Banana Peels Are Become The New Go-To Food For Vegan Mock Meats
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
With the vegan movement in full swing, there has been a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the U.S in the last three years alone. So it’s no wonder why people are trying to create mock meat recipes for people to eat to help people stay on a vegan lifestyle since buying mock meats at the grocery store can be expensive.
That is why the vegan community is always on the lookout for finding new ways of creating mock meats from everyday foods. In the past, cooks have used king oyster mushrooms and jackfruit to make recipes like pulled “pork” sandwiches or “bacon” to get a meaty texture they were once used to.
This new vegan trend is making people go bananas--well actually its making them use banana peels. Yes, that's right banana peels are now being used in the vegan community to make mock meat for meals and sides.
Though this trend may seem weird, it is just new to Western culture. Melissa from Cilantro and Citronella and The Stingy Vegan made a vegan pulled pork sandwich video that ended up going viral. Melissa learned in a vegan Facebook group “that vegans and vegetarians in Venezuela and Brazil have been doing it for years” and she had to make her own recipe and put a special twist on it.
A popular Brazilian dish that has been made in that country for years is casca louca, which translates to English as the “crazy banana peel” or “mad meat” recipe. Brazilian chefs discovered that there is fiber in the peel, has fewer calories than the fruit itself, and is edible! Once the recipe was perfected chefs started adding the dish to their menus and you can even find people making it at home too.
Since Spanish countries have been using banana peels for years this could be the start of something new here in the United States. Mark, better known as Sauce Stache on Youtube, has created his own recipe showing people how to make “bacon” out of banana peels. Since Mark is allergic to bananas he personally has not tried the food he created he had his girlfriend, Monica, try the banana peel bacon. Monica liked the crunch of the bacon but stated that it didn’t completely taste like what she was expecting “bacon” to be.
Mark commented that he “think(s) using banana peels is incredibly creative and shows a lot of ingenuity.” And it does make sense too that people are now using banana peels in recipes since we use the banana and the banana leaf, why wouldn't people use the banana peel?
MerryRose is a vegan college student who has heard of the banana peel trend that is growing in the vegan community. Though she has not tried a banana peel recipe herself she does “applaud vegans for getting creative! That being said, part of me is worried that people will see ‘oh vegans are cooking with banana peels’ and they'll think all vegan food is weird.”
Though some vegan food can be weird there are also plenty of non-vegan food out there that could be considered weird too. But does this banana peel trend go too far from what people will want to eat or are they going to judge it before they even try it?
Chef Craig Dryhurst, who is an Executive Chef of Four Seasons Resort Maui, has said that even though the Four Seasons Resort Maui does not currently use any banana peels in their recipes that they “have known about the banana peel craze. We may test a few recipes out and see if they work for our guests.”
Maybe the future of banana peel recipes is up to each individual chef and restaurant. Chef Craig Dryhurst continues by saying that “there is a use for it.” And who knows, with the push for businesses to become more environmentally friendly there could be a want for less food waste. This could be the moment where banana peels are about to make a huge splash in the culinary world and change dining as we know it.
With banana peels being used in recipes now it could be up to each person or chef to keep exploring how to incorporate this ingredient into dishes to get the most flavors out of it. This could even be a secret ingredient for companies to use in the mock meat industry to be able to create more affordable items.
The plant-based meat sales are already at an all-time high with $670 million in sales in the last 12 months according to a study by the Plant-Based Food Association. Currently, many vegan manufactures are using beans, soy, and now even jackfruit to create delicious mock meats that people can go and buy at supermarkets.
It has been reported several times that once a mock meat product hits the shelves of consumers, the items are being constantly sold out again and again. Banana peels could be the answer these companies need to be able to produce fast, and cost-efficient products that the customers are demanding.
Since the banana peel trend is making its way through the United States, maybe restaurants and companies will start using it to create mock meats in their recipes. It wouldn’t be the first time the U.S used inspiration from other countries to make something we use every day.
In the comments below let me know if you would try banana peels as mock meat!