How To Put Leftover Banana Peels To Good Use

With 30% to 40% of our food ending up in the trash, it’s no surprise that many people are interested in reducing waste by composting food scraps like banana peels.

While composting is a great idea, banana peels can be used in other ways too, not just for composting. These often-overlooked peels have multiple uses, from improving our homes to benefiting our health.

To fully appreciate the potential of banana peels, we need to explore beyond their natural packaging. In this article, we’ll delve into the surprising benefits of banana peels that you might not know about!

Invite birds to your garden

Birds in the garden bring joy with their songs, reminding us of the carefree days of childhood. To attract them more reliably, you can use banana peels.

These peels attract birds by attracting insects like ants and fruit flies, which birds like hummingbirds enjoy eating. Some birds also eat banana peels themselves. Just make sure to wash the banana skins to remove any pesticides before placing them in the garden.

Additionally, butterflies are attracted to bananas because of their sweetness. So, if you have ripe bananas, you can cut them up along with their peels and place them in the garden to create your own butterfly haven.

Clearing pimples on the face

Acne can be painful and embarrassing, and the cost of treatments like benzoyl peroxide can add up quickly. However, there’s a cheaper and more natural solution: banana peels.

Research published in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery suggests that banana peels may help with acne vulgaris due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

While more studies are needed to confirm their effectiveness, banana peels contain antibacterial properties that can help cleanse the skin and enzymes that may fade scars.

To try it yourself, cut up some banana peels and place them, fruit-side down, on your acne. Leave them on until the peel turns brown, then replace with a new patch until your face is clean.

Getting rid of splinters

Removing splinters can be painful and tricky. For those stubborn ones that are deeply embedded, using banana peels might help. It’s believed that the moisture from the banana peel can cause slight swelling in the skin, which can push the splinter closer to the surface.

To try this method, cut a small piece of clean banana peel and place it, fruit-side down, over the splintered area. Secure it with a band aid and leave it on overnight if possible.

Eventually, the splinter should work its way out on its own, or it will be easier to remove with tweezers. After removing the splinter, make sure to clean the area to prevent infection.

Whitening teeth

Getting teeth as white as those of movie stars usually involves using whitening trays and other dental tools that can make you feel like you’re in a sci-fi movie. But these treatments don’t just cost money; they can also taste pretty bad, especially for those who love food.

If you’re not a fan of the bleachy taste that comes with traditional whitening methods, you might want to try banana peels instead. They’re like nature’s whitening trays but without the unpleasant taste.

Just cut up some banana peels and keep them in the fridge. When they’re cold, rub a peel on your teeth regularly to see the benefits. The minerals in the peels gradually whiten your teeth naturally, without any bleachy taste.

Plus, banana peels have antibacterial properties that can help treat gum problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease. Simply rub the peel on your gums, like you did with your teeth, for healthier gums over time.

Polishing leather shoes

Most of us know that bananas are packed with important nutrients like potassium. This mineral helps keep our blood pressure in check, prevents kidney stones, and helps our nerves work properly.

But did you know that potassium isn’t just good for our bodies? It’s also great for shoe polish! That’s right, those banana peels you use to keep your bananas fresh can also bring life back to your leather shoes.

Banana peels contain natural oils and abrasives that make polishing shoes super easy. Just grab your banana peels, rub the inside of the peel on your shoes, and then buff them with a soft cloth.

Your shoes will look shiny and might even smell nice. And here’s a bonus: you can also use banana peels to polish leather furniture like couches and chairs. It works on any leather similar to shoe leather.

Baking delicious vegan “bacon”

Believe it or not, you can actually eat banana peels, and one tasty way to use them is to make banana peel bacon. By marinating the peels with ingredients like soy sauce, smoked paprika, maple syrup, and garlic, even vegetarians and vegans can enjoy this delicious breakfast treat.

But that’s not all – banana peels are also packed with nutrients. The vitamin B6 in the peel can help improve mood and ease feelings of depression.

They also offer comfort to those with digestive issues and may even help reduce the risk of cancer. So, while our friends might give us funny looks if they see us munching on banana peel bacon BLTs, we’ll be the ones enjoying the tasty and nutritious benefits in the end.

As an itch remedy

If you’re itching from a run-in with poison ivy or a swarm of mosquitoes, relief might be as close as your fruit bowl. Using banana peels as a remedy for itching has been a popular folk remedy for years.

While there hasn’t been much scientific research on this method, many people swear by its effectiveness for providing temporary relief from annoying itching. The relief usually lasts for a couple of hours, but it’s said to work just as well as over-the-counter remedies you’d find at a pharmacy.

To try this remedy, start by washing the affected area with poison ivy soap if you’ve been exposed to poison ivy or sumac, or with antibacterial soap if you have bug bites.

This helps remove any irritants or bacteria from the skin. Then, cut up a banana peel and rub the inside of the peel on the itchy spots. Repeat as needed for relief.

As a skincare mask

When it comes to natural skincare, using banana peels for facials has its supporters and skeptics. Those who believe in this method point to the bioactive compounds in banana peels as the reason it might work. However, others aren’t convinced and question the scientific evidence behind it.

Unlike Botox, which freezes facial muscles to prevent wrinkles, banana peels aren’t known to have the same effect.

Plus, there haven’t been any lab studies done to confirm the skincare benefits of banana peels, so the jury’s still out on whether it’s a viable alternative.

But for those who do swear by banana peel facials, they claim that the antioxidants, amino acids, and zinc in the peels can benefit the skin. The texture of the peels also provides gentle exfoliation, which can be a cheaper alternative to store-bought products.

Additionally, the potassium in bananas may help reduce puffiness by keeping the body hydrated, which can counteract fluid retention.

Making fruit vinegar

Forget apple cider vinegar – there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s banana peel vinegar. Instead of tossing your banana peels into the compost pile right away, you can use them to make a tangy vinegar that adds a unique flavor to your salads.

Making banana peel vinegar takes about two months from start to finish. You’ll need to simmer the banana peels with vinegar on the stove, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth, and repeat the process a few times.

Then, let the vinegar sit for a couple of weeks to develop its flavor. Once it’s ready, store it in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to use it in your next salad dressing.

Alleviating puffiness around the eyes

Here’s an interesting fact for you: both wine and banana peels contain tannins. And guess what? These tannins can help reduce under-eye puffiness and dark circles.

Tannins work kind of like astringents for acne, tightening up the skin and making puffiness less noticeable. Plus, they can give your under-eye area a little boost by increasing blood flow to the skin.

To use banana peels for reducing puffiness, start by washing your face with your favorite soap. Then, pat your skin dry. Take a square piece of banana peel and gently rub it under your eyes until the peel turns brown. You can massage the area a bit to help the peel work its magic.

If needed, repeat the process. After about 10 minutes, wash your face one more time. It’s a simple and natural way to give your under-eye area a fresh, rejuvenated look.

Making vegan pulled pork

Surprisingly, there’s a vegan alternative to pulled pork that’s even more common in grocery stores than jackfruit: banana peels.

Using banana peels as a plant-based substitute for pulled pork has its advantages because they mimic the texture and appearance of real pulled pork.

Just like how pulled pork is shredded after cooking, banana peels can be shredded with a fork to achieve that signature look.

To make banana peel pulled pork, start with pesticide-free bananas, preferably organic. Simply shred the banana peels with a fork and season them with spices similar to those used for regular pulled pork.

Then, fry them up in your seasoned mixture, maybe adding a bit of barbecue sauce for extra flavor. It’s a surprisingly tasty and cruelty-free alternative to traditional pulled pork.

Removing warts

For those who want to speed up their wart removal process, there’s a potential remedy in the produce aisle: banana peels. While there’s no scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness, some people swear by rubbing banana peels on warts to help remove them.

Some methods include cutting a small piece of peel and taping it over the wart overnight, while others simply rub the wart with a banana peel regularly.

The potassium in bananas is believed to be the reason why this home remedy might work, helping to remove warts without pain. It’s worth a try if you’re looking for a natural solution.

Giving your plant leaves a glossy shine

To revitalize your houseplants, you can use a simple trick: banana peels.

Rubbing the fruit side of a banana peel on your plant leaves and stems helps remove dust, allowing them to soak up sunlight more effectively.

Dusty leaves can hinder photosynthesis and plant respiration, which are crucial for plant health and growth. So, giving your plants a little TLC with banana peels can keep them looking lush and thriving.

Making sleepy time tea

If you’re struggling to fall asleep and tired of relying on melatonin or counting sheep, you might want to try something new: banana peel tea. Recent clinical trials have started to explore the potential sleep benefits of this unusual beverage, investigating how the nutrients in bananas could influence sleep.

Banana peels are packed with magnesium, which can help relax your body and promote sleep. Plus, they’re rich in tryptophan, an amino acid known for its sleep-inducing effects.

While you might not feel as drowsy as after a big Thanksgiving dinner, tryptophan can still help you drift off to sleep.

Plus, if you suffer from painful muscle cramps like charley horses that keep you up at night, the potassium in banana peel tea could help.

Over time, the potassium may help ease these cramps, allowing you to sleep more comfortably. So, next time you’re struggling to catch some z’s, consider brewing yourself a cup of banana peel tea for a natural sleep aid.

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