Imagine eating a banana and feeling as if you are eating ice cream. This fruit, known as the Blue Java banana, is a hybrid of two bananas native to Southeast Asia — Musa acuminate and Musa balbisiana. The flesh is usually white in color and it has small black seeds.
Ice cream bananas
“It’s called Blue Java because its peel has an aqua blue color when it’s unripe. They have this frosted tinge all over the peel that makes it look as though they are permanently frozen. The ripe form has a greenish or pale yellow color, with the insides whitish-yellow. It’s identified by several names: ice cream banana in Hawaii, Cenizo in Central America and Hawaiian banana in Fiji,” according to Novo Taste.
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Just like other types of bananas, Blue Javas are a great source of fiber, Vitamins B6, and manganese. In addition, they also provide trace amounts of phosphorus, iron, selenium, and thiamine. Since Blue Java bananas only offer around 105 calories per serving, they make an excellent weight-loss food. The fiber helps make you feel full and thereby reduces hunger pangs.
Fiber can also help deal with issues like hemorrhoids, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and stomach ulcers. One Blue Java provides about 3 grams of fiber, which fulfills around 12 percent of the recommended daily intake. Blue Javas are rich in antioxidants that protect you from cell damage. They also help in combating chronic conditions like cancers, diabetes, and heart diseases. A typical banana includes antioxidants like ferulic acid, gallic acid, dopamine, and quercetin.
On the downside, some people might have an allergic reaction to Blue Java bananas. This is even more likely if you have an allergy to latex. People with diabetes should also be careful when eating Blue Javas. “Bananas have a relatively low glycemic index, which is a measure of how much specific foods can raise blood sugar levels. However, those with type 2 diabetes should be mindful of their intake and monitor blood sugar levels after consuming foods rich in carbohydrates, including blue Java bananas,” according to Healthline.
Growing Blue Javas
As far as America is concerned, Blue Java bananas are suitable for cultivation in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Zones 9b to 11. Some farmers also grow them in Zone 8. So if you are in any of these regions, you can confidently go ahead and try raising some Blue Javas. Pick the area that will be the sunniest during the winter and start planting the trees. Constant overcast or shady conditions are bad for bananas.
“Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot it came in, add a bag of mulch/potting soil with the native soil, mix it together, put the plant in the ground, and water as needed depending on the time of year. During the summer, you will want to water every day or every other day. Wintertime, once or twice a month. Maybe three times if it doesn’t rain,” according to ABC 15.
Once the leaves start appearing, it will take about 9 months for the bananas to mature. A fully grown Blue Java plant will be about 10 to 14 feet tall. One plant will produce around 88 fruits on average every season. As such, you can have substantial production with very little space.