Bananas are one of the top foods that are wasted, with 1.4 million bananas being binned in the UK every day. Stopfoodwaste.ie suggests picking bananas that are at different stages of ripening when buying. A few yellow ones for now and green ones for later in the week.
They produce ethylene gas which causes the fruit to ripen faster, so hang them on a hook or store on their own, unwrapped, at room temperature. They’re invaluable for speeding up the ripening process of avocados. Just pop a banana into a brown paper bag with the avocados and seal. Check their progress each day.
I really do appreciate all forms of food-waste avoidance and amazing, creative ideas, but I’m yet to eat a banana skin
Over the past few years, we’ve baked countless banana breads as a way to use up over-ripe bananas, and it remains my top choice. This recipe has warming autumn spices and a divine crumble scattered with buttery pecans. I also freeze browning bananas for smoothies. They give such a creamy texture and are naturally sweet. They can also be blitzed into an ice cream: just add a dash of vanilla and your milk of choice.
I’ve seen many recipes that use banana peels. I’ve never quite been able to bring myself to blitz banana skins into a cake or brush them with coconut aminos, then dehydrate them to make vegan bacon. I really do appreciate all forms of food-waste avoidance and amazing, creative ideas, but I’m yet to eat a banana skin.
Instead, I keep my organic banana peels and make nutritious plant food. Just pop the peel into a jar with water, seal and leave overnight. Place the skin in the compost, then filter the mineral-rich water well through a sieve or cloth. Use it to feed flowering plants or crops.
I usually use it for outdoor plants but have had success using it occasionally on succulents too and they produced incredible flowers and are still thriving.
Lilly’s kitchen tips
- Use a box grater to grate cold butter, this makes it much easier to mix.
- Store high fat nuts such as walnuts, pecans and pine nuts in the freezer. This prevents them from going rancid.
- Peel over-ripe bananas and place them in a Ziploc bag, seal the bag then flatten the bananas so they will blend up easily in smoothies.
Recipe: Banana bread with pecan crumble