At home or abroad porridge is heavily featured on Jamaican breakfast menus. Cornmeal, oatmeal, peanut, banana porridge or hominy we love them all. For some a bowl or mug of this warm sweet nutritious goodness with a couple slices of buttered hardough bread or a few Excelsior hard crackers is all it takes to get through the morning. For others, porridge is the starter ‘a likkle something to clear your stomach’ before a hearty mid-morning meal.
Green bananas are used by Caribbean cooks to make dumplings, porridge, chips or boiled with other foods. Grating green bananas to make porridge is just of the many ways we use this staple Caribbean food. Making this Jamaican favorite is just as easy as making most other porridge. The hardest past is peeling and grating the green bananas. If you are not a fan of mutilated fingers or if you don’t own a grater a food processor makes a perfect substitute.
Still don’t want all that hassle?
Try using green banana flour. You will often find it prepackaged in Indian, Asian and African grocery stores.
If easy breezy is your style
When making green banana porridge mix the grated bananas with flour before adding to the water. this will allow the water to thicken as it begins to boil and the bananas begin to cook. to ensure a lump free porridge, a wooden spoon or a whisk is the perfect companion.
Green Banana Porridge
- 3 green bananas (peeled and grated)
- ¼ C. flour
- 2 C. of water
- ½ tsp salt
- *1 C. milk
- Sugar to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Add water to saucepan over medium heat. Add salt to water. In a bowl, mix banana with flour. Stir banana mixture into warm water. Continue stirring until mixture thickens and porridge begins to boil. Let porridge boil for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently, while boiling. After 10 minutes stir in milk and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Watch pot carefully because the milk may cause the porridge to boil over. After 5 minutes turn off the stove and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve porridge while hot.
*1 C. coconut milk for regular milk
*½ C. milk for ½ C. condensed milk, omit sugar if using sweetened condensed milk
Is Green Banana dumpling a Jamaican/ Caribbean food? Maybe it’s a ‘country ting’ a description reserved for things found only in the Jamaican countryside. I have no idea. All I know is that one of my favourite relative would make such a delicious meal of brown stewed fish with green banana dumplings that I would request it before visiting her house.
Green bananas are as much a part of Caribbean cuisine as boiled dumplings are. Combine the 2 and you have a guaranteed winner. A recent question from a blog reader prompted me to post a recipe. To satisfy my cravings, I eventually began making my own dumplings and fish but the memory lives on. The recipe is below.
This is the old-fashioned way to grate green bananas. If you do not own a grater or you just don’t want to risk your fingers a food processor works just as well. I on the other hand am old-fashioned so I have never owner a food processor. Plus a grater’s quicker and easier to clean.
depending on the size and starchiness of the bananas you may not need to add any water to the dough. Combine and knead all the ingredients except water . Slowly add the water to the dough as needed. The finished dough should be firm but soft and easily pulled, like other boiled dumpling dough. To make banana dumplings you can use all-purpose or whole wheat flour. Either way the loads of potassium, Vitamins B6 and C green bananas give this Caribbean staple a nutritional boost
Banana Dumpling Recipe
- 2 C. flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
- 2 green bananas peeled and grated
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ C. cold water
- In a saucepan bring 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil while you knead the dough. Combine all ingredients except water in a clean bowl. knead until dough is firm. If needed Slowly add water while stirring with a tablespoon. After water is fully absorbed use your hands to knead dough until it is firm and ‘elasticky‘ like shown. Tear dough into even pieces and knead each into round discs.If dough is sticky add flour 1 TB at a time. If too dry add water 1 tsp at a time. Add dumplings to boiling water and cook for 12 to 15 minutes
Bananas have the distinction of being both a fruit and a vegetable. Green bananas are considered a vegetable. They are a staple ingredient in African, Polynesian, Asian, Spanish, and Caribbean cuisine. Ripe bananas are a fruit that’s familiar to just about everyone on planet earth. In Caribbean cuisine green bananas are used to make a variety of dishes including salads, pies, porridge, and dumpling. They are also know by other names Figs in Trinidad and guineos in Spanish culture. They can also be ground into flour. Or you can simply boil and eat them as is. In the Caribbean, boiled green bananas are commonly served with fish and meat dishes.
Green bananas are a Caribbean staple that is used to create a wide variety of dishes including dumplings, porridge, and desserts.
For a quick video guide on how to peel and prepare green banana click here
Ripe bananas are considered a fruit. They are eaten as is, used to make puddings, pies, and one of the world’s most popular breads for just to name a few. Both green and ripe bananas are low in calories and fat and are a great source of potassium, fiber and vitamin C and B. Banana export is a large part of the Caribbean economy, accounting for more than half billion dollars in annual trade across several Caribbean nations. In Dominica the banana industry, with some 7,000 banana farmers, is the second largest employer, behind the government.
Bananas or figs, as Trinidadians call it, are a great source of potassium, fiber, and other nutrients. Shown here, a vegetarian meal of steamed vegetables with boiled green bananas and pumpkin.
banana dumplings are just one of the many creative ways that Caribbean islanders incorporate green bananas into their cuisine. shown here boiled banana dumplings and potato with greens and mackerel.
Green banana can be cut into chunks and fried or sliced into thin slices and made into chips. Banana chips are a favorite snacks throughout the Caribbean. They can be purchased at stores where Hispanic and Caribbean foods are sold.
Side dish or entrée, Steamed Callaloo is a tasty, versatile green that is enjoyed in countless Jamaican homes all day everyday. Jamaican callaloo aka Amaranth (Not to be confused with Trinidadian callaloo (dasheen leaves) is a nutrition packed powerhouse that is heavily featured in Jamaican cuisine. Loaded with calcium, protein and other essential nutrients callaloo is especially prominent in the Rastafarian’s Ital diet. Callaloo can be cooked solo or combined with other vegetables or saltfish to make a tasty entrée. Steamed callaloo is similar to Spinach in flavor and nutritional value.
Callaloo can be prepared any number of ways. It is one of the main ingredients in Pepperpot Soup. In Jamaica, callaloo is often served with saltfish or steamed with herbs and spices to make a vegetarian entree. The Trini version along with a complete recipe will be explained in a later post.
Most people pay attention to amaranth because of its high protein content, making it a crucial nutrient source for certain cultures, but there has been new research revealing that it also contains a certain peptide that has also been identified in soybeans that can reduce inflammation in the body. This anti-inflammatory molecule can also help to alleviate conditions like arthritis, gout, and other inflammation-related issues…” ~Organic Facts~
Side dish or entrée. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Steamed Callaloo is a tasty, versatile green that is enjoyed in countless Jamaican homes all day everyday. Not to be confused with Trinidadian callaloo (dasheen leaves) Steamed callaloo is a tasty nutrient packed vegetable can be cooked solo or combined with other vegetables or saltfish to make a tasty entrée. Steamed callaloo is similar to Spinach in flavor and nutritional value. Keep reading for a step by step recipe for Jamaican- style steamed callaloo
Steamed Callaloo Recipe, Jamaican style
about 4 firmly packed cups callaloo, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
butter or oil
*1 pk noodle soup
* If using noodle
“Pick” callaloo.Remove any debris, holey and dried leaves, and hard stalks. Wash in cold water. Discard the water.Wash again in 2 qts. water and 1 TB salt. Discard water. Drain. Place callaloo in a saucepan add remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and cook callaloo over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. After 15 minutes test for tenderness. If callaloo is still firm add a few tablespoons of water, if needed cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve with rice, bread or fried dumplings as a vegetarian meal. Or serve as a side dish with meat and other foods.
* Add ackee (drain if using canned ackee) after 5 minutes
* Add ½ lb. cooked and flaked saltfish.
* To make this dish Ital, omit salt, butter and noodles