After publishing my vegan banana peel pulled pork recipe, I got a handful of comments on social media asking if I’ve seen and/or could make banana peel BACON. This recipe took me SEVERAL trial and error to “perfect.” But, I am thrilled to say that the final vegan bacon is savory, salty, smokey, slightly sweet, crispy, crunchy, and chewy, AKA extremely realistic to pork bacon. This vegan banana peel bacon recipe is also easy and relatively quick to make!
Are banana peels safe to eat!?
YES! Banana peels are safe to eat unless you have an allergy to them! A banana allergy is also often connected to a latex allergy, so if you have a latex allergy, you should steer clear of bananas in general. Bananas are not only edible, but they are also very rich in several nutrients, like potassium, fiber, polyunsaturated fats, and essential amino acids. I won’t bore you with a spiel about how each nutrient is beneficial, but feel free to do some of your own research to learn more!
Does this plant based bacon ACTUALLY taste like real bacon, though???
It tastes VERY similar to real bacon! My vegan banana peel bacon is the most realistic-tasting one that I’ve ever had in comparison to pork bacon. My non-vegan, picky AF mom even agrees! I had her try it, and she enjoyed it! She rated it an 8/10 (0 being the worst and 10 being the best!) compared to pork bacon. She said the only reason she didn’t rank it higher was that she knew they are made from banana peels and that fact weirded her out slightly.
This bacon substitute is EASY to make!
First, I clean organic bananas with a fruit and veggie wash. Then I scrape out the inside white part of the peels to get rid of some bitterness and texture. I then shallow fry the peels to combat any leftover bitter flavor and make the peels super crispy.
After I fry the banana peels, I quickly coat them in a marinade. This marinade consists of soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, miso paste, brown sugar, and a few seasonings and spices. The soy sauce and miso paste add saltiness and a meaty umami flavor, while the liquid smoke, along with smoked paprika, adds a smokey flavor. The apple cider vinegar helps cancel out any leftover bitter taste, along with the maple syrup and brown sugar, which also add a lovely sweetness.
I then bake the fried and marinade coated banana peels for a few minutes. Doing this helps them absorb the marinade and get crispy again. Once they’ve completely cooled, they are slightly crunchy, crisp, and chewy! The flavor is perfectly savory, salty, smokey, and sweet!
If you think this banana peel bacon looks cool, check out my BBQ Banana Peel Pulled Pork Sandwich! The peels are cooked entirely differently, giving them a completely new texture and flavor! But, just like with the banana peel bacon, you cannot tell that the pulled pork is made from banana peels!
If you make my vegan banana peel bacon recipe, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
How to Make the Best Vegan Banana Peel Bacon
- 2 medium organic bananas (These must be ripe with lots of brown spots!!!)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup, 100% pure
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp mellow white miso paste
- 1 1/2 tsp organic brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- Neutral cooking oil pan spray
- Wash the bananas very well. Cut both of the tips off of the bananas and then remove the bananas and save them for another recipe.
- Using a spoon, scrape out all of the inside white part of the banana peels and throw it away.
- Cut each banana peel into 3 strips through the long way to give you 3 slices of bacon per banana. Set aside.
- In a very wide, shallow bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil and pan spray. Set aside.
- Line a large sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper and place a wire rack on top—grease the wire rack with cooking oil spray. You MUST do this to prevent the bacon from sticking to it later on. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a large, non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add in 3 to 4 slices of banana peel, yellow skin side down FIRST. Cook them for 1 1/2 minutes, then flip them over and cook them for another 1 to 1 1/2 more minutes. If their outer edges look like they're getting dark, remove them from the pan immediately and place them on the prepared wire rack. Thinner, skinnier banana peel slices will cook and brown quicker than bigger slices. The goal here is to get them ultra crispy and medium-golden brown.
- Now, carefully and evenly coat both sides of each fried banana peel in the marinade. There should be NO marinade left over after coating each peel. Place the peels back on the greased wire rack.
- Place the sheet pan of prepared peels on the middle oven rack and bake them for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. The goal here is to bake the peels long enough for them to soak up all of the marinade and get them crispy again. Keep a very close eye on the peels to prevent them from burning, as this can happen quickly due to the sugars caramelizing.
- Allow the peels to cool entirely, then eat immediately for optimum crispy crunchiness.
- You can store the banana peel bacon in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator if desired. Once the peels are cold, they will no longer be crispy or crunchy, but they will still be firm.