Finding innovative and delicious ways to use up food waste is big right now. But eating banana peels is more than some eco-conscious endeavor—these things have some awesome weight-loss benefits.

Give these banana peel recipes a try and you’ll be positively surprised and wish you’ve known this a long time ago!



Banana Tea
Place a ripe banana skin (be sure to cut off the stem and the opposite black end) in a pot with enough water to cover it.  Boil for about 10 minutes, strain, and drink plain or with milk and your sweetener of choice.


Banana Smoothie
1-2 unpeeled ripe banana, ends cut off
¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon



First, a few tips for cooking with green peels:
• Many markets store green bananas away from the yellow ones and call them ‘cooking bananas.’ If you can’t find green, ask at your grocery store: They often keep them in back in storage until they turn a more sellable yellow.
• Wash well. Use organic if you can.
• Chop off each end (the stem and black tip).
• Green bananas give off a milky sap that can make your hands sticky and adhere to your cookware when you boil them.  To make clean up easier, put a few drops of cooking oil into the water when you boil them.  (Putting some on your hands can be helpful, too—just be VERY careful when using a knife.)
• Peel green bananas by cutting them in half horizontally and then vertically.  Hold the banana in your hand, and place the tip of your thumb between the skin and the meat. The peel should separate, but the whole skin probably won’t come off.  Keep wiggling your thumb between the meat and the skin and you’ll be able to tear it off.  Don’t worry if the skin isn’t completely clean: Taste, not perfection is the goal.

Bananas Skins with Black-Eyed Peas

4 green banana peels
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coconut oil
½ c black-eyed peas (if using fresh, soak overnight)
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons unsweetened grated coconut
Juice of one lime

1. Chop peels into small pieces and boil in water with turmeric and dash of salt. To prevent sap from sticking to your pot, add a few drops of oil to the water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until skins are tender. Drain, reserving water for a later use (we like to use it to cook rice or as a base for soup).
2. If using fresh black-eyed peas, boil until tender. If using canned, rinse and drain beans.
3. Heat coconut oil in skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop. Add boiled peels and black-eyed peas, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut. Add salt to taste and finish with lime juice.  Serve.


Green Banana Curry

4 green banana peels
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½ inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
2 hot peppers (ideally one green and one red chili, but you can use jalapeno or other small hot peppers)
1 dried red pepper, crumbled (optional)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk
Salt to taste

Green Banana Curry

1. Chop peels into small pieces, or about a half-inch wide and two-inches long, and soak in a bowl of water.
2. Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds. When seeds start to crackle and pop, add onion and sauté until transparent
3. Add ginger, hot peppers, red pepper if using, cinnamon, and cumin. Stir and sauté for a minute, and then add turmeric. Add banana peels and coconut. Sprinkle with salt and stir.
4. Add coconut milk plus one-half cup water.  Cover pan and cook slowly until peels are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.  If the peels aren’t soft or the pan gets too dry, add more water as needed and keep cooking, covered, until peels are tender.
5. Stir again to combine, add salt to taste, and serve over rice.