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Max La Manna's Vegan BLT Uses a Surprising Ingredient—Banana Peels

Max La Manna shared his delicious vegan BLT recipe. In it, he uses a surprising ingredient that reduces food waste: banana peels.

Written by
Angelica Pizza

What if there was a way to eat more plant-based foods while also reducing the amount of food waste in your kitchen? You're in luck: Low-waste chef Max La Manna has a plethora of recipes that achieve just that. Including a vegan BLT recipe that swaps bacon for bananas.

"BLT" typically stands for bacon, lettuce, and tomato. And while that sounds delicious, it's not the most planet-friendly option, as pork is one of the worst meats for the environment. Swapping in plant-based foods, however, is great for both your health and the planet, as these options have a much smaller environmental footprint in comparison to animal-derived products.

However, with La Manna's plant-based spin on the traditional sandwich recipe, you won't need to worry about your carbon footprint. Instead of using bacon, his recipe calls for a surprising ingredient: baked banana peels.

Max La Manna's Banana Peel BLT

In a recent episode of Good Together, La Manna told Brightly the secret behind his vegan BLT recipe.

"You can bake banana peels," he says. "I would marinate the banana peel overnight, and then bake it on a baking sheet until it's nice and crispy and make a BLT—'B' standing for the banana peel."

Here's how to make a vegan BLT, step by step.

Vegan BLT Recipe

Banana Peel Bacon Ingredients:

Leftover banana peel
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Sandwich Ingredients:

Toppings of choice


1. Instead of tossing your banana peels in the trash, you can use every last bit. To mimic the taste of bacon, coat the peels in a mix of maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika, and your other spices. Then, bake them in the oven or air-fryer. Check out our step-by-step guide to making banana peel bacon.

2. Once your banana peel bacon is ready, add it to a sandwich with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and your toppings of choice.

3. Enjoy your delicious vegan BLT!

Other Ways to Use Banana Peels

But wait, there's more. La Manna says there are several ways to cook with banana peels. He tells us you can blend banana peels—and use the finished product to make your favorite breakfast recipes!

"First, I would warm it up in a bowl with some water and some spices, kind of like marinating it," La Manna explains. "And then I would blend it, so it pulverizes and gets really soft and almost liquidizes with some other ingredients like plant-based milk. It'll look like a smoothie afterward. You can't tell that it's banana peel, but you'll taste the flavor of banana. Then I'll use that liquid to make cakes, banana bread, pancakes, muffins—all sorts of things."

Plus, you can even use banana peels to make pulled "pork." According to La Manna, all you need to do is fry the peels in a frying pan, add spices and barbecue sauce, and then add it to a bun for a pulled "pork" sandwich.

All in all, La Manna has taught us that we can be low-waste, plant-based chefs, too. It just takes a little creativity and a willingness to try new things. And the best part? We're saving the planet, one delicious recipe at a time.