Often we throw away the parts of our fruits and veggies that have just as much or more nutrition than the part we typically eat!
Here are 10 ways to reduce waste, boost nutrition, and get the most benefit from your food.
1. Acorn Squash
When preparing acorn squash, most of us eat only the flesh of this superfood. But we may be missing out! The skin is loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. Why not try preparing acorn squash by putting a pat of butter, a drizzle of real maple syrup and some unprocessed sea salt on each half and roasting with their skin. Then eat the whole thing. The skin adds texture, color, and nutrition. Of course choose organic to reduce pesticide residue and wash before cooking.
2. Orange Pith
Don’t we all peel the orange and pull off as much as the bitter white pith as possible before enjoying the sweet, juicy sections? Well the pith has the highest concentration of flavonoids which are cancer and heart protective. So it’s a good idea to leave some of the pith on.
3. Orange Rind
There’s even benefit to using the antioxidant-rich rind (as long as you have chosen organic!). The rinds have cell killing properties (as in killing cancer cells) and are highly anti-inflammatory. Probably the best and easiest way to benefit from the rinds is either to peel some strips and add them to tea as it steeps or cooking liquid that calls for orange flavor or even easier – zest some into your salad dressings and recipes.
That’s where the greatest amount of the flavor resides so you’ll boost the orange flavor of the recipe. It’s also where most of the essential oils are, and orange oil is the richest source of d-limonene which has numerous health benefits of its own!
4. Watermelon Rind
The rind is very rich in something called citrulline, an antioxidant compound that fights free radicals. Probably the best way to get the benefit of the rind is to buy organic watermelon and include some of the washed rind in a smoothie or just juice it in a blender.
5. Watermelon Seeds
Even the black watermelon seeds are edible and quite healthy as they contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber! They can be roasted just as you would roast pumpkin seeds.
6. Pineapple Core
While the core isn’t as juicy and soft as the flesh you can still eat it and you should. Pineapple contains bromelain, a naturally-occurring protein enzyme that may alleviate inflammation and pain. Studies have shown that bromelain content is most concentrated in the pineapple’s core.
7. Broccoli Stalks
Instead of cutting the florets off the stalks and throwing the stalks away, you can peel and cook them along with the florets. They have just as much fiber and antioxidants. You can eat the whole thing raw, add chopped stalks to a salad, roast them, steam them, juice them – just don’t waste them!
8. Kiwi Skin
That fuzzy brown part of the kiwi is safe to consume and according to experts, has three times more fiber than only ingesting the green flesh.
9. Potato Skin
You get more of the vitamin C, fiber, and potassium potatoes contain when you cook and eat them with the skin on. Again, just be sure you choose organic to avoid pesticide residue.
10. Carrot Skin
Most of the nutrients in carrots reside just under the skin. So to get the most benefit choose organic carrots; don’t peel – just scrub clean with water; roast or steam them whole with a bit of healthy oil and cut up after cooking.
Did you realize these parts of these foods were edible and nutritious?
I love using every bit of the healthy foods I cook, knowing I am getting even more nutrition as well as the most bang for my nutrition buck!