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!

1.Shine shoes

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!)

10.Sleep aid 

Bananas not only contain large amounts of tryptophan (the amino-acid that is necessary for the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone) and serotonin. They also have very high carbohydrate content that that helps the brain to use tryptophan and serotonin to produce the sleep hormone. So, eating banana few hours before you go to bed will help you drift off to bye-byes.

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.


  1. oh that is inspired! What a wonderful post... 'giggling about the Oi filthmonger', not that! bit x

  2. I always buy fairtrade bananas.Baked bananas are our favourite ways to eat them at the mo'.

  3. may all be true but in my world the banana exists to go overripe in the fruit bowl, abandoned in favour of all other fruit, thence to become Banana Bread.

  4. Best blog title I've seen in a while :) oh, and your hints were really good too!

  5. What a brilliant post....Who'd of thought you could do all that with a simple banana!

  6. I have to pin this purely because of the title LOL. I had no idea they were so versatile but, honestly, I can't stand the smell of bananas.

  7. NO WAY!!! I didn't know of these uses AT ALL!!! Brilliant.

  8. I've heard of a few of the banana uses can't beat scoffing them with lashings of custard though yum yum

  9. Ah I often eat a banana before bed but I didn't know they were a cleaning tool!

  10. Right, am definitely going to try the face mask and ice cream ideas. Or I could just lick my face when it's on there?

  11. Filthmonger! I don't know what you mean :-)

  12. I must start eating a banana before bed and pop one in the freezer to make that ice cream

  13. I love your list how resourceful Liz!

  14. Apart form the very important message in your post I'm taking away these things today
    1. I can clean my shoes with banana skin
    2. I can clean my house plants with banana skin and they will love me even more for it.
    3. I can kill aphids with them - this is good as I had terrible aphid infections on my apple trees last year
    Thank you as always

  15. Brilliant post... I honestly had no idea about a lot of the points! :) x

  16. Really learned a lot there, once I got past the filthmonger thing... ;) X