Plant-based diets continue to be all the rage, and for good reason. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they have many health benefits and are generally better for the planet than meat-heavy diets. But there is one area where fruit and vegetable lovers could take a cue from carnivores: reducing food waste.
About 30-40% of the national food supply is wasted. If you think about it, there are a lot of parts of fruits and vegetables in perfect condition that we just cut up and throw away for no reason. Sure, you could compost them, but many of them are safe to eat. Adopt the “stem-to-root” style of eating and you’ll reduce food waste, save money, and maybe even discover a new favorite part of a familiar food you never knew was edible.
Here are 10 ways to get started.
1 beet leaves
Usually, you buy beets for their bulbous part, the red, sweet root vegetable. But the green leaves of fresh beets are just as delicious. They also provide their own health benefits. Beet greens contain more protein and fiber than beets alone. You can use beet greens like any other green leaf, or try sautéing them. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a pan and add the chopped beet leaves. Cook them until they are wilted and tender. Top with roasted beet wedges, balsamic vinegar and crumbled goat cheese for a beet-on-beet feast.
2 green leeks
If you’ve ever made a recipe with leeks, you’ve probably seen the “white and light green parts only” method. But what’s the deal with the darker green parts? Absolutely nothing. This part of the leek was rejected for aesthetic reasons. They are sometimes damaged and do not look very appetizing. But just remove the outer layer and clean it thoroughly. Then you can basically use it as the white part.
3 carrot tops
Bagged carrots at the supermarket usually don’t come with their green tops, but carrots at farmers’ markets often do. These tops are perfectly edible, even if they don’t really taste like carrots. It’s more like parsley with an earthy taste. You can make a filling out of it.
You can finely chop the tops and cover them with a mixture of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add plenty of minced garlic and red pepper flakes according to your taste. You get a rich and flavorful condiment that you can eat dipping vegetables or bread.
4 broccoli stalks and leaves
The florets get all the love, but the broccoli stalk is actually even more delicious. Just peel off the tough outer layer of the stem. The flesh underneath can be used like broccoli. And the leaves are a hidden treasure if you come across them. They are like cabbage, but with a milder flavor. They need a little cooking. You can also turn them into crisps like you would kale: Lightly coat the leaves with olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet, then cook them in a hot oven or air fryer until they are crispy. To make roasted broccoli stalks, cut the stalk into rounds and toss with olive oil and grated parmesan. Arrange them on a baking sheet and roast them at 200°C until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
5 Banana peels
It’s true: you can even eat your banana peels. And you probably should: The phenolic compounds found in banana peels are rich in antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds, according to a study published in the Journal of Functional Foods in January 2018. Although some chefs have turned banana peels into vegan barbecue, you probably want to start by adding a little to your smoothies. Just chop half the skin off a very ripe banana and add it to the blender along with your other favorite ingredients.
6 Potato skins
There is so much fiber in the skin of potatoes. When you peel your potatoes, for example, when you want mashed potatoes, you will be left with the skins. Good news: you can still eat them. To make roasted potato skins, toss the skins with olive oil and seasonings of your choice (paprika is especially good). Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 200° for 15 minutes.
7 Watermelon peels
Watermelon rinds taste like a cross between melon and cucumber. Bake it. It makes it really silky. Stir-fry watermelon by heating oil in a wok. Add the garlic, ginger and onions and stir until fragrant. Add the watermelon rind and continue cooking until tender. Serve over rice with soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil.
8 stalks of kale
Many people love kale. But lovers of kale stalks? They are rare. Most home cooks cut off the tough stems and discard or compost them. It’s a shame, because kale stalks are absolutely perfect for pesto. You can add other herbs or leafy greens or just make a version with kale stalks. It is a very flexible recipe. To make kale stalk pesto, chop the stalks and put them in a food processor along with a handful of pine nuts, a clove or two of garlic, grated Parmesan and a generous helping of olive oil. . Purée the mixture until you get a paste. (When mixing it with your pasta, use a little of the pasta cooking liquid to loosen it up to your desired consistency).
9 Apple cores
You may be throwing the strongest probiotic out of your fridge. In a study published in July 2019 in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, researchers found that apples contain around 100 million bacteria, most of which are beneficial, and that 90% of them are found in the heart of the apple. . The core may be a little tougher than the rest of the apple, but it’s completely edible.
You may have heard that apple seeds are poisonous. Although they contain a toxin called amygdalin, which can turn into hydrogen cyanide, one would need to consume 80 or more seeds at a time to get poisoned, as previous research has shown. But if you want to be very careful, feel free to remove the seeds and plant them.
10 Onion Skin
Yellow onion skins add wonderful color and flavor to homemade vegetable broth. Instead of throwing them away, put them in a freezer bag with other vegetable scraps that are suitable for broth: broccoli peelings, pea pods, asparagus tips and mushroom stems. When your bag is full, transfer the leftovers to a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer for an hour before straining and storing in the fridge or freezer for later use in soups and stews.
* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. [HighProtein-Foods.com]