By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon
Bananas are my go-to snack for many reasons — they fill me up, energize me, and easy to eat on the go. Bananas are also packed with nutrition, but did you know there are lots of ways to use this fruit that don’t involve eating?
Health benefits and flavor aside, bananas can be used for far more than a snack. We’ve rounded up 10 unusual ways to use bananas–both inside and outside the home–that will definitely change your opinion of this common fruit.
10 Unusual Ways To Use Bananas
1. Egg Replacement
Ripe bananas can be used as a vegan replacement for eggs in baked dishes like breads, cakes, and cookies. One mashed banana is equivalent to one egg. This is not only a great way to make animal-friendly desserts but also a way to put overripe bananas to use.
2. One-Ingredient Ice-Cream
Got bananas? A blender? Good. Peel, chop and freeze the banana in a zip-lock bag. Remove from the freezer, and place into a food processor or high-speed blender. Mix until fluffy and smooth. Serve with your choice of mix-ins, such as chocolate chips or dried fruit and nuts.
3. Face Mask
Banana is full of water, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and nutrients. Thus it makes for a great moisturizing face mask. Mash a banana in a small bowl with the back of a fork and apply to a clean face. Let sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing and drying clean.
4. Shoe Polisher
Want to go au naturel with your shoe polishing? Before dropping that banana peel in the compost pile, let it hit your shoe first. Peel off any stringy skin from the inside of the peel and then rub it against your shoe to shine it. Use a towel to wipe down the shoe after shining.
With more than 10 percent of the RDA of potassium in one serving, bananas offer a great alternative to chemical fertilizer. Dehydrate banana peels during the winter. When spring is just about to arrive, blend the dried banana in a food processor and then use it as mulch for seedlings.
6. Butterflies and Birds
Birds and butterflies are beautiful, especially when they are leisurely flying around your garden. Place overripe bananas on an elevated or hanging platform in the center of your garden. The sugary fruit will attract winged wildlife to your backyard.
7. Pesticide Removal
In a recent study conducted in Brazil, banana peel s were used to remove pesticides like atrazine and ametryne from the water supply.
8. Hair Conditioner
According to Dr. Oz, banana is one of the best natural hair conditioners. All you have to do is blend a few ripe bananas until completely smooth – adding a little water if you need to. Brush the mix into your hair with a fine-toothed comb. Let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing out.
9. Heart Disease Prevention
You love bananas with all your heart, but did you know eating them actually strengthens that very organ? The potassium in bananas helps to lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular disease mortality.
10. Reduce Puffy Eyes
Eat bananas to treat a bloated gut or puffy under eyes. The potassium in bananas reduces water retention in the body. For this effect, you can either consume them or rub the peel under your eyes.
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