If you have been following my posts for a while, you probably know that I really do not like food waste. And yet people do waste a lot of food. I can’t say I’m completely free from this sin. Still, whenever possible, I always try to use up everything I have and plan my weekly menu around the things I already have in the fridge before ordering anything new. One thing that people usually don’t consider food waste is everything we remove from produce before eating - vegetable peels, the outer leaves of cauliflower, carrot tops, banana peels etc. It all makes up a lot of food that we feel is completely normal just throw away. However, this is food waste too!
For all kinds of veggie scraps (as long as they are not dirty), a good recommendation is to keep a separate box of them in the freezer and if the container is full, make vegetable broth. It saves you the money you would otherwise spend on buying the broth, and you will get all the goodness out of the veggies. Out of carrot tops, you can make pesto (I will share the recipe with you soon), and you can even use banana peels in some recipes!
Don’t get me wrong – I usually also throw away the banana peels. As I typically eat at least one banana every day, it would not be possible to use up all of the banana peels, but even using a few of them now and then helps to reduce waste. And, nobody would guess that you also used up the peels in addition to the bananas. Besides reducing food waste, the banana peels are also rich in many nutrients as potassium and fiber. If you decide to give using banana peels in a recipe a try, choose organic bananas.
There is enough sweetness in this recipe from ripe bananas and a little honey in the topping for my liking. In case you love sugar, you probably want to add a little bit in the batter too.
Banana Peel Cupcakes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
For the cupcakes:
2 organic bananas, with the peel
2 oz soft dates
5 oz Greek yogurt
3 eggs (always free-range)
5 oz whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
For the topping:
5 oz cream cheese
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla paste
Wash the bananas thoroughly, cut off the tough ends. Peel the bananas, and simmer the peels in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain and repeat the process once more.
Preheat the oven to 360F and butter your muffin tins. I always use the mini muffin tin with 24 holes. If you have a tin for larger muffins, this is okay too, but the baking time will be a little longer.
Once you have simmered your banana peels for 2 x 10 minutes, add them to the food processor with the dates, bananas, yogurt, and eggs. Whizz until fully incorporated.
In a different bowl, mix the flour with baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix briefly until the batter just comes together.
Divide the batter between the muffin tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes (a little longer if you use larger tins).
Remove from the tins and let them cool before piping on the topping.
For the topping, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, honey, and vanilla paste. Have a taste and add a little more honey if you feel like it.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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