Wednesday, 22 January 2014
10 things to do with a banana!
Bananas are the nation's favourite fruit - we eat over 5 billion of them in the UK each year - but here are 10 more things (other than eating them in the conventional way) that they are also great for.
Oi filthmonger, not that!
Banana skins are excellent at polishing leather shoes. Simply rub the inside of the skin over your shoes then buff up with a soft cloth.
2. Ripen other fruit
Although scientists may still be arguing about it, there's no doubt to me that placing a bunch of bananas in a bowl with other fruits will cause them to ripen faster. the ethylene they produce will cause other fruit in it's vicinity to ripen quicker, so you can use it to your advantage if you have under-ripe fruit.
3. Low-fat healthy ice cream
Simply peel and freeze a banana then whizz up in a blender for a delicious, creamy 'ice cream' without the need for any added milk, sugar or in fact anything. This is the best one-ingredient-recipe I know. Try it, you'll be amazed at how good it tastes.
4. Face mask
Bananas are great for dry, itchy skin, acne, ageing skin - in fact any skin. For an all natural treat for your fizzog, mash up one banana, smooth onto your face and neck and leave for 15 mins. Rinse off with water and pat dry.
5. Clean houseplants
Don't waste your time pushing dust around with a duster on your cheese plant. Houseplants will love you if you rub the inside of a banana peel over them, giving them a good clean and leaving them with a silky shine.
6. Polish your silver
Save buying expensive silver polish for your family heirlooms and simply blend some banana skins with a little water into a paste. Work onto your silverwear, rub gently with a soft cloth, rinse and dry.
7. Great for your garden
The skins repel aphids so bury a few around your plants to keep them bug free. As an added bonus, your roses will feast on the potassium and reward you with healthy flowers.
8. Help you quit smoking
Vitamins B6 and B12 along with magnesium and Potassium in bananas help the body overcome nicotine addiction, so next time you're reaching for a fag, have a banana instead.
9. Insect bites
Relieve itchy bites and swelling caused by insect bites reduced by rubbing the inside of a banana skin on the affected area. (health warning - I'm not a doctor, but I hear this is supposed to help. Try this one at your own risk!)
Fairtrade Fortnight starts on 24th February, and the world's banana producers need your help.
In the last 10 years, the UK supermarkets have almost halved the shelf price of loose bananas, Meanwhile, the cost of producing them has doubled, trapping many of the farmers who grow them in a cycle of poverty.
Does that sound fair to you?
Fairtrade provides a vital safety net for banana farmers and workers, by paying a minimum price that aims to cover the costs of sustainable production, and an additional premium that farmers can use to invest in community projects or to improve their business. This empowers producers to take control of their lives and provide their families with the basics such as education and healthcare.
For more information, check out the Fairtrade Fortnight website.