Many mornings we grab a banana on our way out the door for a quick breakfast (or if we have a bit more time, slice one on top of our morning yogurt). But we may be too quick to throw away the peel when we’re finished.
Think about this: Banana peels may be better for you than the actual fruit itself. They contain powerful nutrients with antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic and cytoprotective properties, according to long-standing research.
And as a great source of serotonin (the happy hormone), banana peels can actually boost your mood. Try eating them (make sure to choose organic) before work or other stressful situations and see how you feel.
To start incorporating banana peels into your diet, take a cue from other food cultures. In India, Africa and the Caribbean, banana peels are commonly cooked or fried, but you can save time by adding one banana and its peel to your breakfast smoothie. Or puree a whole peel or two and mix it into a healthy muffin recipe. You can even steep peels in boiling water to make a banana peel tea before bed.
If you’re not sold on eating the peels, at least consider saving them for other helpful uses, such as brightening your smile. Banana peels can be used for everything from relieving rashes and itches to polishing silver and leather, and even cause your cartoon friends to slip and fall in hilarious ways.
To store peels, simply give them a rinse to remove any excess pesticides or dirt, chop them up and freeze until you are ready to use them.
However you decide to use them; don’t just throw them out. Your body and the environment (about 780 million pounds of peels go to landfills each year) will thank you.