Bananas are ideal for smoothies and protein shakes, no-churn ice cream, and even Bluth-style chocolate-covered frozen treats. But what most of us don’t know is that we’re totally overlooking one of its best quality-and tossing it in the trash.
Apparently banana peels are completely edible and actually very good for you. According to Business Insider, people in countries like India have been eating banana peels, and taking advantage of their nutritional benefits, for decades. This sounds peculiar to Westerners because while the banana’s flesh is soft and sweet, its skin is thick, fibrous, and bitter. It’s off-putting and seems just the kind of thing you should toss.
But we might be totally wrong. Not only can you blend the peels into smoothies, you can also fry, bake, and boil them. “[The skin] contains high amounts of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium. It also contains some fiber and protein,” San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores told LiveScience.
What’s more, a 2011 study proved that banana peels could purify drinking water. So maybe we should hop to it and start cooking up banana peels for an extra nutritional boost. Plus, with the Cavendish variety already going extinct, maybe we should take heed here and waste even less of what we have left.
However, if you’re not up for choking down peels, you can also use them elsewhere. Natural Living Ideas suggests you turn them into banana vinegar, roast meat atop the peel to keep it moist and tender, and soak them in water used for plants to keep them healthy and strong.