How to turn banana peels into tasty and nutritious treats

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From baking with banana peel flour to frying banana peel bacon, there are several ways to turn the peel of this fruit into a healthy treat. Nicolas Balcazar/EyeEm/Getty Images
  • New research reveals that banana peels can be powdered and used to increase the nutritional value and shelf life of sugar cookies.
  • Experts say banana peels are a source of powerful antioxidants and important vitamins.
  • They also say that while the peels are nutritious, they do not replace any food group, but could be part of a balanced diet.

Increasingly, an item once considered inedible is being transformed into delicious meal. Now, researchers have found that the banana peels we typically compost or throw away can be turned into nutritious flour.

A new study finds that using the right amount of banana peel flour in sugar cookie dough creates a more nutritious cookie that’s still tasty.

“The main objective of this study was to convert raw banana peel into a valuable product because it is rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, which are very beneficial to health,” said the study author. . Faizan Ahmadassistant professor at Aligarh Muslim University, told Healthline.

The researchers started by blanching the banana peels, then they dried and ground them into a fine powder.

They mixed different amounts of this banana peel flour with butter, skim milk powder, powdered sugar, vegetable oil and wheat flour, to create five different batches of sugar cookies, and cooked them.

Ahmad and his team found that replacing 15% wheat flour with banana peel flour produced browner, harder cookies, possibly due to increased fiber from the peels.

Biscuits made with banana peel flour were healthier, with less fat and protein, higher amounts of phenols and improved antioxidant levels than those made with only wheat flour, researchers said. .

Ahmad pointed out that the use of banana peel in food product formulations could help improve nutritional quality while helping to prevent various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, constipation, colon cancer, diabetes and l ‘obesity.

“It can also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol,” he added.

A trained panel found that cookies with the least amount of banana peel powder (only 7.5%) had the best texture and highest overall acceptability compared to the other four batches.

This batch also kept well and tasted the same as the wheat-only versions, even after being stored at room temperature for three months.

“Therefore, incorporating banana peel in the formulation of cookies can be used as a good alternative to improve their nutritional value and shelf life,” Ahmad noted.

“According to our research, the use of bananas can be a good alternative in the formulation of baked goods as they are widely consumed,” Ahmad said.

He pointed out that cookies with added banana peel improved “functional and nutritional properties” and shelf life, as banana peel is rich in antioxidants and phenols.

“Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that have been studied and shown to improve blood flow and circulation in your body, which may help lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health,” says bitter seamregistered dietitian at Staten Island University Hospital in New York.

Emilie Feivora registered dietitian in Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in Queens, part of Northwell Health in New York, said that in non-Westernized countries, many chefs and cultures leave banana peels in the kitchen.

“Those following a vegan or vegetarian diet can use the peels as an alternative to meat in recipes such as ‘banana peel bacon Where ‘banana peel carnitas,'” she added.

Feivor said the peels provide a good source of fiber as well as a similar texture that mimics protein and there are many recipes available on the internet that use them.

“From recipes as simple as boiled, sprinkled with cinnamon and eaten with a spoon to a more complex preparation of caramelization to use as an ice cream topping,” she said.

“For those looking for ways to reduce food waste, this may be an option,” Feivor said. “

She also said that for people looking for ideas to experiment with trying new ingredients, banana peel can be something that challenges their culinary abilities.

“Especially if you’re gluten-free and want to increase the fiber in gluten-free baking,” Feivor says.

However, she cautioned that while the peels provide extra fiber and vitamins/minerals when used as an ingredient, they do not replace any food group, but can be used as part of a balanced diet.

Feivor recommends washing and scrubbing banana peels thoroughly to remove any bacteria, dirt, pesticides, or contaminants from the outside.

Feivor also said peels are another great way to add healthy variety to our diets.

“If you’re looking to include a new texture and taste in your cooking, try a recipe with a banana peel as an ingredient,” she said. “The benefits can help your body prevent disease.”

New research reveals that banana peels can be powdered and used to increase the nutritional value and shelf life of sugar cookies.

Experts say banana peels are a source of powerful antioxidants and important vitamins.

They also say that while the peels are nutritious, they do not replace any food group, but could be part of a balanced diet.

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