Hungry Banana Trees, and a Turon (Banana Egg Roll) Recipe
This weekend, I’ll be giving our banana trees their first taste of pure potassium since they arrived last autumn.
Bananas are huge potassium feeders. Commercially-prepared banana tree food is basically a little nitrogen, a little phosphorus, and a lot of potassium sulfate. They appreciate nitrogen and phosphorus too, but it’s potassium they crave. Lots of potassium, and lots of water.
I picked up a bag of pure potassium sulfate (not commercial banana tree food) last week and added a half cup to a quart of distilled water, and let it sit to form a potassium ‘tea’. I’ll dilute this further and use it to feed the trees. I’m feeling a little skittish because I’m not sure about potassium-to-water ratio, so I’ll start with low doses of potassium and see what the trees themselves tell me. Don’t want to burn these beauties.
Speaking of bananas, I’ve found a recipe for plantains that’s vegan and completely incredible, especially if you have a sweet tooth like me. Turon is a hugely popular snack and dessert in the Philippines, where, like soft pretzels in the U.S., you can get at most street vendors in addition to cafes and restaurants. It’s basically an egg-free banana egg roll.
It’s deep fried, so if you’re not an oil user, stop reading here. I don’t love cooking with oil, but it’s necessary when making Turon. Just don’t eat them too often and I think we’ll all be fine.
For two people, take four ripe plantains, peel them, cut them in half in the middle, then cut the halves in half lengthwise. Carefully roll each piece in brown sugar. Take eight spring roll wrappers, and wrap - just as you would any egg roll – each sugared piece of plantain. Seal the edges of the wrap with some water.
Deep fry the banana rolls in one cup of untoasted sesame oil, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the rolls and drain on a towel or bleach-free paper towels. Meanwhile, add ½-cup of brown sugar to the hot oil, stir to combine, then return the rolls to the sweetened oil. Turn them a few times to get them coated in this hot caramel mixture, then remove and place in a big bowl. Optional: sprinkle with sesame seeds, toss them well, then hog them all.
These are definitely not health food or superfood, but they’re a yummy vegan sweet for times when you really, really deserve to give yourself treats and bananas. I’d say you deserve it every day loves, but I don’t want to see your blood sugar skyrocket.
Live in peace.