20 Clever Uses for Bananas (Besides Eating Them)
Bananas aren’t just the world’s most portable snack. You can also use bananas in your beauty routine, to grow houseplants, polish silver, and more.
Ripen an avocado
Are you an avocado enthusiast? Though you could eat all the avocado toast and guacamole in the world, sometimes avocados just don’t ripen fast enough. In order to satisfy your avocado craving for all your cooking needs, use a banana to help speed up the ripening process. Bananas release ethylene, which triggers ripening in avocados. Simply place a banana in a brown paper bag and roll it up with an avocado. Check it daily until it is ripe enough. Don’t have a banana peel around? Try this other trick to ripen an avocado fast.
Slough off dry skin
In order to keep your skin feeling smooth and radiant, create a body scrub with a banana. There are many different variations depending on the kind of scrub you need. For a gentle scrub, you can mix a mashed banana with brown sugar. For a medium scrub try mixing in oatmeal or sea salt. If you really need a heavy-duty scrub, grind apricot pits at home and add it to your banana to really dig deep into your pores.
Add to compost pile
With their high content of potassium and phosphorus, whole bananas and peels are welcome additions to any compost pile, particularly in so-called compost tea recipes. The fruit breaks down especially fast in hot temperatures. But don’t forget to remove any glued-on tags from the peels, and be sure to bury bananas deep within your pile (otherwise they may simply turn out to be a meal for a four-legged visitor). Try these simple steps to get started with composting.
Whiten teeth on the cheap
Everyone wants pearly whites, but do you really want to spend all that money on treatments? Banana peels contain citric acid, which will help lighten surface stains on your teeth. For natural teeth whitening at home, after giving your teeth a good brush, simply rub the banana peel on the surface for about two minutes every day. Your smile will not only be whiter, but brighter!
Get rid of splinters
Splinters can be a real pain, literally and figuratively. The natural enzymes in banana peels can help loosen splinters that just don’t want to seem to get out of your skin. Press the inside of the peel on your skin for up to 30 minutes and it will help move the splinter to the surface for an easy plucking. Eating bananas for the health benefits? Try kicking it up a notch with one of the foods even higher in potassium than bananas.
Make banana “ice-cream”
If you don’t have the time or calories to spare, try making ice cream out of bananas. All you have to do is freeze your peeled bananas and blend it in a food processor or blender. The result is an ice cream-like consistency and a satisfied craving. Try adding some peanut butter or shredded coconut as toppings. Here are some other weird ice cream flavors you can try.
Create a dog treat
Dogs love human food, but most of the time our cherished pooches cannot digest what we eat. Bananas, however, are foods that our pets can enjoy. They are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Mash up a banana and add it to your dog’s favorite food so they can chow down. Always avoid these highly toxic foods for dogs.
Restore dry hair
Bananas are great ways to combat that stringy and brittle feeling. To make a banana hair mask, puree one to three really ripe bananas (depending on your hair length) and then massage it throughout your scalp to your ends. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse it in the shower followed by a shampoo. Try these other extraordinary uses for household staples too.
Bananas are an alkaline fruit, which means they may help neutralize acid in the stomach. You can eat bananas regularly as a home remedy for heartburn and GERD. Add a banana to your breakfast to help coat the stomach for the rest of the day.
Prevent a scratched CD from skipping
Is your favorite DVD or CD playlist for the car scratched? Gently rub the scratched part of the disc with the inside of the peel in a circular motion. Wipe off any residue with a soft cloth and then shine it with some glass cleaner. The wax in the banana peel may help fill in the scratches so you can enjoy your treasured disc once more. Be sure you eat at least some of the bananas you’re buying. If you don’t eat a banana every day, this will convince you to start.