banana peel made into "bacon"

Image and inspiration courtesy

I (Debra) keep obsessing about the subject of food waste, and even though we give all our banana peels to customers who give them to their animals, it kills me to see all those peels not being used as human food.  If you think I’m off my rocker, just read the blogs online.  In other parts of the world, people do eat the banana, peel and all.   There are recipes for vegan pulled “pork” using banana skins as the main ingredient.  You see watermelon rind curry in India.  You can absolutely eat the kiwi peel, the carrot peel, the cucumber peel, etc.

The recipes that caught my eye were those making bacon out of the peel.  And so, I did.  I brought my first try into the store for our staff to sample.  No one had taken me seriously.  And even though my first batch was slightly burned, everyone went gaga over banana peel bacon!

Here’s the recipe (I found it on many sites).  Just remember, make sure your bananas are ripe, have brown spots.  And pan fry them.  Don’t eat them raw.

Makes enough for 4 people (more if you’re only nibbling or using to crumble on top of a salad as garnish)

4 ripe banana peels (from 4 bananas) ½ tsp smoked paprika
3 Tbsp soy sauce ½ tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp maple syrup 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Rinse bananas.  Peel them.  Slice or tear each banana peel into 4 strips lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scrape off the white inside part of the peel.  We’re using the peel only.

In a dish large enough to hold your banana peels, mix soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika and garlic powder, which is your marinade.  Add peel to marinade and toss to coast.  Let peels marinade at room temperature for at least 10 minutes, but a few hours are even better.

When ready to cook bacon, heat oil over medium in a large skillet or fry pan.  I used my cast iron skillet.  Add peels and fry each a couple of minutes per side until they turn golden and the skin bubbles.  I used a pair of tongs to pick up a peel and turn it over.  Don’t overcook and burn as I did!

Remove banana bacon from pan onto serving plate.  These get crispier as they cool.