Bananas are one of the most popular fruits sold, but most people throw away the peels. Not only are the peels edible AND good for you, banana peels have many interesting uses in cooking.
Did you know it can take up to two years for a banana peel to decompose? Eating the peels of the foods we eat reduces our foodprint and can also be better for our bodies, especially in the case of bananas. They have fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, magnesium, B6, B12, vitamin A, lutein, and antioxidants. They are said to be effective treatments for stomach ulcers as well as indigestion causing heartburn. To maximize the nutritional value of banana peels, it is recommended to not eat the peels of unripened green bananas. Instead use the peels of overripe bananas you may have on hand. Banana peels, just like their insides, freeze extremely well in a freezer safe bag for up to three months, so you can always have them on hand when needed.
The next time you use a bunch of bananas, why not consider trying some recipes that use up those tasty banana peels.
Did you know it can take up to two years for a banana peel to decompose? Eating the peels of the foods we eat reduces our foodprint and can also be better for our bodies, especially in the case of bananas. They have fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, magnesium, B6, B12, vitamin A, lutein, and antioxidants.
Cooking with Banana Peels
In most recipes, I have found them to say to cook the peels before using them. However, the more I have been baking and cooking with peels, I do not find this makes much of a difference. But if you feel like you need to boil them first here is how:
Put water into a deep saucepan over high heat until it is almost boiling then place the banana peels into it for 1 minute. Drain well and proceed with recipe.
Bananas Foster: If you love this dessert the next time you make it, make it with the peels! Banana peels can be used to make bananas foster, a creamy dessert made with butter, brown sugar, cream and rum or brandy. To do so, cut large chunks of the banana, with its peels intact and proceed with recipe.
Banana peels as a meat tenderiser: To do so, just add them into your marinade and let mariante! The have moisture as well, so great for keeping things moist and tender.
Banana Peel Smoothie: Because of the extra fiber and potassium I never pass up on adding the peel, as well as the banana to my smoothies. No need to boil.
Cinnamon Spiced Banana Peels: Remove the peels and place them into a large bowl. Dust to coat with a combination of cinnamon and sugar. Preheat large fry pan over medium-high heat. Add butter to melt, then immediately add peels to fry until golden brown. Serve with ice cream.
Banana Peel Chutney: Yes, it doesn’t have to all be sweet recipes, why not something a little savoury. They go great in a chutney, which tastes like a mixture between ratatouille and baba ghanoush. Believe me, nobody will be able to guess that this chutney was made out of banana peels. In fact, I placed a bet recently at a dinner party, and nobody could guess!See my recipe for Banana Peel Chutney here.
Banana peels can also be easily hidden and incorporated into muffins, loaves, even desserts like banana pudding or cobblers. See my recipe from my new cookbook Cook More Waste Less called This Bread Is Bananas.
Banana Peel Chutney
- 2 banana peels Peels (stems removed) from 2 bananas, diced
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup diced onion, red
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 inch knob ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 1/2 cup diced bell poppers
- 1/2 chili pepper, finely chopped
- 1 inch square tamarind paste, seeds removed
- to taste salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
optional add ins:
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- In a pot, simmer the peels in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- In a small saucepot over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds and sauté until the seeds are popping, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, chili, tamarind paste, salt, pepper, and any other optional add-ins. Sauté for a few more minutes until everything is softened.
- Add the orange juice, cinnamon, allspice, and banana peels and simmer for about 5 minutes or until everything is thickened and saucy. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Keep chunky or blend in a food processor or blender for a smoother consistency