5 extraordinary uses for bananas

    6:31 AM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Bananas are good for more than just food. Here are five uses are might surprise you.

    Check out the full list from Reader's Digest: 9 extraordinary uses for bananas

    1. Make a face mask - That's right, you can use a banana as an all-natural face mask that moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10-20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.

    2. Tenderize a roast - Banana leaves are commonly used in many Asian countries to wrap meat as it's cooking to make it more tender. So the next time you fear the roast you're cooking will turn tough on you, try softening it up by adding a ripe, peeled banana to the pan.

    3. Polish silverware and leather shoes - First, remove any of the leftover stringy material from the inside of the peel, then just start rubbing the inside of the peel on your shoes or silver. When you're done, buff up the object with a paper towel or soft cloth. You might even want to use this technique to restore your leather furniture.

    4. Use as fertilizer or mulch - Banana peels, like the fruit itself, are rich in potassium which is an important nutrient for both you and your garden. Dry out banana peels on screens during the winter months. And in early spring, grind them up in a food processor or blender and use it as a mulch to give new plants and seedlings a healthy start.

    5. Attract butterflies and birds - Bring more butterflies and various bird species to your backyard by putting out overripe bananas on a raised platform. Punch a few holes in the bananas to make the fruit more accessible to the butterflies. Some enthusiasts swear by adding a drop of Gatorade to further mush things up.

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