We all like and some love to eat the sweet, fresh pulpy fruit of the banana but few have ever thought of trying the peel for a change. The idea of eating the peel may be hard for some to stomach but we must know that it’s a common ingredient in many cuisines around the world.
BANANA PEEL BENEFITS
The peel of a banana makes up about 35% of the ripe fruit and is generally discarded rather than consumed. But we can contribute to reducing the wastage of food and even squeeze some extra vitamins and minerals into our diets. Yes, banana peels are eatable and also rich in many key nutrients, like, potassium, dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fats, and essential amino acids. Fibers promote regularity, stabilize blood sugar levels and boost heart health. Potassium can help regulate blood pressure levels, protect against bone loss and reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Pesticides are often used to produce conventional bananas. It may not matter if you are eating the fruit but it may if you are eating the peel. Eating fruit produced from pesticides can have adverse effects on health as it may lead to diseases like autism, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia. Regulatory agencies like USDA and FDA carefully monitor pesticide levels in foods to prevent these conditions. So one must select organic bananas and wash the peel thoroughly before consuming it. Many people don’t find eating peels interesting because of their taste and tough texture. So then, one must choose ripe bananas and cook them thoroughly which will make it more appetizing.
HOW TO EAT BANANA PEELS
When buying bananas make sure they are totally ripe as their peels are sweeter and thinner which makes them more appetizing. You can add the peel along with the pulp in your favorite smoothie recipe or put it in the next batch of your banana bread preparation. You can also try baking, boiling or frying the peels or cook up a new recipe using them. Cooked banana peels make a great substitute for bacon or pulled pork in your selection of meatless recipes. They can also be added to stir-fries, curries, sandwiches to boost the nutritional value of your dishes.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Banana peels can be used and enjoyed in a multitude of ways as a part of a balanced diet. They not only help prevent food wastage but also supply a range of important nutrients like fibers, potassium, antioxidants. And they also add newness and appealing twist to certain recipes like stir-fries, smoothies, sandwiches along with boosting and maintaining nutritional balance.