Words by Simon Difford
Banana tea is exactly as it sounds, tea made by infusing banana in boiling water. Some make it with fresh banana, others dried banana, with the peel or without, plus various combinations of these. More complex recipes for banana tea also call for the addition of cinnamon, honey and other ingredients besides banana to add sweetness and/or flavour. We've kept our Banana Tea recipe simple.
Bananas are a crop often heavily sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals so when making banana tea it is best to use organic bananas to alleviate this risk and be sure to wash your banana in warm water prior to use. The other ingredient you'll need is water, ideally filtered tap water or spring water to avoid the chlorine in municipal water supplies.
1. Pour 750ml of water into a saucepan and heat until simmering.
2. Cut both ends from a washed medium-sized organic banana and split the banana lengthways.
3. Place two banana halves with the skin still on into the boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and leave the banana to steep in the hot water for a further 10 minutes.
5. Strain and pour the banana tea directly into cups to serve, or into a sealed container to store (for up to 3 days) in the refrigerator for use as a cocktail ingredient.
Banana tea contains vitamins and minerals that seep from the banana while steeping, most notably potassium, a mineral claimed to support healthy blood pressure. Bananas are also high in magnesium, amino acid tryptophan, and antioxidants such as dopamine and gallocatechin (in both the peel and pulp) – nutrients that many say supports a healthy heart, reduces the risk of heart disease, and aids sleep.
There are claims bananas can prevent bloating, regulate fluid balance, and relax muscles. Banana tea has also become a popularly consumed as a sleep remedy.
While bananas are also avoided by some for their high sugar levels, banana tea is a great alternative to eating a whole banana as it's thought only a small amount of sugar is released into the water.
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