In the world of cooking shows and Instagram feeds, every meal that we see looks picture perfect. This encourages us to chop, peel and often waste parts of our fruits and vegetables that are perfectly edible, even if they aren’t pretty.
Here are 5 fruits and vegetables that I previously would have chopped apart and thrown out the ends, the skin, or the parts that we didn’t need.
Pumpkin – Often, when you use pumpkin, you peel off the skin, then scoop out the seeds and they use the harder flesh part – but this is such a waste. People pay large amounts of money for roasted pumpkin seeds, and you can achieve the same product with something that most people throw away. And the skin? Well, not only is it delicious if left on a roast pumpkin, if peeled off and roasted, it makes a delicious, chip-like snack.
Broccoli – only yesterday, I saw someone on a Zero Waste group asking what you could use broccoli stems for. While I applaud this person for thinking outside the box, it baffles me that we live in a society where the stem isn’t considered the same as the rest of the vegetable. I chop broccoli stems up with the heads, and use them in whatever I am cooking that requires broccoli.
Potato – This one I definitely started out of my laziness to peel a potato, but actually, research suggests that potato skins hold at least some of the nutrients of a potato, so why waste them? Obviously, since a potatoes skin is fairly thin, we want to be careful about the chemicals that may have been sprayed on them, but beyond that, we need to get past the aesthetics and start eating potato skins!
Lemon – Lemon feels like something the waste a large amount of since often, we only use the juice. But there is so much more of lemon we can use. The pulp, and the zest, which is simply the outer, fragrant part of the skin. Some suggest you can simply blend a whole lemon and it is delicious, but I haven’t tried this yet.
Carrot tops – This is another that I have discovered recently. Carrot top pesto is now one of my favorite meals, and all this time, I was simply throwing them out.
Are there any other odds and ends that you are making use of in the kitchen? I would love to hear about it in the comments! If you love Zero Waste Blogs about the kitchen, check out my post on Zero Waste Kitchen swaps, my Zero Waste baking Swaps, or one of my “Clean out the fridge” recipes. And I would love to have you join our community by subscribing to get notified about new blog posts!