With bananas being such a delicious and healthy snack, it’s no wonder that people in the US eat as much as 3.2 billion pounds of these tasty treats every year.
The problem, however, is that most banana peels are tossed away once the sweet fleshy part is eaten. This not only contributes to the release of methane – a highly potent greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere but also misses the opportunity to tap into the incredible benefits these highly nutritious fruit parts can offer.
Below you can find a variety of ways to use this often-overlooked product to help you reduce waste and avoid throwing away a perfectly good source of nutrients.
Banana peels as fertilizer and compost
If you’re a home gardener, banana peels are a valuable resource, as they can work as a great slow-release fertilizer. Just wrap the banana skins around the base of your tomato plants and these will be nourished with beneficial nutrients such as phosphorus throughout the season.
Banana peels are a great addition to the compost pile or bin because they are so rich in nutrients and break down very quickly in a compost environment. These peels are great for animal feed as well. If you keep chickens, rabbits or any type of livestock, grind up dried banana peels and add them to your feed.
If you have itchy bug bites or a rash, such as poison ivy, these fruit skins provide soothing relief. Rub the peel directly on the area to reduce the itchiness and help your skin heal.
Shoe shining is another thing banana peels are good at. Rub the outer layer of peels on leather items of all kinds, including shoes and furniture, to polish the leather. Blend a peel with water to make silver polish.
Keep the bugs away
Place the peels in a container and put a lid with small holes in it. The sweet smell of the banana will attract and trap fruit flies and other little insects. You can throw the peel away after a day or two and freshen the trap as needed.
Cook with banana peels
Get creative and start experimenting with cooking banana peels. They can be made into vinegar, pickled in brine, broiled with cinnamon and sugar to become a unique dessert or even turned into a spicy curry.
Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can actually eat your banana peels, since these are full of antioxidants and nutrients, which will only do you good. Boil the skins for about 10 minutes in water and run it through the juicer or blend it up with other fruits and enjoy!