Why You Should Consider Adding Banana Peels To Your Next Cake

It seems that these days, most people are looking for ways to waste less, whether that means opting to use reusable bags, using less product, or repurposing old items. Even in the kitchen, it's easy to reduce your food waste, and it begins with finding a purpose for everything.

Before tossing out your onion peels or broccoli stems, it's important to think of ways to utilize the scraps we typically discard. While you can choose to compost these biodegradable items, it's even better to turn them into something edible or useful around the house. And, one of the most versatile items may just be banana peels.

If you didn't know, banana peels are safe to eat. Some easy uses for banana peels include adding them into meals for a meat substitute or frying them up to make tasty banana chips. But, perhaps the most ideal method of utilizing your leftover banana peels is for baking.

Whether they're added into a banana bread recipe or a cake, they are an excellent way to reduce food waste. In fact, when Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan started adding in banana peels to their baked goods, they saw a drastic reduction in their waste for compost, as per The Washington Post

But, there are more reasons than preventing food waste to start throwing banana peels into your cake recipes rather than the trash.

A more nutritious cake

Not only is adding in banana peels an eco-friendly win for your dish, it's also a culinary one. This simple step can increase the nutritional benefits, add flavor, and improve texture. 

As per WebMD, the fibrous banana peels possess tons of nutrients like potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron. But, even if you aren't interested in the health benefits, you may be interested in the added flavor. 

According to The Washington Post, adding banana peels along with the fruit can give your next batch of baked goods an extra dose of banana flavor. As Food52 notes, it's best to let them get really ripe if you'd like to have the most banana flavor possible. As for the texture, banana peels have a high water content, shares Healthline, making the resulting cake extra moist, as per Reader's Digest

To utilize the peels in your recipes, as outlined by the New York Times, you can either soften the peels by simmering them and then puréeing them, or you can freeze them ahead of time, which also softens them. However, famous chef Nadiya Hussain doesn't bother with tenderizing the peels, telling the Times that by leaving them as is during baking, they produce a "springy chewiness."

So, whether you're on a vegan diet, looking for ways to reduce your food waste, or simply looking for a great banana cake recipe, it seems baking with banana peels may be a win-win.