10 Uses for Overripe Bananas to Fight Food Waste
This morning I woke up to two *very* ripe bananas. We’ve all been there. It seems like we can’t eat through our bananas fast enough before they become overripe. I felt inspired to make use of these ripe bananas and made banana bread (I know, groundbreaking!). Yet, this banana bread recipe is banana bread with a twist: Double chocolate banana bread. It is insanely good (recipe down below).
I then got to thinking about how I could make use of every part of the banana, including the peels. After all, households are responsible for the largest portion of all food waste in America, generating 76 billion pounds of food per year. In the US, an average person wastes 238 pounds of food per year (21% of the food they buy), costing them $1,800 per year. Food waste is a key contributor to climate change due to methane release. Although bananas won’t single-handedly solve climate change, it’s a great place to start by working to reduce your own personal impact. Here are 10 uses for overripe bananas and their peels:
1. Make banana pancakes: Check out a recipe here.
2. Freeze your bananas for smoothies: Remove overripe bananas from their peel and place in a bag (preferably a reusable one) and place in the freezer to have on hand for smoothies.
3. Make banana bread: Use your ripe bananas to make delicious banana bread. For a yummy twist on traditional banana bread, try this recipe:
Double Chocolate Banana Bread
2-3 ripe bananas
2 eggs or flax eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup milk of choice (I used flax milk)
1/4 cup of oil (I used coconut oil)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cup flour (I used oat flour - just simply blend oats in a blender to make)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Top with banana slices and more dark chocolate chips
Combine and mix all ingredients, grease a bread tin and add toppings, and bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes.
4. Shine up houseplants: Use the soft inside of a banana peel on the leaves of your houseplants to clean off any dust and renew luster. Use a soft cloth to remove any residue. This works especially for indoor plants with waxy leaves.
5. Shine your shoes and polish silver: You can also rub the soft inside of a banana peel over your leather shoes, followed by a soft cloth to remove residue, to leave them refreshed, clean, and shined! Polish silver jewelry and flatware using the same process to improve shine!
6. Relieve rashes and skin irritation: Rub the peel over irritated skin area (bug bite, rash, abrasion) to reduce itchiness and promote healing.
7. Banana peel plant fertilizer: Enrich your plants with potassium, phosphorus, and calcium by soaking banana peels for 3 days in a jar of water (reuse any jar you have on hand, like an old salsa jar pictured) and pour the water into the soil. Alternatively, dry banana peels out either in the oven or in the sun, grind them up in a blender, and incorporate them into your garden soil to have a similar effect as composting (perfect if you don’t have a composter).
8. Remove ink stains from skin: Use the inside of a banana peel and rub it on the stained area. The natural oils in the peel bind to the ink pigments, making it much easier to wash away!
9. Livestock feed: For those of you who own chickens, rabbits, or pigs, feed banana peels to your livestock or add dried banana peels to their feed.
10. Compost: Above all else, if you compost at home, add overripe bananas or their peels to your compost pile.
Hopefully this post inspires you to make the most of your bananas that are going bad!