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One of my favorite uses for overripe bananas is to make a simple jam from them. I combine the bananas with a bit of water in a large pot, adding a splash of molasses, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cooking it down until thick and caramelized, the resulting jam is surprisingly sweet and much more flavorful than you'd expect.

The problem is that the color. It is, shall we say, a bit too biological. This problem is only made worse if one adds other mild-tasting fruits, like apples or green figs.

It's easy enough to fix this by dramatically changing the taste--by adding berries, say, or lots more molasses. But without actually turning this food into something else, is there a way that I can make it much darker or much lighter without adding artificial chemicals to my jam?

  • The banana jam i was served in the tropics was red more than brown. Try using white sugar instead of molasses. – Kate Gregory Oct 2 '15 at 17:29
  • Thanks! I was using the molasses to add that cane taste without making it sweeter. Did it look like it had been dyed? – David Bruce Borenstein Oct 3 '15 at 7:23
  • No, i think the red was a natural colour. Of course it may have involved different bananas than the one or two types we can get here. – Kate Gregory Oct 3 '15 at 11:38
  • I saw red bananas in the grocery store the other day - they could have been using those. – BunnyKnitter Oct 6 '15 at 21:33
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    The red bananas are probably what are called pisang udang in Indonesia, or shrimp banana. The skin is pink but the inside is standard yellow and tastes just like most bananas. The red may have come from annatto. – Steve Murdoch Oct 6 '15 at 23:24
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A splash of lemon juice mixed in the banana right off the bat can fix that colour at the beginning, but the molasses will turn it brown afterwards...

So if you want it lighter in colour, you'll need to substitute the molasses... Can you use white sugar and throw in a bit of rum in the end ?

If you must keep the molasses then just go for the darker route... Perhaps let the banana oxidize as much as possible before mixing ?

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