Are you getting all of healthy nutrients and antioxidants your bananas have to offer? Not if you are tossing out the peels! You likely know that apple peels are full of nutrients and should not be discarded, so why throw out the peels of other fruits? Read on to learn the health benefits of eating banana peels and three tasty banana peel recipes you can try!
Eating Banana Peels Reduces Stress, Wards off Depression, and More!
While you may appreciate banana peels for providing a great “handle” that allows you to eat your banana on the run, you will have a new appreciation for the peels if you begin eating them. While bananas pack a potassium punch, the peels are filled with healthy tryptophan. Tryptophan-rich foods causes your brain to release more of a natural chemical called serotonin.
A healthy brain serotonin level combats anxiety, depression, and can even help you sleep more soundly at night. In fact, eating boiled banana peels have long been considered a natural cure for insomnia. Don’t worry that adding one peel to your morning smoothie will put you to sleep, though, because the amount of tryptophan in just a peel or two is just enough to keep you relaxed, yet fully alert all day.
Banana peels also contain a nutrient called lutein that supports eye health and protects your skin from the sun. As expected, they are also filled with potassium, like the bananas themselves.
Don’t think you will enjoy munching on a banana peel all by itself? If you have a high-powered blender, just throw the peel in with the rest of the fruit. If you don’t, or want to try something different, make one of these tasty banana peel recipes!
Tasty Banana Peel Recipes
1. Banana Peel Thoran
It may come as no surprise that banana peels are included in many Indian dishes, including banana peel thoran, since India is the home of Ayurvedic medicine. The recipe for this delicious Indian main or side dish can be found here. This healthy recipe also contains turmeric, so eating it is a great way to get more of that superfood in your diet, too.
If you don’t have all the spices you need to make the dish, then just use it as inspiration for your next healthy stir-fry. Just be sure to soak the banana peels as directed, then include them in any of your favorite dishes.
2. Banana Peel Chips
This is a raw banana peel recipe, because it require a food dehydrator and not an oven. To make the chips, just chop up your banana peels into bite-size pieces. Slice up the banana itself while you are at it, because raw banana chips are delicious!
Soak the banana peel bits and banana chunks in a bowl of warm water with a tablespoon of lemon juice added for about 15 minutes. Then, take them out and pat all slices gently with a dry towel, so there is not too much extra water on them.
Finally, since all food dehydrator models vary, place them in your dehydrator, as the manual suggests, and set on low and try not to sneak too many before they are completely dry! The banana peels may take slightly longer than the bananas, because they are more fibrous. Once they are dry and crispy, eat them as-is, top with a little sea salt, or try topping with a bit of raw brown sugar and cinnamon for a sweet treat!
3. Banana Peel Tea
This is a classic tea used as a relaxation aid, and if you find that you don’t like the texture of eating banana peels, then this tea will help you reap the benefits of the nutrients that leach into the hot water without having to eat the peel itself.
To make banana tea, all you have to do is chop up the skin of one banana and place it in large mug. Pour one cup of boiling water into the cup, and then allow the mixture to steep for about 15 minutes. Strain off the banana peel chunks, add a bit of sweetener if you would like, and enjoy!