Ask Sarah!

By Sarah Duggan on July 2, 2015

Go Bananas!

Let’s face it, each of us have our way of completing the mundane, daily tasks throughout our lives. Like getting ready for bed, for instance. I hardly ever stray from  my bedtime routine because that is the way I do it – it’s a habit and I’m comfortable with it.

But how about we throw a little wrench into the way we always do it? Maybe making a slight variation to our daily routine will mix it up just enough. We could take a different route to the grocery store (you almost have to with all the construction going on – yikes!) or go on a walk before dinner instead of after. Or possibly even peel our banana for our morning snack in a different way. Which brings me to this week’s question, how many ways can you peel a banana?

When I first read this question from the Ask Sarah box I thought to myself, there is only one way to peel a banana and that is the way I do it. Boy was I wrong! There are, in fact, eight ways to peel a banana.

Monkey Method (a.ka. Upside-Down Method) – Peel downwards toward the stem; just what you would do if you were holding the banana right side up. Except this time, you should peel the pointed top downwards, toward the step. Now you can enjoy your banana and the best part is you now have a handle to hold onto as you enjoy your snack!

Snap Method – This one is for a banana that isn’t overly ripe. If it is too ripe, you may find yourself in the middle of a mushy disaster. Hold either side of the banana, placing it in a smiling shape. Make sure the banana is making a “U” shape and snap it in half. Peel each banana half and enjoy your fruit!

Four Split Method – Place the banana on a cutting board and cut from the tip to the handle. Then cut each half down the middle horizontally. Peel each of the four sections of banana and enjoy!

Throwing Method – Hold the stem of the banana so that it curves toward you. Take the stem in your dominant (throwing) hand and make sure that the banana is curving toward, and not away from you. Stand over a cutting board, a table, or something else that can stop the banana from flying out too far away from you. Snap the banana forward, like you're cracking a whip. Hold on to the stem and thrust your hand and the banana outward in a natural motion that curves downward. Just snap your wrist and use enough force to fling the banana forward. If done successfully, you should be left holding onto the stem and a sliver of peeled banana skin. If it doesn't work the first time, then try, try again -- this method does take some practice. Peel the rest of the banana the normal way. Now that you've already peeled off a sliver of banana, you can peel the banana the traditional way, from the bottom up, before you enjoy your treat. If you can master it, this method could be an excellent party trick!

Thumbnail Method – Make a tiny cut in the surface of the top of the stem on the inner side of the curve of the banana (inside the "U" shape). This works best if you have a banana that is medium ripe, so that you don't mush the banana too much. And the sharper your nails, the better. Peel the banana stem back so the skin breaks where the cut was made and peel it down all the way. If you do this correctly, it won't mush the banana. Once you've made the cut, just use the opening to peel back the rest of the banana skin. This is a fun variation on peeling a banana the regular way.

Twist Method – Hold the banana in both hands. Leave about two to three inches between your hands so you have some space when you twist the banana. Twist the banana carefully without squeezing it. You should give it a quarter to a half twist, or just enough for the skin of the banana to break. Now that you've broken the banana open, you can peel back the sides and enjoy your banana.

Slide & Peel Method – Hold the banana horizontally in one hand. When you're holding it correctly, you should place it down on a cutting board as it is. Use one quick swift cut of the knife to slice off the ends of each side of the banana. Slice the banana skin lengthwise and then peel off the entire skin. Be careful when you're doing this. Cut the banana peel gently so you don't slice through it or hurt the hand that is holding on to it. Once you cut it, just peel back the skin. This method works great if you're planning on slicing the banana to use it in a salad, or if you just like eating a banana without a peel.

Traditional Method – Hold the banana in your hand, stem pointing up. It'll be easier to snap the stem back if it's positioned this way. Snap off the stem and peel the skin downward. Once you've done that, you can continue peeling the rest of the banana downward, in one or two more strips. This is the most common way to peel a banana, so chances are that you're already familiar with it. Now eat your tasty banana, biting into it and peeling it back further and further until you've eaten the whole thing.

Kudos to the reader who succeeds at all eight banana-peeling methods! Cheers to mixing it up every now and then. Thanks for stopping by—see you next week!