Don’t toss that! How to cook with nutritious food scraps

Earlier this week we shared the No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook which encourages home chefs to rethink how they use items like vegetable skins, seeds, and roots. Today, we’re elaborating on that idea with six types of kitchen scraps that can be repurposed into nutritious food sources. 

  1. Strawberry tops. You’re probably focused on the delicious red fruit of these summer berries, but the tops are high in vitamin C and antioxidants as well! Add them to a blended smoothie or drop them in a pitcher of water to add some extra nutrients to your hydration routine. 
  2. Kiwi skins. These fuzzy friends are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. You can eat them along with the fleshy fruit or add them to smoothies. 
  3. Citrus peels. Use the zest of lemon or orange peels to add a burst of flavor to any dish. You can also boil the peels in a simple syrup solution to make delicious candy peel snacks. 
  4. Pineapple cores and peels. These can be used to make tepache, a gut-friendly fermented Mexican drink. You’ll just need water, brown sugar, and pineapple parts. This recipe breaks down exactly how to make it.
  5. Apple cores. Most of an apple’s healthy bacteria are found in its seeds. You can use cores to make your own apple cider vinegar by combining some cores with a tablespoon of sugar and dechlorinated water for a few days. 
  6. Watermelon rinds. Eaten as is, these have a similar consistency and flavor to a cucumber. If that doesn’t sound appealing, you can also boil them with apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, salt, and spices before jarring it for a delicious picked version. 

We’ve grown up learning what parts of fruits and vegetables are edible and what should be tossed, but oftentimes, there’s a use for every part of the produce. Use these six types to get you started on your zero waste cooking journey.

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