Banana peel is no longer just a prop in the old ‘slipping-and-falling’ gag, or the perfect mulch to add into your compost bin. Thanks to a viral TikTok video that featured banana peel as a cheap and natural skincare hack, people have discovered that there is more to banana peels than meets the eye!
Is It Edible?
People are looking into many creative and innovative ways to get more out of their banana peels. Rich in potassium, dietary fibre, polyunsaturated fats, and essential amino acids; the skin contains higher amounts of vitamin B6 and B12 compared to the flesh. So, the next time you are eating a banana, save the skin for later.
However, despite the many benefits, there is some debate on whether banana peels are safe to be consumed. After all, most of the fruits and vegetables sold in grocery stores and supermarkets are sprayed with pesticides and covered in wax in order to maintain their freshness. With that in mind we recommend that you wash the skin thoroughly and boil them before consuming. Safety comes first!
If you have decided to include banana peels in your diet, here are a few simple and delicious recipes that you should try.
1. Banana Peel Bacon
Having a restrictive diet can be challenging especially when you are just starting out. Be it for health, religious or even moral reasons, finding alternatives to things that you used to love is near to impossible. But, humans are creative, especially on TikTok where one user shared his own way of making bacon using, yes, you guessed it, banana peels. Learn how to make delicious vegan ‘bacon’ here.
2. Banana Skin Chutney
When it comes to chutney-making, my motto is, ‘anything goes’ but I never thought that banana peels could be made into a chutney until my Tamilian husband told me this is one of the rare yet well-loved acquired chutney flavours within the community. Texture-wise, banana peels can be a little tough and bitter. So, remember to boil the peels for at least 10 minutes until they are soft and tender. Hankering for some banana leaf rice, prepare this delicious banana peel chutney recipe.
3. Banana Peel Cake
Who doesn’t love a good slice of moist banana cake? The light and airy texture complements the subtle fragrant sweetness of the banana. But, being human, we strive for perfection, especially in the things that we love. Therefore, we tirelessly scour the Internet finding the best banana cake recipe that will make us the talk of our next social gathering (looking at you, Karen!). Instead of mayo, try adding ripened banana peels instead! Ripe bananas have thinner and sweeter peels due to the natural plant hormone called ethylene that fruits release as they ripen. If this recipe does not impress your friends, I don’t know what will.
4. Banana Skin Jam
As children, we all love eating jam on toast. I could not remember a day going by without this simple snack. However, as we grow older, sweet, berry-flavoured jams do not appeal to us anymore as we slowly acquire newfound palates. If you have not tried savoury jams, there are many choices for you to explore and experiment before deciding which flavour combinations appeal to you but if you are looking for a unique flavour pairing, maybe this jam recipe is the one you are looking for. Best of all, it is sugar free!
5. Banana Peel and Cauliflower Curry
Curries to Asians are like stews to most Westerners. It is our go-to dish whenever we are in a rush. However, sometimes, it can be a little bit of a routine. I mean, curry is great but a little variation is needed. One of the ways to do it is by experimenting with new ingredient combinations to create something simple, affordable yet new to the dining table. So, consider trying this vegetarian-friendly curry using banana peels the next time you are thinking of preparing curry for dinner.
6. Banana Skin Smoothie
A friend of mine once said, smoothies are liquid meal in a cup and I could not agree more. Whenever I am busy, grabbing a cup of smoothie on the go can keep me energetic and full the whole day. The best thing about them are that we don’t necessarily need expensive ingredients to make healthy, nutritious smoothies. Sometimes, a banana peel is more than enough. Curious to know what a banana peel smoothie tastes like? Try this recipe!
7. Caramelized Banana Peel Syrup
As we become more and more health conscious, there are many sugar replacement alternatives that you can find readily in supermarkets but one glance at the price tag is enough to make you quickly place the box back on the shelf and hurry away from the aisle. But, is it difficult to get natural syrup with no added preservatives and without breaking the bank? No, not at all! All you need are banana peels and this recipe.
8. Banana Peel Meatballs
Tired of making banana peel ‘bacon’? Turn them into meatballs instead! All you need to do is follow this recipe. You’ll still get the same nutritional benefits and learn a new recipe to boot.
9. Banana Peel Stir Fry
Oh, no! What to eat when there’s nothing much in the fridge except that old, frozen banana? No worries, just peel the skin, boil it, chop it and throw the pieces into the wok with a couple of spices and you got yourself one tasty meal. Need further instructions? Follow One Green Planet’s instant stir fry recipe.
10. Banana Peel Tea
Banana peel tea may sound absurd when you hear about it for the first time. Once you try it, though, you may very well love it. Similar to the taste of chamomile tea, but with a slightly earthier aftertaste, banana peel tea is said to help you sleep better since it is caffeine-free. So, relax, kick back and enjoy your tea with this simple recipe.
What an A-Peel-ing Idea!
For some of us, cooking with banana peels is not news. South Indians, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have plenty of traditional banana-based recipes, including the peel as well. Be it out of necessity or creativity, it is the season of banana peels and nothing can convince us otherwise.
Need more banana recipes? Check out more here.
*Feature image credit: Intelligent Living