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Molecular Banana Pearls

This recipe doesn't really involve cooking with bananas, per se. It requires a scale, though. It's for science! Change up the juice for more variations. For example bananas and guava juice or pineapple juice.


  • 250 g apple juice
  • 250 g banana puree
  • 5 g sodium alginate
  • 1 liter distilled water200 g sugar5 g calcium chloride


  • Mix the apple juice and banana puree together to form a thick soup. Chill at least 30 minutes. Add the sodium alginate and use a stick blender to mix thoroughly. Try not to introduce bubbles to the mixture.  Tap the container on the counter to release the bubbles. Chill this mixture for two hours.
  • Heat the distilled water then dissolve the sugar completely in the water. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Dissolve the calcium chloride in the water.
  • Dispense drops of the alginate solution into the calcium bath with a syringe.  A skin forms on the outside of the drop in about 2 minutes. The longer the pearls remain in the bath, the thicker the skin becomes. Once the skin forms, remove the spheres from the bath and rinse in two changes of distilled water to remove the calcium and stop the gelling process.


For fun, serve these pearls with strawberry and chocolate pearls for a space-age banana split. Is this recipe too avant-garde for your palate?  The next dessert looks like typical tapioca but packs in nutrition and fiber.