Beyond the Peel: Unusual Uses for Bananas

bananaBananas are really versatile. Not only are they one of the most nutritious things you can eat, packed full of vitamins and minerals, but they have uses beyond just nutrition. Here are a few of the lesser known uses of this incredible fruit!

Tenderize Meat

Banana leaves have been used for a long time in tropical places to tenderize meat. If you wrap up the meat you’re cooking in banana leaves, it traps the moisture in the meat while at the same time slowly tenderizing the meat as it cooks. It’s a great way to preserve the natural flavors of the meat while you cook, and banana leaves are easier to find than you may realize even if you don’t live in the tropics.

Treat Your Tresses

Bananas naturally contain biotin and folate and these vitamins help to strengthen hair. You can easily create your own at-home banana hair treatment mask by using one over-ripe banana and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Blend them together into a thick paste and then apply to your hair; after 20 to 30 minutes rinse the paste out of your hair. It will leave your hair silky and smooth and smelling pretty delicious too.

Fertilize Your Garden

Banana peels make an excellent fertilizer. All you have to do is wrap them around the roots of your plants early in the season. The peels will work throughout the growing season to help your plant soak up as many nutrients as possible. It’s easy, cheap and cuts down on the garbage you produce too. And it’s organic!

Anti-Itch Treatment

With mosquito season right around the corner, you can’t ever have enough anti-itch tricks in your arsenal. The natural sugars contained in a banana peel can help to sooth the itch from bug bites and from poison ivy too. Just rub the inside of the peel over the affected area to get some relief.

Make It Shine

You can use banana peels to keep things in your home shiny. If you have houseplants that collect dust, rub the inside of a banana peel over the leaves to shine it right up. You can also shine your shoes with a banana peel! If you’ve got silver that is tarnished, don’t spend your money on fancy silver polish. All you have to do is throw a banana peel in a blender with some water and use it on a cloth to shine up that silver.

Baking

Bananas also make a healthy replacement for eggs in any recipe. If you’re vegan and cutting eggs out of your diet, or if you’re just looking to experiment as you bake, simply use one banana in place of two eggs.

So there you have it – uses for the banana you didn’t know existed!

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Free Banana by Luebke is licensed under CC BY 4.0

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.