Banana Peel Bacon
- 2 peels from very ripe organic bananas (Note: Don’t substitute green bananas; make sure they are really ripe, or you’ll regret it)
- 2 Tbs. soy sauce, (I use the light version)
- 1 Tbs. water
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup, brown sugar or brown rice syrup
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika or 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground celery seed or ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Maybe I’m the last person to hear about it, but people eat banana peels. After trying them, I regret every banana peel I’ve ever tossed. They are amazingly good: crispy, salty, smoky, sweet and thrifty, with only a background note of banana flavor. I feel good eating them; as a chef, I hate to throw out anything usable.
They are rich in fiber, polyunsaturated fats, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium and essential amino acids, making them one nutritious snack. The pulpy scrapings can even be rubbed into your face and left on overnight.
They can be fried in a little coconut oil or baked. Unmarinated peels can be blitzed in a smoothie or soaked in water for a few days and the liquid used as a plant fertilizer.
Remove the peel and tear the skin lengthwise into strips. Scrape the skins lightly with the edge of a spoon or a dinner knife to remove the pale pulp. Put the pulp in the compost or on your face.
Mix the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, smoked paprika or liquid smoke, garlic powder, ground celery seed or ground coriander and pepper in a bowl. Add the banana peels and stir. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes or several hours. The marinade will flavor the peels and soften the fibers. They will shrink a bit.
Remove the peels and pat dry on a towel to avoid any painful spatters. Over medium heat, heat a little oil in a pan large enough to allow the peels to lie flat. Add the peels and fry a couple minutes on each side. They will brown, bubble up a bit and get crispy. Be sure to flip often to avoid scorching them. I’ve also baked them on top of asparagus spears and oyster mushrooms I was roasting and that went well. Gobble them all up so you don’t have to share.
You can use the leftover marinade for more batches of peels. Since you’re eating the outside of the fruit, buy organic to avoid pesticides. Some sweetener is necessary to balance the flavors, so reduce it if you want but don’t eliminate it.