Waste Not, Want Not: Banana Bacon

Seriously, when I first read about this, I would have sworn it was a joke. But since I grew up in West Virginia (we eat everything!), and I was so poor at one point that I was lucky to get a meal a day (hunger is a POWERFUL motivator!), I figured that I should at least give this a try.

You will probably laugh, but I read that not only is the fruit edible, but you can also eat the peels from…bananas (and/or plantains).

BANANAS, bananas, and plantains

I stumbled across several articles that all stated that banana peels were edible, if a bit stringy and astringent. I also read that you could fry them, and in doing so, they became a little more palatable…

So I took it where it should go, I added pork fat. And not just ANY pork fat, but bacon grease. And by frying banana skins in grease rendered from top-notch smoked bacon, you end up with a product that is fairly close to bacon, and definitely more so than “turkey bacon”. And for those that are playing along at home, its 100% Paleo, as far as I can tell. And from the way I look at it, the peels are the better part of the fruit since they contain less sugar.

Banana Bacon
It even looks like bacon…

The process is as simple as it sounds. Peel a banana. Fry it in bacon grease. I would recommend washing the banana before peeling, and definitely remove any stickers or sticker residue. And from what I’ve found after having made a couple batches of banana bacon, the darker peels seems to crisp up better.

And as to flavor, the bacon flavor really shines through. However, there is a subtle undertone of banana, and due to the caramelized sugar in the peels, you also get a bit of roasted marshmallow flavor. Yeah, I said that.

Is it bacon? Of course not. It is my opinion that meatless bacon can NEVER be bacon. In fact, you’ve got to try mighty hard to convince meat that you can make bacon out of anything other than a pig – all other options are simply a smoked, cured meat product resembling bacon. To me, to really be bacon, has to have that pork fat in in. (Though having said that, I’m eating buckboard bacon for breakfast made from beef. And happy to do so. Damned fine eats…but NOT bacon.)

So the next time you peel a banana, instead of composting it (you DO compost all your kitchen scraps, doncha?), think about frying it in some bacon grease as a joke.

But tell me you won’t do it again, once you taste it.

:)

Peace,
db

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9 comments:

  1. OK, I’m going to have to try this on my next BLT.
    Look up Kang Kong db. Looks like this will grow year round in yer parts.
    Plant it and walk away. If you have to much give it to the bunnies.

    1. Kang Kong is illegal to grow here without a USDA permit. It is really “too productive”- think water hyacinth.
      Try water celery instead – My variegated Flamingo has about taken over my backyard-it not only grows in muck but also in dry ground!

      1. Not that I didn’t believe you, but I did some searching, and according to this link:
        http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=IPAQ

        In Florida , it is considered to be a “Prohibited aquatic plant, Class 1″.

        According to this document:
        http://www.dep.state.fl.us/legal/Rules/aquatic/62c-52.pdf

        “No person shall possess any Class I prohibited aquatic plant listed in Rule 62C-52.011, F.A.C., without a permit issued by
        the department. No person shall possess any Class II prohibited aquatic plant listed in Rule 62C-52.011, F.A.C., without a permit
        issued by the department, or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, unless expressly exempted by Rule
        62C-52.010, F.A.C.”

        Grandmotherbear, thank you for the insight!!!

  2. O.K, I had to try it….a good excuse to buy and fry up some real bacon…had to get the bacon grease. I tried both the banana and its peel. I think I might have not had the grease hot enough or maybe I need to fry it longer. Anyway it wasn’t good…..will try again. How long did you cook yours and did it get crisp?

    1. It was pretty crispy when I considered it “done”. When it had cooled, it was no longer limp, and when bent, would break…

      I also used hickory smoked bacon, I don’t know if that makes a difference.

      And even if it doesn’t suit your tastes after a second try…at least now you have some bacon grease :)

  3. I came here from googling paleo cereal and decided to check out the rest of the site. You had me at banana bacon.

    Can you keep it for any length of time? I don’t have a lot of bacon fat handy right now, as I just started paleo, but I do have some bananas that need peeling. I don’t want to make bacon and banana bacon at the same time.

    Also, I love making my sweet potato fries a little black on the ends. It makes it taste marshmellowy to me. MMMM

    1. Its not a very close approximation of bacon…and more of a way to not waste anything…but it IS edible, and good enough that I’d do it again…

      So stock up on that bacon fat! SheesH!

      And yes, sweet potato fries (or sweet potato chips like we had tonight for dinner along with ribeyes and steamed broccoli) with a little burn on the edges DOES taste kind of marshmallow-ey!

      Stick around for my soon to be released no-muss, no fuss, world class pan seared steak…a better home-cooked steak that any $50 piece served at a restaurant… VERY Paleo too!

      db

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