How To Make Banana Tea

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Have you ever wondered how to make banana tea? No? Well, maybe you should start because this is one delicious recipe.

Creating banana tea is easy to do and very versatile. You can use any size of a banana or even add multiple bananas depending on how much sweetness you want to the final product. The technique I describe below results in tea that will be anywhere from sweet to not-sweet at all.

How To Make Banana Tea For Restful Sleep

banana-tea-for-sleep

I thought I had bananas all figured out. They’re delicious in banana walnut muffins, stirred into yogurt with a drizzle of honey, or dried for an on-the-go snack. But banana tea for sleep? Is that really a thing?

Yep, because bananas are so much weirder than they seem. First of all, they don’t even grow on trees. Banana plants are actually tree-like perennial herbs, and the banana itself is considered a berry. (1)

Also, the peels we’ve been throwing away all these years? Totally valuable. In fact, from now on I might start throwing away the bananas and keeping the peels for tea. (Not really, but that’s how crazy throwing away the peels sounds to me now.)

So, what’s special about banana peel tea?

When taken about an hour before bed, banana tea can help calm the nervous system and help the body prepare for deep sleep.

That’s because banana peels contain potassium and magnesium, which are both natural muscle relaxants. (2) Magnesium is often called “magic mineral” because it also helps with hormone balance, stress support, detoxification and more. (Read more about the benefits of magnesium here.)

They also contain “the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin,” aka the sleep hormone. (2) Although I don’t recommend regularly supplementing with melatonin directly, I think it’s a great idea to supply the body with all the materials it needs to make its own.

Oh, and one more thing – bananas are rich in antioxidants like lutein, which helps to protect the eyes and skin from ultra-violet light. Some antioxidants like vitamin C are heat sensitive and break down when exposed to boiling water. Fortunately, lutein is heat stable and will still be present in the banana tea after the peels are boiled.

2 Ways To Make Banana Tea

Banana tea can be made two ways:

  • Using the whole banana
  • Just using the banana peel

Whole banana tea is naturally sweetened, which is nice. However, it does contain sugar that can raise blood glucose levels. I’m not against sugar (hello paleo chocolate chip cookies!), but I do avoid consuming sugar just before bed as part of my intermittent fasting routine. If you’re not familiar with it, intermittent fasting has been shown to be helpful for activating cellular cleanup mode (autophaghy), longevity, immune function, metabolism and more. For that reason I personally use banana peel tea over whole banana tea.

My recipe below uses banana peels, either fresh or dried. However, if you want to try using the entire banana here’s what to do:

Cut off the ends of the banana and slice it into a few pieces. Place it in a small pot and cover it with water. Boil for 10 minutes, then strain the banana out with a colander and drink the tea.

Regardless of which method you try, I recommend opting for organic bananas because conventionally grown bananas are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Benefits of Using Fresh vs. Dried Banana Peels

I am not aware of any difference in nutritional composition between fresh and dried banana peels, so it really comes down to what’s most convenient for you. You can use a fresh banana peel and save the actual banana for the next day to make chocolate chip banana pancakes or another dessert.

Another option is to save banana peels when you’re making something (these chocolate banana bites maybe) by popping them in the freezer until you need them.

Personally, I like to dry the peels and then use them as a loose tea. It’s super easy as you’ll see in the next section.

How To Dry Banana Peels For Making Tea

If you have a dehydrator, just chop them up, place them in single layer, and dry at 155F for 6-8 hours. One banana peel usually makes about 3 tablespoons of dried peel, which is what I use to make a single cup of tea.

Want to use your oven instead? Preheat the oven to the lowest setting possible, which is usually around 170F. Chop up the peels and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Dry them for 2-3 hours, then flip them over and place them back in the oven until they’re dried through. It should be around 2-3 hours for the second drying session, which makes the total drying time around 4-6 hours.

May contain antioxidants

Bananas are naturally high in water-soluble antioxidants, including dopamine and gallocatechin, which may help fight free radicals and prevent chronic conditions like heart disease

However, the peel has much higher antioxidant levels than the flesh. Therefore, adding the peel to your tea during brewing may increase your intake of these molecules

Though bananas are naturally high in vitamin C, banana tea is not a good source of this antioxidant, as it’s heat sensitive and will likely be destroyed during brewing

May prevent bloating

Banana tea is high in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte that’s important for regulating fluid balance, healthy blood pressure, and muscle contractions

Potassium works closely with sodium, another mineral and electrolyte, to regulate fluid balance in your cells. Yet, when they contain more sodium than potassium, you may experience water retention and bloating

The potassium and water content of banana tea can help counterbalance bloating due to a high-salt diet by signaling your kidneys to excrete more sodium into your urine

May promote sleep

Banana tea has become a popular sleep aid.

It contains three main nutrients that many people claim to help improve sleep — potassium, magnesium, and tryptophan

Bananas are a good source of magnesium and potassium, two minerals that have been linked to better sleep quality and length due to their muscle-relaxing properties

They also provide some tryptophan, an amino acid that’s important for producing the sleep-inducing hormones serotonin and melatonin

Nevertheless, no studies have examined the effectiveness of banana tea as a sleep aid.

Furthermore, it’s unknown to what extent these nutrients leach into the tea during brewing, making it hard to know whether drinking the tea would have the same potential sleep-promoting effects as eating a banana.

Low in sugar

Banana tea may be a good replacement for sugary beverages.

Only a small amount of the sugar in bananas is released into the water during brewing, acting as a natural sweetener for your tea.

Most people consume too much sugar from beverages, which is associated with an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes

Therefore, opting for drinks with no added sugars, such as banana tea, can be an easy way to decrease your sugar intake.

May support heart health

The nutrients in banana tea may support heart health.

Banana tea contains potassium and magnesium, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke

In fact, a study in 90,137 women found that a potassium-rich diet was linked to a 27% decreased risk of stroke

Moreover, a diet rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant in banana tea, may reduce your risk of heart disease. Still, no studies have directly reviewed the antioxidants in banana tea or their effects on heart disease risk

SUMMARY

Banana tea is high in nutrients and antioxidants that may lower your risk of heart disease and prevent bloating. Also, it’s naturally low in sugar and a great replacement for sugary beverages.

How to make banana tea

Banana tea is very easy to prepare and can be made with or without the peel.

Banana tea without the peel

  1. Fill a pot with 2–3 cups (500–750 ml) of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Peel one banana and slice off both ends.
  3. Add the banana to the boiling water.
  4. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 5–10 minutes.
  5. Add cinnamon or honey (optional).
  6. Remove the banana and divide the remaining liquid into 2–3 cups.

Banana peel tea

  1. Fill a pot with 2–3 cups (500–750 ml) of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Gently rinse a whole banana under running water to remove dirt and debris.
  3. Leaving the peel on, slice off both ends.
  4. Add the banana to the boiling water.
  5. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  6. Add cinnamon or honey (optional).
  7. Remove the banana and divide the remaining liquid into 2–3 cups.

If you’re enjoying the tea by yourself, store any leftovers in your refrigerator and drink them within 1–2 days, cold or reheated.

To avoid waste, use the leftover banana in other recipes, such as for smoothies, oatmeal, or banana bread.

SUMMARY

To make banana tea, simmer a whole, peeled banana in hot water for 5–10 minutes. If you prefer to leave the peel on, simmer it for 15–20 minutes. Add cinnamon or honey for extra flavor.

How to Make Banana Tea for Sleep {Banana Peel Tea Recipe}

In pursuit of a good night’s sleep? Try unwinding with some banana peel tea, rich in compounds that support restful sleep. Here’s what to know about how to make banana tea for sleep with nutmeg for added flavor and sleep support.

cover photo of banana tea for sleep recipe in cup with dried banana peels aand nutmeg

WASTE NOT WANT NOT WITH BANANA PEEL TEA FOR SLEEP!

Love the idea of a tasty drink that may help you sleep better tonight? Love it even more if it’s basically free?

One of the first rules of green living is cutting waste wherever possible. Putting something that most folks toss in the trash to use in the kitchen and home remedy toolkit is one way to get more out of the resources you bring into your home.

Want others? Check out this collection of root to stem recipes for tons more creative ways to waste less food.

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If you love the idea of getting more out of your produce purchases, be sure to check out these 35 creative uses for orange peels. Orange peels are a fantastic addition to herbal tea recipes, like this ginger tea with orange peel. Or make homemade vinegar using fruit scraps or leftover wine.

Waste even less by tossing what’s leftover from your banana tea for sleep into the compost, where it can become banana peel fertilizer.

Best of all, we get to use these banana peels as a natural sleep remedy, letting us create something that can significantly improve our quality of life using something we would have normally thrown away.

WHAT IS BANANA PEEL TEA, ANYWAY?

Banana peel tea is simply fresh or dried banana peels simmered briefly in boiling water. Banana peels contain minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which are thought to support relaxation and sleep, though the amounts you’ll get in a cup of banana tea probably aren’t enough to make a huge difference in sleep quality.

To make sure you’re getting plenty of these sleep-regulating nutrients, you’ll want to look into the best foods for sleep. One of them is bananas, so if you’re after a great night’s sleep, eat a banana and then use the peel to make banana peel tea and drink up an hour or two before bedtime.

Importantly, banana peels contain tryptophan, a precursor to the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin as well as melatonin, which helps cue our bodies to go to sleep. A strong cup of banana peel tea may give you a helpful boost in these compounds and encourage more restful sleep.

Since the sweet fruit of the banana is readily eaten and delicious in yummy treats like banana ice cream and dried bananas ‘candy,’ it makes sense to make banana tea only with the peel. Some banana tea recipes call for boiling the whole banana, but that seems like a huge waste of food when you can make a tasty tea using nothing but the banana peel.

If you’re curious, though, go ahead and throw in a little banana and see what you think of the flavor. As for me, I’m going to save my bananas for healthy smoothies and other yummy recipes, and stick with peels only in my banana tea for sleep.

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