Bananas are something of a controversial fruit, but if you love them, you love them. You might be wondering whether you can add the delicious flavor of banana to your morning glass of fresh juice.
Can you juice a banana? The answer is no.
Juicing bananas won’t deliver the outcome you’re looking for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy bananas in your juices.
Read on to learn more about why you can’t put bananas in a juicer, and how to obtain banana juice in different ways.
🍌 What Happens if You Put a Banana in a Juicer?
Bananas don’t have enough water content, and they’re also very high in potassium. This makes it impossible to extract juice from a banana in a juicer. Even juicing bananas alongside other fruits won’t deliver the result you’re looking for.
If you do try processing your bananas in a juicer, here’s what will probably happen:
- You’ll clog your juicer with sticky banana gunk.
- This sticky banana gunk will end up in your juice cup, and you certainly won’t enjoy drinking it. If you’re juicing other fruit alongside bananas, you’ll have an unusual combination of banana gunk at the bottom of the cup and proper juice sitting above it. Trust me, it won’t taste good.
Think about it: a centrifugal juicer shreds produce and pushes it against a screen, where the juice is squeezed out of the pulp, and the pulp is discarded. Bananas are too soft for this process, and they’re not like most juicy fruits. You’d just end up blocking the screen with mushy mass.
Masticating juicers are no better for this process, either. These juicers grind and squeeze produce methodically to extract a high juice yield. Bananas are mushy, so all that would happen is that the banana would become instantly flattened (imagine how one looks when trodden on), and this flattened mush would clog the machine or attempt to exit the juice spout.
However, just because you can’t juice a banana in a juicer, that’s not to say that you can’t still extract the liquid from bananas, or simply add blended bananas to your juice recipes.
I’ll be sharing more on how to do this later in the article.
🥤 Banana Juice Vs Banana Smoothie: The Difference
If you search on Google for banana juice recipes, you’ll probably find that the majority are actually smoothie recipes. The difference between a fruit and a smoothie is that banana juice is the watery liquid squeezed from the fruit, while a banana smoothie is simply a blended banana.
Making banana juice requires far more effort than making a banana smoothie. To make a smoothie, all you need to do is peel the banana and put it in your blender, then add other ingredients, like milk and peanut butter. Whiz the ingredients for a couple of seconds, and you’ll be left with a thin, smooth puree – a smoothie.
Banana juice can only be made by heating and straining the banana, as I’ve explained in the section below.
📔 How to Juice a Banana Properly
It’s not quick or easy to juice a banana, and if you’re impatient and just want a quick glass of fruit juice in the morning, this isn’t the process for you. However, if you want to learn how to juice bananas properly, I’ve covered the steps below.
- Gather your ingredients. You’ll need around 2 kilograms of banana, some sealable plastic bags, a large pot of water, and a nut bag, such as those used to make almond milk.
- Peel your bananas. Transfer the bananas into a blender and blitz until you form a puree.
- Scoop the bananas into sealable plastic bags. Let the air out before you seal the bags.
- Place the bags in a pot of water. The temperature should be around 150°F.
- Leave the bananas for 5 hours. This will allow the amylase, the natural enzyme in the bananas, to break down the starch, producing a clear liquid.
- Open the bags and transfer the banana into a nut bag. Squeeze the bag to strain the banana and release the liquid content. Continue to squeeze and massage the bag until all the liquid has been released. (If you don’t have a nut bag, you can use a fine mesh strainer for similar results).
- Enjoy your banana juice. The banana flavor should come through in this juice.
Although this process will take a bit longer than simply blending bananas, you won’t have to deal with an unpleasant mushy consistency, and you’ll get the same health benefits that you’d get from banana pulp.
The Microwave Method
There’s a faster method that you can use to juice a banana, though it’s not quite as effective. The microwave method involves the following steps:
- Freeze a batch of bananas. Leave the bananas in your freezer overnight to make sure they’re properly frozen.
- Place the bananas in a microwave-safe bowl. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl and microwave the bananas for 2 minutes.
- Strain the bananas into a container. Use a fine strainer and wait until no more liquid escapes.
- Leave the liquid to cool down. Warm banana juice probably won’t taste too good, especially if you’re mixing it with chilled juice from other ingredients.
📌 How to Add Banana to Your Juice
If you’d rather not bother with the process of creating banana juice, you can still add banana to a juice mixture made from other fruits and veggies.
I’ve highlighted some of the best ways to add bananas to your juice below:
Blend the Banana Separately
For this method, simply blend your banana in a blender, and make your juice recipe separately, with your preferred ingredients. Pour your juice into the blender, making sure there’s enough liquid content to give the texture you’re looking for. Then, blend the ingredients to mix everything together.
Blending bananas into your juice will change the juice’s texture, making it thicker than it would usually be – more smoothie-like. Additionally, blending your juice will introduce heat, which can cause the juice to oxidize faster. This is why you should drink your juice within a few minutes of making it.
Juice the Banana First
Juicing bananas could end up blocking your juicer, but if you want to risk it, put your banana into your juicer before any other fruits. You’ll still end up wasting a lot of banana in the pulp container, but some juice will come through. Then, as you add other fruits and vegetables to the juicer, these ingredients will grab onto the natural essence of the banana as they pass through, giving your drink the delicious banana flavor.
🧊 Juicing a Frozen Banana
I told you that you couldn’t make banana juice in a juicer, and this is true. However, you can put frozen bananas in your juicer to create something that’s second-best to banana juice: banana soft serve.
Banana soft serve just requires a frozen banana (organic bananas are best). You will also need a masticating juicer, or slow juicer, for this. Centrifugal juicers work too quickly and introduce too much heat to be used to make frozen treats.
Juice your banana in the same way that you juice all the ingredients in your juicer. The banana pulp that is ejected into the pulp container is much tastier than room-temperature pulp, and has the texture, temperature and flavor of banana soft serve. It’s worth trying if you’re looking for a healthy treat to enjoy in the summer.
Can you Juice a Banana Peel?
Yes! You can juice banana peels. Banana peels aren’t mushy like bananas, so they won’t instantly turn into a puree inside a juicer. You’ll also get a lot of fiber and potassium from banana skin.
It’s best to look for ripe banana peel if you want your juice to taste sweeter and more banana-like. I’d also recommend that you juice a banana peel alongside other fruits in your juice recipe, as the banana peel on its own may not taste great.
Before juicing banana peel, give it a wash to make sure it’s clean and free from any dirt. Organic banana peels are the better option because you can be certain that they don’t have pesticides or any other chemicals embedded beneath their surface. You don’t need to cut up the peel, but you should remove the brown stalk at the very top of the banana, as this could damage the juicer.
Can you Juice a Banana that’s Frozen?
Yes, you can juice frozen bananas – and this gives the banana soft serve recipe I mentioned earlier in this article. Juicing a frozen banana is much more effective than juicing a banana at room temperature. It’s worth giving this a go if you have a masticating juicer that’s up for the challenge.
What Should I Mix with Banana Juice?
You can juice bananas on their own, or experiment with pairing banana juice with other fruit and vegetable juices. Some of the best ingredients that pair well with banana are blueberries, oranges, watermelon, pineapple, and strawberries. Get creative and combine banana juice with the ingredients you usually throw into your juicer – you may surprise yourself with a new flavor combination that you love.
How Else Can I Enjoy the Health Benefits of Bananas?
If you don’t have the time to juice bananas or make banana smoothies or ice cream, I suggest that you eat bananas the way that most of us do. Eating bananas is much less time-consuming than any of the other methods mentioned here – you simply peel your banana and get stuck in.