Banana milk is a blend of banana and milk to create a banana flavored milk beverage. It is very popular in Korea and Japan, and it is consumed in numerous other parts of the world as well. Some Americans have fond memories of this beverage as a summertime drink when ice cream was too expensive or unavailable, for example. This beverage is typically made at home, although it can also be purchased in prepared forms from some markets.
Classically, banana milk includes a banana and a glass of milk, with a dash of vanilla. It is ideally prepared in a blender to ensure that the banana is truly pureed, and some people add a little bit of sugar as well. It can be served plain or sprinkled with cinnamon, and some people like it over cereal as well. To make something more like a cold milkshake, some people throw in a few pieces of ice.
Some people find banana milk very refreshing and pleasant to drink, comparing it to other thickened dairy-based beverages like kefir. When ice is added, it can be especially enjoyable during the hot summer months. It can also be used to add flavor to things like oatmeal or cream of wheat, in which case it is typically poured over the food once it has been cooked.
Nutritionally, banana milk can be beneficial. Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and vitamin B6. Many athletes like to eat bananas as part of a balanced diet, partially because an increased uptake of potassium can help to reduce muscle cramping after exercise. Milk can also be nutritionally beneficial, especially when it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. When banana milk is drunk plain, without sugar, it can be a healthy and enjoyable snack food.
If you don't have access to a blender, you can still make banana milk, although the texture might not be as smooth. You can mash a banana up with a fork, spoon, or potato masher and then slowly add milk to the mashed banana to make a thick drink. If you have a fine sieve, ricer, or food mill, you can use it to create banana puree by forcing a very ripe banana through the screen.