Updated: Aug 16, 2019
I know this sounds like I have finally lost the plot in terms of food experimentation, but I have read a few articles and seen a couple of recipes that have incorporated banana peel into food recipes and thought I might jump on the bandwagon!
Why? Good question, and one that was asked at work when I asked people to save their banana skins at lunchtime! I had been working on a seitan based burger recipe for a while and had the flavour nailed, I was just struggling to get the texture right. Jackfruit is great! It features in my Ribless Ribs recipe, but it is flavourless, pretty much lacking in any nutritional value apart from fibre and is #1.20 a tin - not a ridiculous amount in the greater scheme of things, but if I can make food cheaper and healthier, I will.
These burgers are juicy, meaty and full of flavour, and I promise you, do not remotely taste of banana!
So banana peels....I found this great little article here, which explains the health benefits of eating banana peels, so for a commodity that would normally be destined for the bin, it gets my vote! B12, iron, magnesium, potassium, fibre, reduces cholesterol and aids sleep....bring it on!
The skins are easy enough to come by, they keep in the fridge for a couple of days whilst you save them up, or you could batch peel them as I do, then freeze the bananas ready for smoothies...winner winner.
This recipe makes 4 decent sized burgers. They freeze really well if you put them on a baking tray, then freeze. Once frozen you can bag them up separately and defrost before frying.
I don't add any extra salt to this recipe as there is plenty in the soy sauce and the marmite already - please don't fear the marmite, you can't pick it out as a flavour, it just gives a beefy taste to the burger. The gravy browning is optional, but definitely gives a better colour to your finished burger.
As always, my lazy self uses the breadmaker to knead the dough. You could do it the good old fashioned way by hand, or use the dough hook on your food processor, but it is an important stage which ever method you use.
The burgers can be placed directly into the steamer, they don't need wrapping, I put 2 burgers in each tier of a 2 tiered steamer and switch them round halfway through cooking.
Finally - have faith! I know this sounds like a ludicrous concept, but stick with it, this WILL work! Right up until my first bite of the very first burger I thought I was almost certainly wasting my time, but the end result was delightful!
6 banana peels, ideally mid ripeness, with the woody ends trimmed
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp gravy browning
2 tbsp tomato puree
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
11/2 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp liquid smoke
50ml soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
Using a spoon, gently scrape the soft white remnants from the inside of each of the skins, then wash well
Drag a fork the full length of the skins to form thin strands, then finely chop, or you can gently pulse in a food processor, taking care not to pulverise!
Squeeze as much of the moisture out as you can and then add to a pan
Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the pan apart from the gluten, bring to the boil, cover, then leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool until the mixture is barely tepid
Mix in the gluten, and knead for 8 minutes using your preferred method (see notes above)
Split the mix into 4 equal pieces and form into 4 patties. Place the patties directly into the steamer (see notes above) and cook for 50 minutes. Remove the tiers from the steamer, and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before removing the burgers
Remove from the steamer. This is the point to freeze or refrigerate your burgers if you aren't eating straight away
Put some vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry your burgers until brown and crispy for 2-3 minutes each side. Serve and enjoy!