Saturday, 14 November 2020

Peel Appeal

Nigella's new series began last Monday. She made a rather controversial "Banana Skin" Curry. Whilst I applaud her attempt at ZeroWaste, it did remind me of Hugh F-W's Slug Casserole. Laborious preparation, and lots of added ingredients- and at the end he did admit it was probably just as good without the slugs.[from from BBC]

But then I wondered if other chefs had used peels in recipes. I discovered Max La Manna, a young New York chef who specialises in zerowaste, vegetarian and vegan recipes. He puts banana skins in pancakes.

This makes sense to me - use the whole item in one dish [none of this setting aside the peel to use later, as a 'teaser', which is what Nigella did] My version - I peeled a banana, sliced it and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning. Then chopped the skin into 2cm squares. I put 1 cup of milk in the liquidiser, added the peel, and blitzed till it was all blended.  I added 1 cup S.R. flour, 1 tsp sugar, and ½tsp baking powder. Blitzed again to make a batter. Then I cooked small pancakes [using my half cup measure to pour liquid into pan] Ta da!

Eight pancakes for two of us. I served them with the banana coins, a dollop of homemade yogurt and a drizzle of pomegranate syrup [I'm trying to use it up - honey, or other syrup would be just as good]
They tasted fine altho Bob said "not as 'spongy' as regular American style pancakes." Perhaps I should use more BP?

Warning- before cooking, the batter is an interesting purply grey colour [like blueberry yogurt]

Pancakes are an increasingly popular breakfast dish - and many of them use the whole banana in place of an egg [as does MLM] My version makes just enough for 2 of us, and you do get the two different textures with the sliced fruit on top. MLM adds cinnamon to his batter, I may try that sometime. You could go vegan and swap the milk for a plant-based version. A fresh, free range egg costs me around 17p from the farm - so I am saving that if I use the peel instead. 

I have an absurd fondness for writing on banana skins with a ballpoint pen [go on, try it sometime, it feels very satisfying] Bob said I must be sure not to write on any peel I plan to cook with!
What do you do with banana peel? do you just put it in the compost/food waste, or do you have a good recipe?



  1. I have in the past made banana ketsup with whole bananas, but it did not turn out to be particularly popular. I thought it tasted fine (but then I don't really eat sweet/fruity sauces so maybe it lacked something that HP-lovers look like in such things). If you wanted to use up all your banana peels you'd be making vats of it!

  2. Did you see that dish Nigella made with the fish fingers?? It really looked disgusting. Not everything needs to have a dual purpose and that includes banana skins! As Dali famously said on one of his good days 'sometimes a cigar is just a cigar'! ps my banana skins go in the compost pile. Have a good weekend.x

  3. They go in the compost bin.
    I'm all for zero waste where possible but this might be a step too far for me.

  4. I usually "feed" the banana peels to my rose bushes! I am not sure if I'd want to eat the peels, myself!

  5. It's so funny the way you read something somewhere and the same day, see it elsewhere. I read that you can make 'bacon' from bananapeel as well as using it in curry or pancakes on Instagram. You can also blend it in Smoothies. I don't buy bananas very often though I hope I usually buy Fairtrade.


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