What Do Red Bananas Taste Like?

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If you've never tried red bananas, keep reading because we're discussing taste, texture and serving tips as well as what makes them different from the yellow bananas we know and love.

Red banana bunch in the tropical forest

Let's take a look...

What Do Red Bananas Taste Like? 

Red bananas have that characteristic banana flavor that the common yellow variety does, but they're even sweeter. Some may even have a hint of raspberry.

Red bananas are sweetest when fully ripe with a slight floral, perfumy quality. There may also be a trace of fragrant vanilla, making these bananas notably different from yellow bananas.

Red Banana Texture 

The texture of the ripe red banana is wonderful. It's softer, creamier and denser than a yellow banana, almost like a dessert.

But like underripe yellow bananas, red bananas that haven't reached full ripeness should be avoided. They're chalky and fibrous and will leave an unpleasant feeling on your tongue.

Can You Eat a Red Banana Raw? 

Just like yellow bananas, red bananas can eaten raw. Just peel the skin off and savor the sweet, creamy fruit inside either by itself or chopped up and added to granola or fruit salad.

Dehydrating red bananas is another way to eat them raw. They'll become crunchy and chewy, which is great for snacking or using as a topping for your favorite sweet treats.

How Can You Tell If a Red Banana Is Ripe? 

When fully ripe, red bananas are easy to spot as they're deep reddish-brown or even slightly purple. Greenish hues indicate that they're not quite ready to eat.

If you pick up a red banana and it feels very hard, it's likely unripe. Whether it's yellow or red, a ripe banana will be softer and easier to peel. And of course, if you bite into an unripe red banana, you'll know instantly as it will be grainy, chalky and disagreeable in texture.

Red Banana Serving Tips 

If you're feeling adventurous, try cooking and baking with red bananas. The recipes in the videos below include yellow bananas—just swap them out for the red variety.

Banana muffins are a good way to start baking with red bananas as they're easy and delicious. Here's what you'll be using:

  • Ripe red bananas
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Vegan butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

Honestly, this vegan French toast with caramelized bananas is so decadent that you could even save it for dessert. You'll need:

  • Sweet red bananas
  • Vegan milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oil
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

And finally, we're going to see how to make vegan banana crème brûlée (no special equipment required). Here are the ingredients: 

  • Very ripe red bananas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Vegan milk
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract

Wrap Up 

The beauteous red banana is sweeter than the yellow banana with floral, raspberry and vanilla notes. You can eat it fresh, but you could also dehydrate, bake or pan-sear it like a plantain. Any dessert that uses yellow bananas can be made with red bananas, which will add natural floral and vanilla flavors to muffins and vegan French toast.

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