Health & Benefits
November 22nd 2020 ・ 7 min reading
Bananas are more than just a healthy snack. Their peels have amazing properties too...
These days, everyone’s looking to reduce waste, reuse and recycle. And at Chiquita, we’re no exception. As part of our famous Blue Sticker campaign and our commitment to sustainability, we take special care to make sure none of our bananas go to waste. If they’re not perfect enough to grace your local supermarket shelves, we send them off to become other kinds of banana goodness – like banana puree or banana flour.
As part of our sustainable farming practices, we also use the leaves, trunks and stems to make a wonderful organic mulch that farmers can use to fertilize the ground and protect against soil erosion. At our Tropical Ingredients Facility in Costa Rica, we even installed a ‘biodigester’ that uses discarded fruit material to generate energy… Pretty cool, right?
Now what about you folks at home? We all know what to do with those brown bananas that were left forgotten at the bottom of the fruit bowl…. banana bread of course! Now, we’re here to let you know about the many amazing things you can do with your banana peel. Yes – the peel! Are you ready? Check out these fun (and crazy) ideas!
Yes it’s a thing! And a delicious one at that. To make banana peel tea, simply put the banana peel into a saucepan of water and simmer gently for ten minutes. Use tongs to remove the peel and add a little honey or sugar to taste. It’s not only delicious but super soothing on a cold winter’s day.
We all know that Chiquita bananas make delicious healthy smoothies, but did you know that you can add the peel as well? A good quality blender will take care of that banana peel – so just add it in with the other fruits and ingredients (we have some great banana smoothie recipes here). Whizz it all up with some ice until smooth and creamy – and enjoy!
Hey don’t knock it till you try it! This meat moisturizing method really works. When you’re preparing that Sunday roast, to make sure your meat stays soft and tender in the oven, place some banana peels underneath it as it cooks. The peels are filled with moisture, so they’ll add steam to the air inside your oven to help prevent your roast from drying out.
Yes banana peels can be either pickled or candied – whatever takes your fancy!
To pickle banana peels, chop them into one inch pieces. Mix two cups of white vinegar, ⅔ cup of granulated sugar, a tablespoon of mustard seeds and two teaspoons of celery seeds, and boil for 3-5 minutes. Then transfer everything to a sterilized jar and pop it into the fridge when it cools down. You’ll have delightfully tangy morsels of banana goodness to snack on for days!
For candied banana peels, stir together ½ cup of sugar with ½ cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add two sliced up banana peels (one inch slices cut against the grain) and simmer for about ten minutes. Once you see the sugar begin to caramelize, transfer the peels to a baking sheet and let it cool. Once they harden, snap them into strips and enjoy!
Yes banana flavored vinegar – who would’ve thunk? To make this vinegar, simply add equal parts sugar and vinegar to a jar with the banana peels, and leave it to ferment for one to two weeks before straining out the peels. Cover the top of the jar with some cheese cloth (not the jar lid as the jar could explode!) and put it somewhere clean and safe while it ferments.
Is there no end to the power of the humble banana peel?! The antioxidants and vitamin C in bananas can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Simply rub the banana peel over your face and leave it for 30 minutes before rinsing off and cleansing. Repeat three times a week as part of your regular skin care routine. Go on – give it a go!
For all you folks with green thumbs, you’ll be happy to know that banana peels make excellent compost. They’re a great way to add organic material and important nutrients to the mix – mainly calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphates, potassium and sodium – which are all important in supporting the healthy growth of your garden.
While banana peels do a great job of protecting the fruit inside, they actually break down very quickly in compost. If you cut the peels up into smaller pieces, they will decompose even faster.
Yes! You’ll be thrilled to know they really are! Bananas have an abundance of polysaccharides molecules in their peel – a chemical that is also present in the membranes where our bones meet – and that sounds slippery indeed!
So there you have it. There are dozens of uses for banana peels from composting to beauty routines to making teas. So if you want to do your part for the environment – hold onto those peels, because now we know, the benefits of bananas extend well beyond the sweet fruit inside. And next time you’re at the store – fill that cart with Chiquita bananas! They’re not only our favorite healthy snack – but could be part of your beauty regime too!
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