If you’re anything like me, you eat a lot of bananas. You eat them in your smoothies, your banana bread, your oatmeal and even use them as a substitute for eggs in baking (I’m talking to you, my vegans). But what happens when the peel comes off? I’m guessing most of you just lob it into the trash.
Well, it’s time to stop this banana-peel-in-the-trash nonsense. Before you even think of discarding this beautiful, yellow peel of amazingness, just remember all the wonderful things you can do with it.
Use it in Your Garden
Banana peels are full of the nutrients plants need to thrive, like nitrogen and potassium. There are many ways to use banana peels in the garden, but the easiest is to just throw the peel in the blender and then sprinkle it in the soil among your plants
. If you want to go farther and incorporate your banana peels into compost, cut them up into small pieces and place them in a moist layer with other food items, alternating these layers with leaves and other dry materials. After the banana peels have biodegraded and imparted their nutrients, add the compost to the soil as a fertilizer . You’ll be growing juicy tomatoes in no time.
Whiten Your Teeth
A smile is your best accessory, after all, and this DIY whitening trick is useful and easy. All you need is a banana peel, a watch (or timer of some sort) and a toothbrush. To whiten, rub the inside of the peel on your top and bottom rows of teeth for a minute each. Let your teeth sit with the banana paste for ten minutes before using a toothbrush to brush the paste into your teeth. Once the paste is fully worked into the nooks and crannies of your mouth, rinse the toothbrush with water and then brush again. Repeat this process three to five times a week, and you’ll have a brighter smile in no time!
Relieve an Itch
Next mosquito season, you’ll be more than prepared to fight the itch. Instead of spending five bucks at the store for a chemical treatment, make your own. Rubbing a banana peel over the bite can actually help soothe and reduce itching. As a bonus, the sugars in the peel help reduce inflammation. This is a great, organic way to relieve itches.
This is by far my favorite use of the banana peel. After making my banana pancakes in the morning, I like to save my peel for a cheap and effective acne treatment. Just massage the banana peel across your face until the peel turns brown, then wait for thirty minutes until you feel your face tighten. Finally, rinse your face with warm water. Chock-full of antioxidants and fatty acids that prevent sun damage and moisturize the skin, respectively, banana peels will make sure your acne says “adiós.”
Polish Shoes and Leather
Got dull or dirty shoes? Not a problem. Just rub the inside of the banana peel in circular motions around the shoe, then remove the residue and buff with a soft cloth. Your old shoes will look like new in no time.
Are any of you die-hard vinegar salad dressing fans like I am? If so, you’re in luck! Save that peel from your morning smoothie and make some bitter yet sweet vinegar. If you’re willing to give it a go, hop on over to this website for the recipe.
Disclaimer: it takes two months to make, but the results are worth it.
These peels just don’t stop with the nutrients. As well as being a great source of potassium (which helps relieves muscle aches), they also contain significant amounts of dietary fiber and tryptophan, which promotes digestion and increases serotonin, respectively. In fact, eating banana peels can reduce the symptoms associated with depression. Pretty cool, right? Figuring out how to intake these nutrients might seem daunting, but eating the peel is relatively easy. You can eat it on its own, boil it and throw it in a smoothie with other fruits or even fry it.
Tip: letting the peel ripen until it turns brown or even black increases the sugar content and makes it taste sweeter.
Bonus usage: set the peel on the floor with a hidden camera recording. You know what’s coming.