Reuse the Banana Peels [Infographic]

Reuse the Banana Peels [Infographic] | ecogreenloveby Sustainable America

Have you ever thought about where all those discarded peels end up? Yep, with the rest of the trash at the landfill, where they produce methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide, as they rot. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, uneaten food accounts for 20% of methane emissions, which are a major contributor to global warming.

As it turns out, those peels don’t have to be trash. Eating the cooked peel along with the banana’s flesh is common in many Asian recipes, and as we peeled away the information, we found lots of other fantastic ways to use banana peels, from fertilizing tomato plants to making banana vinegar, as well as tips on helping bananas stay fresh and using overripe bananas. Here’s a handy infographic with all the ideas. Help us protect the peels!

Know the Benefits of Bananas and get tips to keep bananas fresh for longer

eat good, feel good | ecogreenlove

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Things you should Not Refrigerate

The refrigerator is a great invention that has hugely increased the time we can keep out food without it spoiling.  However, whilst it is an essential tool to store food safely for some foods, others do not respond well to lower temperatures and can lose much of their flavor and even spoil quicker when stored in the fridge.

Continue reading “Things you should Not Refrigerate”

When Are Fruits In Season? [Infographic]

Originally published on GreekBodyCodex

Ever wondered why sometimes your fruit tastes fresh and full of flavor where other times it tastes dull and old? Some fruits are seasonal and either don’t grow at all during certain months or don’t do well during certain times of the year. This infographic will tell you when all of your favorite fruits are in season and when they’ll taste the absolute best.

Benefits of Bananas

1Mondays

  1. Bananas help overcome depression due high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter
  2. Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar
  3. Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and night time leg cramps by eating a banana
  4. Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana
  5. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation
  6. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6
  7. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas
  8. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure, and protect against heart attack and stroke

Eating bananas aids digestion

  1. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body
  2. Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
  3. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
  4. Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.
  5. Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD
  6. Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids

Natural cures from a simple banana

  1. Eating bananas helps prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption
  2. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
  3. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing free radicals and protection from chronic disease
  4. Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness
  5. Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation
  6. Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana
  7. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day
  8. The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan, helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  9. Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal
  10. Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place
  11. Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine

Oh, and remember — bananas make great snacks and delicious smoothies.

Source: Food Matters

Keep Bananas Fresh Longer (slices, too!)

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For many people, purchasing a bunch of bananas is the ultimate act of hope in the face of experience.I’m no different. My thinking generally goes, “If I buy these now, I’m set on breakfast for a week.” Then Thursday comes around, my ‘nanners have turned brown, and suddenly Friday’s looking like a toaster waffle sort of day. Sometimes I consider baking banana bread and pretending I meant to let them get overripe, but mostly I throw them away and feel bad.

There is another way. A better way. A way that requires nothing more than what is already likely to be in your kitchen.

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Optional science!

We’re looking specifically at enzymatic browning and the effect of ethylene production here. If you want to dig much deeper, there’s a ton of academic research on bananas available online.

“Relationship between browning and the activities of polyphenol oxidase and phenylalanine ammonia lyase in banana peel during low temperature storage” anyone?
(Postharvest Biology and Technology – PDF link)

When fruits or vegetables are peeled or cut, enzymes contained in the plant cells are released. In the presence of oxygen from the air, the enzyme phenolase catalyses one step in the biochemical conversion of plant phenolic compounds to form brown pigments known as melanins. This reaction, called enzymatic browning, occurs readily at warm temperatures when the pH is between 5.0 and 7.0.
(Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology – PDF link.)

Ethylene promotes maturation and abscission of fruits. This has been known since early last century. Since 1934, it is known that plants themselves can produce ethylene. Many climacteric fruits such as apple, banana and tomato show a strong increase in ethylene levels at the late green or breaker stage. As a consequence of high ethylene chlorophyll is degraded and other pigments are being produced. This results in the typical color of the mature fruit peel. Activity of many maturation-related enzymes increases. Starch, organic acids and in some cases, such as avocado lipids, are mobilized and converted to sugars. Pectins, the main component of the middle lamella are degraded. The fruit softens. These metabolic activities are accompanied by a high respiration rate and consequently by high oxygen consumption. Ethylene levels are especially high in the separating tissues resulting in abscission of the fruit.
(Margret Sauter, University of Hamburg.)

Step 1: Preserve the Bunch: Wrap Stems with Plastic Wrap

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To keep a bunch of bananas fresh for longer, wrap the stems in some plastic wrap. Re-cover the bananas with the wrap after removing one.This method prevents ethylene gas, produced naturally in the ripening process, from reaching other parts of the fruit and prematurely ripening it. This technique is hit or miss, as the coverage from the plastic wrap is unlikely to fully prevent contact with the ethylene gas. It’s certainly better than nothing, though.

This explains a few common tricks about using bananas to ripen other fruits like avocados. Or quick-ripening bananas by storing them all in a bag together. Ethylene is actually used in the banana production facilities to induce ripening at just the right time to ensure that you buy a bunch of yellow (or greenish yellow) from your local grocer.

(The next step is my preferred method, and the one that the science appears to back up with the most evidence.)

Step 2: Separate, then Wrap the Stems

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Sure, wrapping the whole stem section works, but why keep the bananas together? Since most bananas on a bunch ripen at slightly different rates, your prematurely ripe bananas are going to put off more ethylene gas which will only serve to make ALL the bananas ripen that much faster.Divide and conquer! Separate the ripe fruit from the slightly-less-ripe, wrap their stems in plastic, then enjoy when you’re ready.

This should do a couple of things:

  1. prevent ethylene gas from initiating the ripening process on under-ripe bananas
  2. fully cover the stem to really forestall the off-gassing
  3. make your bananas more convenient to grab and enjoy on the go

And if you’re bothered by the stem wrapper, try opening your bananas from the opposite end like a monkey. You’ll get fewer stringy bits and have a convenient handle to hold onto while you eat. Also, no awkwardness for that final bite.

Step 3: Keep Banana Slices Fresh

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To prevent your banana slices from browning, you can use the same trick you’ve seen for apples: acid!Just toss your banana slices in some lemon juice to inhibit enzymatic browning. Full coverage, particularly on the cut sides, will help prevent the slices from turning brown. In addition to lemon juice, vinegar will also work. So would sulfuric acid, for that matter, but you probably don’t want to eat it afterwards.

The acid disrupts the enzymatic breakdown process and prevents your sweet, sweet banana slices from turning into mushy little brown hockey pucks.

A dab’ll do ya, so keep your acid in the teaspoon range. Or you’ll just have sour bananas.

Original article on Instructables here