We all know that eating bananas is good for you, they’re high in important vitamins and minerals, and they’re tasty too. You can eat them as they are, add them to smoothies, milkshakes, or fruit salads, you can’t go wrong with a banana. But what about the peel? You normally chuck that straight in the food waste. But maybe, next time, you could consider re-purposing it.
There’s a growing number of chefs and recipe bloggers who have discovered the benefits of cooking with organic banana peel. But whilst this may seem like a new idea to those living in Europe or the United States, people in a number of countries, such as Venezuela and India, have eaten banana and plantain skin for decades.
According to nutritionist Laura Flores, it’s a totally safe and healthy thing to do, and evens adds to the nutritional value of eating a banana. “[The skin] contains high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. It also contains some fiber and protein,” Flores told Live Science.
If you’re imagining just eating a banana raw, skin and all, and it doesn’t seem that appealing to you, it doesn’t have to be that way. Recipe blog The Stingy Vegan has come up with a recipe for vegan pulled pork using banana skins as the main ingredient; they took the inspiration for the dish from Venezuela. She recommends using an organic banana and washing it well with a water-vinegar solution.
They write, “Carne machada is a kind of shredded beef that sort of resembles pulled pork. To veganize it, [Venezuelans] boil plantain peels then shred them with a fork. Some recipes marinate the peels in soy sauce and spices before frying them up with onion and tomato.”
You could even make vegan bacon using banana peel, like Eating Trash With Claire. The blogger admits, “chewing on a raw banana peel is an extremely unpleasant experience. They’re bitter, rubbery, and leave a weird coating on your tongue.”
But if you fry it in vegetable oil, with soy sauce, maple syrup, and brown sugar, among other ingredients, it becomes a tasty, salty-sweet crispy salad topper, similar to bacon.
She writes, “Eat as is, slide ’em in a sandwich, or crumble on top of things with wild abandon.”