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This Surprising Ingredient Makes Cookies Healthier, New Study Finds

Replace your white flour with this and your baked goods will be instantly healthier.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

The next time you eat a banana, you might want to save the peel and put it to good use instead of tossing it into the trash. In fact, you can incorporate the often discarded part of the fruit into your baking. While that might seem like a strange idea, it turns out that adding banana peels to your sugar cookies can make them both healthier and more satisfying.

In a study that was published by ACS Food Science & Technology, researchers turned banana peels into flour that they then added to cookie batter before it was baked. The resulting cookies made with banana peel flour were found to satisfy those who ate them more than cookies that were simply made with wheat flour. On top of that, the cookies were healthier than they would have been otherwise thanks to the fact that the banana peel flour offers fiber, magnesium, and potassium, as well as antioxidant compounds.

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"If I had a dehydrator, I'd be all over this and making some cookies to test this out myself," registered dietitian Amanda Sauceda, MS, RD, tells Eat This, Not That!. "Using banana peel flour could be a nice option for those who want to add a little extra nutrition to their cookies while still maintaining cookie quality."

banana peel

Sauceda also notes that "we often overlook the power peels of fruits and veggies have and bananas are no different." Noting that "banana peels have fiber and fiber helps keep you full, which is why this flour could be more satisfying," Sauceda says that "there is also a lot of potassium in the peels, which is important for heart health and nerve function."

Of course, "if you aren't into banana peel flour you can always save your banana peels to make homemade fertilizer because your tomato plants will love that potassium."

How to use banana peels in your baking

If you would like to try to make your own banana peel flour to use in your baking, Sauceda has one key tip, saying, "I would make sure to wash or clean the peels well (which is something that you normally wouldn't do for a banana)."

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However, Sauceda is also sure to note, "If you have a cookie recipe you love as-is, don't feel pressured to make it 'healthy' by adding banana peels. Sometimes you just want a cookie to be a cookie. If banana peel flour adds some nutrients you know you'd like in your diet or you enjoy the flavor or texture it brings to your cookie—that's what really matters."

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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