Your vegetable peels have a purpose! So does its stems, the leaves on root crops, and the cores in your fruit. The easiest way to use them is to make vegetable stocks, but these leftover veggies and fruits are more versatile than you think.
For those of you who peel off fruit and vegetable skins, you can use your leftover fruit and vegetable peels in making soup stocks, jellies, and even powder.
Peeling the skin off your tomatoes to make sauces? Save these skins, dry them in the oven, and grind them into a powder to flavour your next dish.
Just made apple pie? Use the leftover peels to make jelly. You can also use the peels to infuse your water with fruity flavours. Similarly, cucumber peels are great additions to flavour your water.
Root Crop Leaves
When you buy your carrots, beets, or any root crops with greens attached, immediately cut them off since the tops take the moisture away from the root crop. Store your vegetables, and use the tops as soon as you can. Add the leaves on your salad, soup, saute, or even make pesto out of it. You can also mix them in your smoothie for added greens.
If you find the bitter notes unpalatable, blanch the vegetables before preparing them.
Stalk and Stems
Your broccoli stems can serve you a variety of dishes! They taste sweet and are packed with fibre. Turn them into noodles, slaw, an addition to your veggie burger, or add them in your juice or smoothie. You can also turn them into chips, or add them in your stir fry (in case you haven’t noticed it, you've been eating broccoli stalks in your Chinese take out).
You can also use kale stems as a main ingredient in a pesto, or you can chop them up for pickling. Chard stems are great for pickling, and will make for a good side dish or condiment to go with rice or other grains.
Save them to grow in your garden or eat them! Roast your watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkin seeds instead of discarding them. They are the perfect, healthy snacks or additives to salads.
Need recipe suggestions?
Spiced Apple Peel Jelly | Reformation Acres
Carrot Top Pesto | Bon Appetit
Broccoli Stem Veggie Burgers | According to Elle
Pickled Chard Stems | Love & Lemons