Can You Eat Banana Peels? The Answer May Surprise You
Don't let fiber-packed banana peels go to waste. Here's how and why to eat banana peels, according to a registered dietitian.
Bananas are an incredibly sustainable source of potassium, magnesium, and more. Their extra-eco factor comes courtesy of their peelable skin, which protects the flesh sans storage containers, and is easily compostable when the time comes for a snack.
But can you eat banana peels? Once separated, this skin is usually discarded, but it turns out that banana peels boast some winning health benefits—and can even offer a vegan alternative to some of your favorite meat-centered dishes.
Can You Eat Banana Peels?
Yes, you can eat banana peels—in fact, they're commonly enjoyed by cultures around the world. Tough by design, peels require a bit of prep before you can enjoy them, but the skin offers a healthy addition to any diet, regardless of your chosen recipe.
"A large amount of fiber lies in the peel," says registered dietitian Amy Gorin, MS, RDN of Plant Based with Amy. "The riper your banana, the sweeter the peel will taste. Just make sure to give it a really good wash before eating it."
Many consider bananas to be something of a superfood. Benefits like vitamin B6 and vitamin C, as well as fiber, continue to make bananas a dietary staple. Plus, you can't beat the convenience factor; it's the ultimate grab-and-go snack.
You can easily enjoy banana peels (and reduce food waste) by tossing them into your favorite smoothie. But if you're looking for something a bit outside the box, these recipes transform banana peels into a star ingredient.
7 Banana Peel Recipes to Try
1. Banana Peel Bacon
Photo: Jamie Koll
Here us out: banana peel bacon. Simply shed your peel into bacon-like strips, coat in coconut aminos and maple syrup, add your preferred spices, and fry up your vegan alternative on the stove or in your air fryer. (Bonus points if you make this plant-based BLT!)
2. Banana Peel Stir Fry
Photo: Honestly Modern
Plant-based pros know that you can toss pretty much anything into a stir fry, and this applies to banana peels, too. Slice your peels into thin strips and cook with eggplant, garlic, onion, peppers, and more for a new dinnertime go-to.
3. Banana Peel Bread
Photo: Kids Eat by Shanai
Banana peels are a textural hero in this banana bread recipe, furthering the bread's gummy texture (the better to absorb butter or honey) while minimizing your production of food scraps.
4. Banana Peel Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwich
Photo: The Stingy Vegan
Tired of jackfruit? Mimic the bite of a pulled pork sandwich with banana peels. A common vegan swap in Venezuela (plantain peels, but still) and Brazil, your banana peel's makeover comes courtesy of oil, onion, chili powder, and BBQ sauce.
5. Banana Peel Vegan Carnitas
Photo: Sweet Potato Soul
Carnitas tacos are for everyone when said carnitas are actually shredded banana peels. Herbs, spices, and citrus—along with tortillas, purple cabbage, and guacamole—combine for the vegan tacos of your most delicious daydreams.
6. Banana Peel Curry
Photo: Create Mindfully
Rather than focusing your food scraps, this recipe obscures them. Thinly chopped peels are added to absorb existing spices, lending to the health and heartiness of this classic curry without overtaking the dish.
7. Banana Peel Cake
Blend up your banana peels, and they become an ideal moist-making additive for a would-be classic spice cake. Serve for a special occasion or as an indulgent a.m. treat!
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