Internet food trends are often a hit or miss. What may look delicious on Instagram may not pan out in your own kitchen. But social media may introduce you to wonderful recipes and food tips that have become part of your regular routine. Yes, they may seem ridiculous with outlandish ingredients, but once you try it, it’s a real winner. But still, some trending recipes are just too bizarre. And the Internet is trying to decide into which category falls vegan bacon made from banana peels.
Yes, you heard that right—banana peels. But don’t dismiss the notion just yet. Banana peels are edible, and they could appear in Indian curries and a South Indian stir-fry called thoran. There are even many banana bread recipes that incorporate the fruit and the peel. However, most people just toss them into the trash without even thinking about vegan bacon.
It’s no surprise that this is the next biggest internet food trend. It’s a novelty, looks good, full of health benefits, and appeals to vegan and zero-waste groups. Oh, and it’s bacon, of course. Although the origins of vegan banana peel bacon are unclear, the most popular and cited version comes from personal chef and food blogger Charles Hunter III.
“This recipe is for you!”
According to Hunter, his inspiration for the recipe came from vegan social media star Tabitha Brown. In a video (see below), she attempted to make vegan banana peel bacon but she didn’t like how they came out. “It’s not for me. Not on my birthday,” she said.
“I took that as a challenge,” said Hunter. “One of my favorite things is to get people to like vegetables they don’t think they like.”Charles Hunter III – The Washington Post
His version differs from many since he marinates the banana peels in a bacon-flavored mixture. Brown’s version, and many others, only soaked them briefly. However, Hunter insists that marinating for a few hours is vital to infuse them with delicious bacon flavor. Once he was pleased with his version, he posted it on his blog, the Salted Table.
However, he begins his post with a disclaimer. “First things first, I don’t really care about any negative opinions you may have about this recipe. It is not for everyone, and I’m fully aware of that. But if by chance you live a no-waste lifestyle, or you are a vegan or vegetarian who misses the crunchy smoky goodness of a once known porky strip. This recipe is for you!”
While the peels are edible, he adds that people should ensure to scrub the banana peels very well before beginning the recipe.
“This is a great weekend project, and something fun to do with the kids,” he concludes. “You could even refrigerate the peels for up to two days before tackling this.”Charles Hunter III – The Salted Table
Vegan Banana Peel Bacon Recipe
Recipe by Charles Hunter III on The Salted Table
- 2 banana peels, cut into 4 strips
- 1/2–3/4 tablespoon avocado oil
For the marinade:
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Take the banana peels and scrape the pulp from the skin. Discard the pulp. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl or dish, and blend until combined.
- Add the peels in a flat layer ensuring the marinade evenly coats them. Let this rest in the fridge for 2–4 hours.
- Place a little avocado oil in a skillet and add the peels with half an inch between them (do not overcrowd the pan). Additionally, do not add any excess marinade in the skillet. Also, don’t rub the marinade off of the peels.
- Over medium-low heat, allow the peels to sizzle and sputter for a couple of minutes, then flip them. Do this 2–3 times until the sugars look caramelized, and the peels darken and become pruny. (The appearance could vary depending on the bananas you use.)
- After about 12 minutes, remove the peels, and let them cool on a wire rack. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container. They stay good for about 48 hours.
- If banana peels aren’t for you, you could try this recipe with carrots or eggplant to other versions of vegan bacon.
- Hunter used low sodium soy sauce “to cut down on some of the salt content”. You could do the same if that is a concern for you.
- Also, feel free to add more spice to the marinade for an extra kick. So add a couple of dashes of cayenne, some crushed red pepper flakes, or some chili paste into the marinade mixture if you so desire.
- “The Internet Is Going Crazy Over Faux Bacon Made Out of Banana Peels.” Real Simple. Betty Gold. March 22, 2021
- “Is the viral banana-peel ‘bacon’ worth the hype? We made it, and we’re not convinced.” The Washington Post. Emily Heil. June 7, 2021
- “Banana Peel Bacon.” The Salted Table. Charles Hunter III