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The Overlooked Nutrition in Banana Peels and Recipes to Try

When was the last time you ate a banana peel? If your answer is “never,” we’re not blaming you. Although it’s been a common practice in Asian countries for centuries, eating a banana peel is a nutrition trend that has just made its way into western culture, and for good reason.

For starters, banana peels can contain more fiber than the flesh they house. Fiber can do many wonders for your skin as well as your digestive track, playing a crucial role in the cleansing of toxins from the body. A healthy dose of fiber also keeps you feeling full and can lead to lower cholesterol levels. Like the flesh of a banana, the peel is also a great source of potassium. But, unlike the flesh, the peel is low in calories and sugars.

If you’re not sold yet, banana peels can also put you in a good mood. The peels contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can boost serotonin levels in your brain and body to make you feel happy. Consider reaching for a banana peel next time you need a pick-me-up!

September 11 is National Banana Day and we invite you to celebrate all month long with these nutritious recipes containing the less-consumed, nutrition-packed part of the banana – the peel.

1. Banana Peel Thoran

If you’re feeling adventurous, this Indian dish is a great choice to explore banana peels with a bit of a kick. Featuring a spoonful of coconut oil, Banana Peel Thoran is also a treat for coconut lovers. But be warned, this one can get spicy.

2. Banana Peel Steamed Pork and Rice

Did you ever think that your leftover banana peels could make the perfect vehicle for another dish? Here’s an example of a recipe that uses the banana peel to hold rice and pork. Really, though, the possibilities for banana peel fillings (sweet or savory!) are endless. Like with most banana peel recipes, make sure you steam or boil the banana peels during the process to soften them up and get rid of any bitterness.

3. Raw Banana Peel Upkari

Here’s another delicious dish that puts the peel front and center. If you’re a curry lover, this recipe is a good one to try as you dive into cooking with banana peels.

4. Other Ways to Incorporate Banana Peels

There are many easy ways to sneak a banana peel into your healthy diet. During your experimentation, keep in mind that green (raw) banana peels work best with savory dishes (think of them as green peppers) and yellow (mature) peels will work best when you’re looking to taste a traditional banana flavor. Here’s an easy way to start with the latter: try boiling a yellow peel for 10 minutes and blend it with your favorite smoothie. For maximum nutrition, try adding a scoop of Juice Plus+ Complete!

How will you try banana peels?  Tell us in the comments!

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/457082-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-banana-peels/

https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/dont-forget-to-eat-the-peel-91371162018.html

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/banana-peel-thoran/

http://norecipes.com/banana-peel-steamed-pork-and-rice/

http://www.ruchikrandhap.com/2011/11/raw-banana-peel-upkarisaute-kelyachya.html

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