8 Smart Uses for Banana Peels: Creative Ideas for Reuse
Reusing discarded items in our day-to-day lives is the best way to minimize waste and reap some unexpected benefits. We all know that bananas are a delicious and healthy snack, but did you know that the peel can be used in a ton of ways? It’s true! So instead of throwing the peels out, save them for a rainy day and check out some of our reuse ideas. Let’s get into it.
Top 8 Smart Uses for Banana Peels
1. Use Them for Gardening
We might not eat banana peels, but plants can’t get enough of them. You can throw your peels in a compost bin to enrich the compost or simply throw them on top of the soil of your favorite plants. As the peels decompose, they release nitrogen and other valuable nutrients that can help your plants grow healthier and stronger. You can also throw them under bushes to deter aphids.
2. Whiten Your Teeth
There’s some evidence to suggest that banana peels can fight gingivitis and periodontitis-causing bacteria, which can help whiten your teeth and minimize the impact of gum disease symptoms. There’s not much on how to use them, but folk remedies suggest you can simply rub the peels on your teeth. You can try this daily for a week to see if it helps whiten your teeth.
3. Keep Your Hair Healthy
Banana peels contain antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. By mixing it into a homemade hair mask, you can help apply these benefits to your hair and scalp. Proponents of natural health remedies claim it also makes hair softer and shinier, but there’s no research to back the claim.
4. Helps Skin Care
Although using banana peels to improve your skin isn’t clinically proven, it is known to contain tons of components that are healthy for the skin. Polyphenol and carotenoids, for instance, are known to have strong antimicrobial properties. Popular home remedies recommend using banana peels to moisturize psoriasis-affected skin, reduce undereye puffiness, and heal acne scars.
5. Banana Peels for the First Aid Kit
Folk medicine recommends banana peels for many common ailments. Allegedly, it can reduce headaches when frozen and applied to the head. Other suggested uses include reducing itching from sunburn, poison ivy, and bug bites. While it may seem silly, it may be worth trying if you have some extra peels lying around and lack basic first aid gear.
6. Natural Cleaning Solutions
Many people claim that banana peels can help brighten household items like shoes, houseplants, and silverware. While there’s little science to back it up, you may wish to find the truth for yourself. Grab some banana peels and see if they’ll shine your shoes or silverware. It’s thought to work because of various antimicrobial properties within the peel that clean contaminants.
7. Eat or Drink Them
Banana peels are thought to be inedible, but they’re actually perfectly safe to eat. Eating them raw might be a bit rough but mixing them into a smoothie or dessert can be a great way to add some banana taste and nutrients. Grinding up banana peels and adding them to banana bread adds a lot of fiber to the snack, plus it’s thought to make the bread more heart healthy.
You can also cook the peels with sugar and water to make candied banana peels or boil the peels in water to produce a tea. Finally, banana peels can be ground up and mixed in chutney or curry for a twist.
8. Make Vinegar
Vinegar can be made from just about anything. Maple syrup, apple cider, grapes, and yes, even banana peels can be turned into delicious, tangy vinegar. Simply ferment the peels with a vinegar starter and leave it for a couple of months to produce a surprisingly sweet vinegar. What’s great about banana vinegar is that it destroys the peel’s bitter taste while drawing out its sweetness. Banana peel vinegar is great for making sweet vinaigrette and dressing salads.
Banana peels contain a lot of the same nutrients that the fruit does, which makes them great for reusing. While the most popular use is to throw them in compost or to dress soil, there are numerous other ways to use them. Instead of throwing away your banana peels, consider saving them to try some of the tricks detailed above.
Featured Image Credit: iva, Shutterstock