Barnana is a product that came to us via our local Whole Foods Market, where a very pleasant (and competent) demonstration specialist was eagerly handing out samples. At first, we almost bypassed the small, brown bites of banana goodness that were laid out in tiki-themed wooden trays, thinking they looked more like ginger candy than what they actually are, which are, well, bananas. Just… dehydrated… bananas. So what’s so great about them that warranted a full review on our little urban garden blog? Read on to find out more…
First, as stated above, Barnana is a banana snack, imported from local farms in Brazil, where the bananas are grown organically and picked by farmers and help who live in the regions on or nearby said groves. The bananas are then peeled, dehydrated at temperatures not exceeding 104 degrees, which puts then into the categories of both raw and vegan. It goes without saying that bananas also contain no gluten, but we’ll state it anyway for those who aren’t experts in such matters. Suffice it to say that Barnana is one of the most eco-friendly and healthy food items you won’t grow yourself, unless you happen to live in an equatorial climate with plenty of land to grow your own organic bananas. Each package costs approximately $4.00 and contains 5-6 bananas. When you factor in the weight of the banana peel, savings in shipping weight, shelf life (almost 18 months) and convenience, you may actually save money by eating Barnana over actually buying them in bunches off the produce shelves. Oops, I forgot to mention that Barnana is kosher if you’re keeping a checklist.
As far as taste goes, the product can be slightly disconcerting. It’s delicious on the one hand, but not as strong as both my wife and I expected. The banana flavor is subtle at first, increasing as you chew and your salivary glands kick into gear to break the dehydrated bites down and release their tastiness. We gobbled down the whole package without pausing to realize how much potassium we were probably ingesting, but as we aren’t aware of any downside to potassium we didn’t feel any guilt in our gluttony. We imagine this would be a great product for athletes who may be prone to cramping, as one can certainly infuse a jolt of potassium into the muscles expediently.
What really put this product over the top, however, was that Barnana comes in a chocolate version. It’s basically the same thing, except with an added coating of organic chocolate (using organic cane sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup). The chocolate version is not considered raw or vegan due to the cooking process, but everything else holds true to the non-chocolate Barnana. Being chocolate addicts, we could easily see ourselves gobbling down hundreds of packages of the chocolate Barnana during our lifetimes.
In summary, we love Barnana and the fact it’s a delicious product AND holds to so many earth-friendly standards that match our own sensibilities means we can eat (and support) this company and its mission without a second thought – and a second bite.