Many households throw tons of food scraps like peels, veggie tops and pineapple cores into the compost, believing them to be inedible.
But what if I told you that a lot of the food we scrap can actually be eaten? You can cut down on food waste by re-purposing the foods that may actually be FULL of the very nutrients you’re looking for. Read ahead for some surprising food scraps you won’t want to throw away…
- Pineapple Cores
According to this study, pineapple cores contain a lot of the enzyme bromelain, traditionally used to ease inflammation and help improve digestion. So let’s stop throwing this awesome enzyme away! Because the core is harder than the outside fruit, all you have to do is slice it up thinly, to get the consistency of water chestnuts. Bon appetite 🙂
2. Veggie Tops and Bottoms
Get those veggie tops out of the compost and into your salad! There are a lot of veggie tops that are safe to eat, and in fact quite full of important vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin C and iron to keep you energized. Some of the safe leafy tops include beet greens, turnip greens, celery tops, carrot tops, squash blossoms, zucchini blossoms, and radish greens. Veggie bottoms (stems) are just as amazing, and full of fibre to help a constipated colon. Just make sure to wash them and chop them up well. Try kale stems in your next stirfry, or chopped up broccoli stems eaten raw with dip or in salads.
3. Chickpea Brine
I just discovered this a few days ago, but the savvy vegan community has been using chickpea brine (also known as “Aquafaba”) as a substitute for eggs in many baking recipes! I just tried it in a batch of cookies and I was blown away by how chewy the texture was. Try whipping it into a meringue like in this recipe from Lazy Cat Kitchen, or in this chewy double chocolate chip cookie recipe from Holistic Hormone Help.
4. Coffee Grounds
Re-purpose old coffee grounds into an energizing and exfoliating body scrub. Coffee grounds naturally contain antioxidants and caffeine, which can stimulate circulation and reduce the appearance of cellulite. A DIY recipe is beyond easy, and really all you need is to mix your coffee grounds with an oil (usually sweet almond or coconut) and some sugar or salt. Then apply it in circular motions in the shower or bath to gently exfoliate and energize your body – great for thighs, lower legs, feet, and bum! If you need a recipe, check out this one from Coconut Mama – it includes cinnamon.
5. Potato and Veggie Peels
The peels of beets, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and zucchini are safe to eat, although somewhat more bland in flavour. This tip from Julie Daniluk, RHN, suggests we roast them and make tasty chips! Just drizzle with a little oil, salt and pepper, then roast in the oven until crispy. Voila, homemade veggie chips. Doesn’t your wallet feel lighter already?
IMPORTANT TIP – Potato eyes are not safe to eat, so if you have a particularly old bag of potatoes you’re interested in using, best to just toss them into the compost. This info from Medline Plus states the following: “The poison is found throughout the plant, but especially in green potatoes and new sprouts. Never eat potatoes that are spoiled or green below the skin. Always throw away the sprouts.”
6. Citrus Peels
Think twice before juicing that lemon! After thoroughly washing your citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine) go ahead and zest them first, before juicing out the interior.
The outside peels of citrus fruits contain gorgeous aromatic (and anti-microbial) oils. Save the zest or peels in a container in the freezer, and bring out when making lemon drop cookies, candied grapefruit peels, or orange-infused olive oil. The interior citrus juice of lemons is alkalizing to the body and can traditionally help ease indigestion.
Happy compost scavenging 🙂