A recent study found that incorporating banana peel flour into sugar cookie batter makes the treats healthier.
Cookies made with banana peel flour were more satisfying in taste tests than those made with wheat flour alone. The study’s findings were published in the journal ACS Food Science and Technology.
Banana peels are no longer always destined for the trash or compost. They’re making their way onto people’s plates, taking the place of pork in ‘pulled peel’ sandwiches and being fried into ‘bacon.’
People are becoming more interested in plant-based diets and reducing food waste, and they want creative ways to use every part of their vegetables and fruits. Chefs and home cooks have been experimenting with banana peels, but these skins are extremely fibrous, making them unpleasant to eat raw.
Peels can be ground into flour
Scientists recently discovered that the peels can be ground into a flour that is high in fibre, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidant compounds. When small amounts of wheat flour in breads and cakes were replaced with the new flour, the baked goods became more nutritious and tasted better.
However, similar experiments with cookies have not been widely conducted. Faizan Ahmad and colleagues wanted to test the nutritional quality, shelf stability, and consumer acceptance of sugar cookies by replacing some of the wheat flour with banana peel flour.
The researchers peeled ripe, undamaged bananas, blanched, dried, and ground the skins into a fine powder to make banana peel flour. They baked five batches of sugar cookies using different amounts of the powder, butter, skimmed milk powder, powdered sugar, vegetable oil, and wheat flour.
Increasing the amount of banana peel flour in the batches from 0% to 15% produced browner and harder products, which could be attributed to the peels’ increased fibre content. Furthermore, cookies made with banana peel flour were healthier, with less fat and protein, more phenols, and better antioxidant activity than conventional cookies.