Banana leaves are the traditional part of Asian, Hispanic cuisines, and Caribbean cultures. The green color fresh banana leaves have a special ability to add mouthwatering flavor to cooked rice. Also, its greenish look adds a colorful setting to the serving plate.
Therefore, people love to eat food that are wrapped with banana leaves. Due to its biodegradable and eco-friendly properties, banana leaves are famous worldwide.
However, there is an issue associated with this. Many people do not have banana trees. So, they have to buy them from the market.
But after they buy them or cut the banana leaves from the plant, the greenish and fresh appearance will lose within a short time. Mostly just around 1-3 days, you may have to throw them away. So, people are searching for methods to preserve banana leaves.
If you were here, definitely you may have the same doubt. That’s why I’m going to share my expertise experience with you. Read until the end and know the tips and tricks about how to preserve banana leaves.
Tip 1# Freeze the banana leaves
Banana leaves consist of huge moisture content. So, to keep them alive, you have to retain this moisture amount in the leaves. So, follow these steps.
Step 1: Remove crashed and damaged parts of the leaves
Before going for the preserving techniques, you should remove the damaged parts. So, use a clean knife and cut crashed pieces.
Step 2: Socked banana leaves in water
This is a preliminary process. Do you know the importance of socking banana leaves on freshwater?
It will not only help to clean the leaves. Moreover, the water will reduce the temperature and keep your leaves alive until they preserve.
Or else, you can keep banana leaves in the sink and turn on the tap. The leaves will wash off faster under the running water.
Step 3: Wrapped banana leaves with plastic or polythene
Here you can use a polythene bag too. But make sure to enclose the bag loosely. It helps to limit your banana leaves for the cold air. The plastic bag will protect your leaves from drying out.
Step 4: Freeze these leaves
This is a convenient way to keep your banana leaves fresh for a long time. Believe me; you can keep them at their original state for six months.
However, thaw them for around 30 minutes if you want to use them. To speed up the thawing process, wash it using running water or hot water.
Do not store any other items on the banana leaves. It can be caused to fragile the leaves when frozen.
Tip 2# Preserve banana leaves using the refrigerator
Do you want to keep banana leaves fresh for a week? Or around 7-10 days?
It is easy. Here, you do not need a freezer. Your fridge is enough.
Step 1: Wash and clean the leaves
Step 2: Properly wrap them using polythene and store them in the fridge
The normal cooling conditions are enough to keep banana leaves for a week.
Tip 3# Preserve banana leaves using a hot water
This is a bit different technique. So, follow the steps that I mentioned below.
Step 1: Take a large pot and fill it with water
Step 2: Then heat the water until it boils
Step 3: After that, immerse a banana leaf in the water pot
Here, you can immerse one piece at once.
Do you want to preserve the whole leaf? Then take a whole leaf and gradually add it to the hot water.
Step 4: Let leaf blanch for 30 seconds
The rigid structure of the leaf will get soft and flexible while you are dipping the leaf in hot water.
However, do not keep the leaf for more than 30 seconds. It will cause to convert leaf color greenish to brownish.
Step 5: Carefully remove the leaf using a tong
Take out the banana leaf while it has a greenish appearance. Do not try to remove the banana leaf with your hand. It will burn your hand. So, take them out using a appropriate tool.
Step 6: Lay the leaf on a flat surface
Step 7: Let it dry
To speed up the process, you can use a towel or tissue. They will absorb the excess water and dry it out immediately.
Or else you can wipe the banana leaf using a towel.
Step 8: Cut the banana leaf
You cannot preserve the whole banana leaf as it is. So, cut the leaf using scissors. Then you can fold the leaf pieces.
Step 9: Pack the leaves on the plastic bag or zip lock bag
When you pack the banana leaves, do not let them crash. So, do this packing process carefully.
Step 10: Freeze the leaves for future use
Here, you should remember one important point. Freeze it until they get fully dry. The best practice is to leave them outside until dry.
Tip 4# Pack with paper and preserve banana leaves
Step 1: Wipe the banana leaves using a cleaning cloth
You can wash and wipe the leaves. If not, just wipe the leaves using a clean cloth. If you hope to use them in the future, wash them at that time.
Step 2: Then, keep the bundle banana leave pieces together
Here you can keep 6-8 banana pieces together.
Step 3: Take a full newspaper sheet
Step 4: Then place banana leaves bundle on the middle of the newspaper
Further, let some space free from each side of the newspaper.
Step 5: Fold the newspaper from both length sides
Step 6: Then fold the other ends and clip them using the paper clip
Step 7: Keep the banana leaf in the refrigerator
Tip 5# Preserve banana leaf with steam
Step 1: Add water into the pot and let them boil
Step 2: When the pot release the steam, expose the banana leaf to the steam
Here, you can expose the leaf until it is soft. Then take it away.
Step 3: Fold the banana leaf and put it into the plastic bag
Step 4: Enclose the bag and keep it in the refrigerator
I hope now you are an expert in the subject. So, this is the best time to try these methods. Then, please share your experience with us!