You've Been Peeling Bananas Wrong This Entire Time

While some people wonder if it is safe to eat banana peels, others wonder if there is a better way to peel these potassium-rich babies for snacking or making a loaf of brown butter banana bread or fluffy banana pancakes. Both are fair questions worth pondering. However, if you are among the many who end up smushing the top of your banana when you try to break open the peel at the stem, you are not alone and will be happy to discover that there is another way. Borrow from the monkey's banana playbook and peel your fruit like they do.

Monkeys hold the stem side in their hands so it is pointing down and use a pinch, squeeze, and tear method to open the opposite side. Using two fingers — your thumb and index finger — pinch and squeeze the non-stem side until the peel splits open. The result is immediate, and after pulling down the peel, you are in business to start noshing, mashing, or chopping this fruit for whatever you might be making. 

There's another benefit to peeling bananas upside down

Using the monkey technique to open up this fruit has a side benefit, too. You won't have to deal with the banana's stringy bits, aka phloem bundles, which are the annoying fibrous strands that run up and down the fruit. Phloem bundles are essentially veins that provide nutrients to bananas as they grow and reach maturity. But what is necessary for the growth of this fruit can also be bitter if you happen to eat one.

That said, if you are of the "waste not, want not" school of thought and see those strings leftover in the peel after you've used the monkey banana peeling method, don't toss them out. You can actually throw these nutrient-rich strings that contain both potassium and fiber right into the blender along with your banana the next time you make a smoothie. Once blended, the bitter flavor will be imperceptible to the taste buds.