Green Banana Mash

21 Feb

In Puerto Rico, when one does not feel well, we usually immediately crave or get prescribed “viandas” – viandas are mostly tubers – potatoes, yuca, yautia, malangas, sweet potatoes, yams, and for some reason plantains and green bananas are jammed up in there.  They are easy on the digestive system and seem to help you “get on your feet” again.

For some weird reason, I was craving viandas yesterday.  I went to the supermarket and spent 19 cents on 3 green bananas.  there is still something cheap at the supermarket.  Yes, bananas can be eaten ripe and green too… but you need to cook them.  We usually boil them.  But I need to show you a trick for it.


Green bananas, just like green plantains, have what we call “mancha” – they release a sap when you cut them open.  To avoid this, you just wipe some cooking oil in your hands and on the knife you’ll use to prevent the sap to stick to any of them.  When you go and boil them, add some cooking oil to the boiling water to prevent the sap to get on the saucepan.

Be careful – this mancha or sap STAINS A LOT.  If you get it on your clothes, more than likely you will not be able to get it off.  There’s a local saying when you can’t deny being a Puerto Rican, people say that you have “la mancha de plátano” or “plantain sap stain” resembling the fact that the sap from a green plantain or banana can’t never be cleaned or taken away. 

Here’s what you do…



3 green bananas
Salt – for the boiling water
Cooking oil – for the boiling water, your hands and the knife
Extra-virgin olive oil
Garlic Salt to taste 
  1. In a large pot, fill with water.  Add salt and a squirt of cooking oil. 
  2. Cut off the ends of each banana and cut a slit all the way down the banana.  Do not take the skin off the banana.  We’ll boil them with the skins on.  
  3. Boil in the pot for about 20 minutes, until the bananas are fork tender.  the water will turn a weird color – don’t dispair.  This is the sap in the banana skin.  
  4. Drain the bananas.  Take the skin off.  It should come off very easily.
  5. Mash with a fork while still warm… they’ll be harder to mash when they’re cool.  Drizzle with olive oil until you get a smooth consistency and season with garlic salt.

With a few more steps… we can convert this into mangu, a delicious Dominican dish.  That in an upcoming installment – OK?

I had this with my Avocado and Tomato Salad.


11 Responses to “Green Banana Mash”

  1. Foodie Cutie February 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    How does this taste? Does it have a strong banana flavor? I’m def. going to try this this weekend.

  2. karmafreecooking February 27, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    Foodie Cutie – Green Bananas DO NOT taste anything sweet, like the yellow bananas you’re probably used to eat. Green bananas are starchy, more like a waxy potato really or even a yucca/cassava root. It’s just something really unique you need to taste to know… and, like I mentioned, they’re not expensive, so if you can find them in your supermarket, buy some and try it.

    This is just one preparation… but you can also boil them and do a quick pickle or escabeche… it’s one of our Puerto Rican Xmas dishes…

  3. Taymer August 4, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    I am very happy to see this post. I made a similar one in my blog a few weeks ago. I do mine a little coconut milk and onion.
    I am really happy abt this post as green bananas are so undervalued!


  4. M A Rodriguez December 28, 2009 at 3:50 am #

    if you add 2-3 tablespoon of milk to the boiling salted and oiled water, it prevents the black sap from staining the cooking banana and the pot!

  5. justin July 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    can u drink the juice from the boiled water? i heard it was good for stomach problems…

    • KarmaFree Cooking July 15, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      Justin… I have never heard drinking the boiling water from boiling green bananas had any benefits. Then again, I boil my bananas with their skin ON and put a little bit of oil in the water to prevent the “mancha” or the stain in the skin sap to stick to my saucepans. Because of that – oil and sap – I would not drink the remaining water. But if you hear differently and there are indeed benefits, please share, OK???

    • Cynthia June 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      I would think you would only use organic bananas and perhaps where the skin has been removed before boiling?

      • KarmaFree Cooking June 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

        Green bananas are very hard to peel… that’s why the best way to boil them while green is with the skin on. The heat from the water peels them very easily. If you can get organic green bananas, excellent. But even if the bananas aren’t organic, you can wash well the skin before boiling. While I try as much as I can to eat as organic as possible, I know it is difficult to find everything organic, and sometimes it’s very costly. So choose what’s best within your means. That will build good karma…

    • judy October 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      My doctor just told me today that there’s a lot of iron in the water of boiled green bananas with no salt or oil. I steained it and poured it into glass jars. I reheat it add honey and bragg apple cider vinegar and drink it.

  6. gastronomiette March 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    I love boiled green bananas! First time I had them was in jamaica.. I had NO idea you could eat them that way. Now I keep a load of bananas stashed in the fridge so they don’t ripen so I can steam them.

  7. Delia February 29, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

    In the Philippines , it is very common to cook green bananas but the variety used is cardaba

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