav)
- 2-4 oz plain kefir
- Whole raw milk to achieve volume and consistency (optionally: water, coconut milk, coconut water, etc)
You all know how to make smoothies, this is just one of my many ways. The point is: the green banana. A whole average size green banana is pretty much going to be 10-30g of resistant starch, depending upon size and degree of ripeness.
OK, there’s the whole-fruit aspect of the thing. There’s going to be variation because of the degree of ripeness, and ripening is a continuous process, losing some of the RS every day that’s fueling the ripening. So, one option is flours made from dried green plantains or green bananas that preserve the RS at its hight. In blog comments, a lot of us have integrated Plantain Flour, but it doesn’t seem to mix all that well in just a stirred beverage, and the taste is nothing to write home about. How about banana flour? Would be nice to compare, right? Maybe you’re like me, trying to get my gut-bug-feeding resistant starch from a number of sources, not just Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. Potato starch is kinda my foundation. 2-4 TBS most days ensures I’m getting it, and the rest is made up by other things like cooked and cooled potatoes, cooked and cooled parboiled rice, and cooked and cooled legumes.
Unfortunately, there is no green banana flour on the market, at least here in America. But what if you could help bring it? Here’s a well done, funny video that explains the deal, tells how you can help; and above all, gives you an opportunity to get some of this to try yourselves before it hits the market.
Yep, I’ve been sent a container and I just donated $25 to the Kickstarter, so I’ll be getting another one while helping bring the product to market here in America. I really like it. Way more flavor than the plantain flour, and pleasant. I love a couple of tablespoons in milk, let it settle. Stir a bit, then fish out the doughy clumps with a spoon, and they are a “just right” banana flavor for me. Bananas & milk, lots of resistant starch.
Just like the smoothies, a million options. This is a product we need, so check out the Kickstarter and get on board quick, so as to grab one of the available spots that come with product as a reward. And soon enough, every time you see this, you’ll know you played a part.
Times, options, motivations—what’s really important—vs. distractions and wastes of time…are changing. Or, watch a lot of cable-channel news to keep you agitated about things your can’t control, influence, or participate in—and which gives you nothing in return, only takes away your resources and a piece of you. Your choice.
This sort of thing is the future, and when we as a society finally come to realize that humans are social animals who jump to help and take part in things that interest and excite them vs. top-down kingly and presidential admonition from edifice, high benches that look down on you, and pressed robes…then we’ll have improved as human beings.