While it may seem like we are going bananas over bananas, the wonders of this fruit cannot be overstated. Not only is it nutritious, versatile, and tasty, it also travels well and is relatively affordable. It is also a fruit that can be consumed or used in its entirety, thereby reducing food waste!
Many would bin banana peel, mistakenly assuming that it cannot be eaten. This is however not true! In our previous article, we talked about how banana peel can be used to boost plant hell – you can read our article here. Today, we will talk about how banana skin which makes up about 35% of the ripe fruit can be ingested and how beneficial it actually is for us!
Banana peels are totally edible if prepared correctly. Bananas are known for their high potassium content, with each medium fruit containing a whopping 422 milligrams. In fact, banana peels are not only edible but also rich in several key nutrients, including potassium, dietary fibre, polyunsaturated fats, and essential amino acid.
Fibre, in particular, has been shown to promote regularity, stabilise blood sugar levels, and boost heart health. Potassium, on the other hand, can help regulate blood pressure levels, protect against bone loss, and reduce your risk of kidney stones. A test-tube study also found that banana peels are rich in antioxidants, with unripe banana peels boasting the highest numbers. Some research suggests that antioxidants can reduce inflammation and protect against chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Give the peel a good wash, remove the stem and try blending it into a smoothie, frying it or baking it for at least 10 minutes. The peel also becomes thinner and sweeter as it ripens, so you may want to wait a few days for the banana peel to develop some spots. And while some advanced home cooks love using banana peels as a substitute for pulled pork in vegan barbecue sliders, a more approachable way to start using peels is to just add them into banana bread to load up on fibre.
It is important to be aware that pesticides are often used to produce conventional bananas. While this is not much of a concern if you’re only eating the fruit, it may be something to consider when consuming the peel.
To avoid this problem, you may want to select organic bananas if possible and wash the peel thoroughly before consuming it to help minimise pesticide exposure.