SCIENTIFIC NAME

Musa balbisiana;
Musa acuminate

CLASSIFICATION

Fruit

SEASON

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

About

Sweet and tender, soft and creamy the banana is an all round crowd pleaser. The most popular crop in the world is available throughout the year. With its iconic shape and colour this world food source provides the body with instant energy and an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. Perfect as an instant snack or in classics such as Banana Bread, Banoffie Pie or in a Smoothie, this distinctive tasting fruit, is also known to assist hangovers and morning sickness.

Sweet and tender with its soft, creamy texture the banana is available all year round with peaks in September through to May.

There are predominately two varieties of banana available to the consumer, the Cavendish banana, also known as the Williams or “Mons Mari” in Queensland and the Lady Finger.

In Western Australia, bananas are grown in the semi-arid tropical Kununurra and subtropical Carnarvon. Although there is some overlap in production, Kununurra produces mainly for the winter market from August to December and Carnarvon supplies the summer market from December to March.

Bananas grown in sub-tropical Carnarvon, take longer to grow than those in tropical climates. The smaller cell structure that results gives a creamier texture and more intense flavour.

Seasons Chart

Seasonal supply to the WA market.
Sources: PMA,ABS, DAFWA

Tips and Hints

Bananas are most abundant in summer, with lower volumes available in winter.

When choosing bananas go for plump, firm and brightly coloured fruit with no large brown spots (brown spots indicates bruising). Occasional brown spots on the skin are normal, but sunken, moist-looking dark areas will likely show up as bruises on the fruit.

Bananas should have their stem ends and skin intact. A split skin or stem may become an entry point for contamination.

It is also fine to buy slightly green bananas if you they do not require eating immediately. These can be stored at room temperature and should ripen within 5 days.

To speed up ripening place in a brown paper bag and leave at room temperature, away from heat or direct sun. Putting an apple in the bag will speed up the process.

Once ripened, bananas can be kept at room temperature for a day or two. Then, the fruit can be stored in a refrigerator to slow down ripening. The skin will turn dark, but the fruit will remain perfectly edible. Refrigerated bananas can be stored up to two weeks.

Banana flesh can also be frozen but again they need to be ripe first. To store, peel skin and wrap flesh in cling film for freezing.

Importantly, bananas should never be refrigerated or frozen before ripening as this will interrupt the ripening process.

Tips and Hints.

To speed up ripening place in a brown paper bag.

Do not store in fridge or freezer until ripe.

To freeze, remove skin and wrap flesh in cling film.

To peel, think like a monkey and peel from the end of the fruit rather than the stem. Trying to peel a banana from the stem can be difficult and result in bruising. Rather, pinch the tip with your thumb and index finger and the skin will easily split resulting in an effortless peel.
Once cut the fruit will turn brown. To prevent this, dip in lemon, lime, orange or pineapple juice.

You can save overripe bananas by peeling them, wrapping them in cling film and freezing them. Frozen bananas are perfect as a cool treat or blended in smoothies. Or, alternatively thaw them and use for baking, like Banana Bread where peak sweetness and “mushiness” are desirable.

Bananas bruise easily, so handle them with care.

Tips and Hints

To prevent discolouring dip in lemon, lime, orange or pineapple juice.

Freeze over ripe fruit and use when ready in smoothies or baking.

Click here for Banana and Lime Jam recipe

To peel, think like a monkey and peel from the end of the fruit rather than the stem. Trying to peel a banana from the stem can be difficult and result in bruising. Rather, pinch the tip with your thumb and index finger and the skin will easily split resulting in an effortless peel.
Once cut the fruit will turn brown. To prevent this, dip in lemon, lime, orange or pineapple juice.

You can save overripe bananas by peeling them, wrapping them in cling film and freezing them. Frozen bananas are perfect as a cool treat or blended in smoothies. Or, alternatively thaw them and use for baking, like Banana Bread where peak sweetness and “mushiness” are desirable.

Bananas bruise easily, so handle them with care.

Tips and Hints

To prevent discolouring dip in lemon, lime, orange or pineapple juice.

Freeze over ripe fruit and use when ready in smoothies or baking.

Click here for Banana and Lime Jam recipe

The banana is considered one of nature’s superfoods due to its energy and nutritional giving properties. An excellent source of dietry fibre and high in vitamins especially Vitamin C and B complex, plus minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium the fruit is an ideal food.

It is a rich source of energy and serves as an instant booster to athletes, the elderly and babies. High in fibre and iron the fruit is excellent for the bowel and in aiding constipation. A “natural antacid” the banana assists in heartburn, stomach ulcers, hangover recovery and morning sickness. The fruit also contains the mineral tryptophan, aiding in sleep.

Banana Recipes

POMEGRANATES
Nutrient Value per 100 g
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 329 kJ
Moisture 76.2 g
Protein 1.9 g
Nitrogen g
Fat 0.2 g
Ash 0.5 g
Dietary fibre 6.4 g
Fructose 5.7 g
Glucose 7.8 g
Sucrose 0 g
Total sugars 13.5 g
Starch 0 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 13.5 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 13.5 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.5 g
Citric acid 1.7 g
Minerals
Calcium (Ca) 14 mg
Iron (Fe) 0.5 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 9 mg
Potassium (K) 210 mg
Sodium (Na) 4 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.4 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.01 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.02 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.4 mg
Niacin Equivalents 0.72 mg
Alpha carotene 50 ug
Beta carotene 40 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 65 ug
Retinol equivalents 11 ug
Vitamin C 14 mg

Source: NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand) Wills, R.B.H., Lim, J.S.K. and Greenfield, H. (1986) Composition of Australian foods. 31. Tropical and sub-tropical fruit. Food Technology in Australia 38(3):118-123.