Society’s becoming more and more conscious of food waste, and a lot of us are making a concerted effort to use up all the food we buy and limit how much gets chucked.
But, while only buying what we’ll actually eat is one thing, what about using up more of each item? For example, have you ever considered eating the banana skin, once you’ve munched through the soft fruity centre?
This really is taking waste-reducing very seriously – but don’t worry, you don’t have to munch on the skin raw. In fact, cooked banana skin is being touted as the next big thing in the world of vegan meat replacements.
The hashtag #vegan has nearly 77 million uses on Instagram right now, which well and truly shows how mainstream it has become in the last few years. It’s no longer that tough to go plant-based, with supermarkets now having bigger ‘free from’ aisles, and restaurants including more vegan options on their menus than ever.
This means we’re in a time of experimentation with vegan-friendly food, with more people trying to find the tastiest replacements to make meals meatier. Arguably, jackfruit has been the best option to emerge in recent times – with the right spices, it can recreate pulled pork pretty damn well. However, jackfruit isn’t that easy or cheap to get your hands on, and not many people know what to actually do with it.
So could banana skins be an appealing option? It’s definitely a much more accessible option – all you have to do is save the skins from the ‘nana you had for breakfast and dinner is sorted.
There’s a growing trend of vegans cooking up banana skins as a meat substitute and sharing their recipes on Instagram and YouTube. One of the most popular recipes – promoted by the likes of Chef Jana and The Stingy Vegan – is pulled ‘pork’ using banana skins.
This recipe is fairly simple. First, you have to scrape out the white substance from the inside of the skin, then you can easily shred the rest of the peel with a fork. When you’ve got the skin ready, you can either marinate it in a spice mix and then cook, or do like Chef Jana and cook it in a frying pan with barbecue sauce straight away. A splash of water will help soften the skins, making them much more delicious.
Chef Jana’s tip is to go for a green banana, because then the skin will be thicker and there will be more for you to use.
If you take a look at Instagram, using banana peel is becoming increasingly popular and recipes aren’t limited to pulled ‘pork’. Some people have been frying up their skins to make fake ‘bacon’.
Others have been using it to make fishless ‘fishcakes’.
Or even meat-free meatballs.
It just goes to show how multi-functional banana peels really are – and to think, we’ve been foolishly throwing them away this whole time. They’re even nutritious, as the skins are packed with vitamins B6 and B12 as well as magnesium, potassium and fibre.
As the peel isn’t as sweet as the flesh, they make the perfect centrepiece for a savoury dish. Just make sure you wash any skin before you use it, to remove grime and make sure there are no lingering pesticides.