Banana Peels Make Sugar Cookies Healthier
WASHINGTON, DC (ANI) – In a recent study published in the journal ACS Food Science and Technology, researchers discovered that incorporating banana peel flour into the dough for sugar cookies enhances their nutritional value. Taste tests revealed that cookies enriched with banana peel flour were more satisfying than those made solely with wheat flour. As people embrace plant-based diets and seek innovative ways to utilize all parts of fruits and vegetables, banana peels are no longer discarded but instead used creatively in culinary applications. They can be ground into fiber-rich flour containing magnesium, potassium, and antioxidant compounds.
Although banana peels are fibrous and unappealing to consume raw, they can be transformed into a fine powder suitable for baking. By substituting small amounts of wheat flour with banana peel flour in bread, cakes, and now sugar cookies, the resulting baked goods exhibited more palatable flavors and increased nutritional value.
The researchers, led by Faizan Ahmad, collected ripe, undamaged banana peels, blanched, dried, and ground them to create banana peel flour. They prepared five batches of sugar cookies by combining different proportions of the flour with butter, skim milk powder, powdered sugar, vegetable oil, and wheat flour. The cookies were then baked.
The inclusion of higher amounts of banana peel flour (ranging from 0% to 15%) led to browner and harder cookies, likely due to the increased fiber content in the peels. Furthermore, cookies made with banana peel flour demonstrated improved health benefits, as they contained more phenols and exhibited better antioxidant properties. These cookies also had lower levels of fat and protein.
A trained panel evaluated the cookies and found that the batch with the smallest substitution of banana peel flour (7.5%) had the best texture and highest overall acceptability. Even after three months of storage at room temperature, this batch maintained its taste, similar to the versions made solely with wheat flour. The researchers suggest that incorporating banana peel flour into cookies can enhance their nutritional value without adversely affecting consumer acceptance.