The Banana Peeling Hack That Rids You Of Those Annoying Strings

Bananas are truly an amazing fruit. First of all, they are so packed full of nutrients and antioxidants that there are proven health benefits to eating a banana every day. Plus, they are great for digestion and are even recommended as one of the foods to eat to help cure a stomach ache. However, if you eat a lot of bananas, you already know that the most annoying part of enjoying this delicious superfood is the weird strings that taste terrible and tend to cling to the fruit when peeling. Although these banana strings aren't harmful, they have a different texture from the rest of the banana and are a bit unpleasant. In fact, even monkeys appear to not like them and have been caught on video picking them off just like humans.

Luckily, there is a simple solution to peel a banana without dealing with those annoying stringy bits once and for all. Simply, peel it from the other side. That's right, apparently, we've all been peeling bananas upside down this whole time and for an easier and less stringy experience, start from the bottom.

How to peel a banana from the correct side

Peeling a banana from the bottom seems less intuitive because there isn't a stem to grab and twist to start the peeling process. However, it is actually quite easy. To start, take your first finger and thumb and squeeze the bottom of the banana at the end where the peel joins together. Once you squeeze the end of the banana, the peel will immediately split open. Then, all you have to do is grab the sides of the broken peel in each hand and pull it apart. And voilà! In a matter of seconds, you have a perfectly peeled banana.

This peeling method is not only easier but also has the benefit of removing the banana strings (technically called phloem bundles) from the fruit without having to waste time grabbing at the easily breakable strands afterward. However, before you toss out those dangling phloem strands, you should know that they are definitely edible and, like bananas, are also super good for you.

Should you actually keep those weird banana strings?

While it seems to be a worldwide and inter-species habit to get rid of the banana strings, you may want to reconsider tossing them in the trash. In fact, according to Nicholas D. Gillitt the Vice President of Nutrition Research at the Dole Nutrition Institute in an interview with HuffPost, phloem bundles are probably quite healthy and "likely contain more and varied types of fiber" when compared to the fruit part of the banana. Gillitt says this is because the job of the phloem is to transport different nutrients from the top of the fruit to the bottom and it therefore has a different structure than the rest of the fruit. 

However, if you (understandably) still don't plan on eating raw banana strings, a good way to use them is to blend them up into a smoothie or bake them into banana bread. Another option is to continue peeling them off the banana and then add them to a compost bin — banana peels are great to compost for garden soil as they provide a lot of nutrients that plants need. In fact, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of banana peels and their stringy attachments that are both good for you and for the environment.