When you’re cleaning and prepping your produce, don’t get rid of the scraps from your veggies. There are lots of nutrients hiding in those remnants and you can use in your cooking to create something healthy and delicious. Here’s what you don’t want to toss.
Citrus zest - Use the zest from your lemons, limes, and oranges to add flavor and extra antioxidants to chicken, fish, rice, or dressings.
Broccoli stems and leaves - Don’t toss these, registered dietitian Isabel Smith says broccoli stems have more calcium, iron, and vitamin C than the florets. And registered dietitian Lauren Blake says the leaves are one of the best sources of calcium in veggies, plus they have fiber, iron, and vitamin A. Sauté the leaves in olive oil and use the stems in a stir fry.
Celery leaves - The leaves have lots of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C and are great in soups or veggie stocks, or in a salad.
Aquafaba - This strange sounding name is actually the “goopy liquid” in a can of chickpeas, you know, the stuff you drain out and get rid of? Well, it’s actually a great vegan alternative to replace an egg in whipped toppings, meringues, chocolate mousse, and ice cream.
Potato Skins - They contain about three grams of protein, five grams of fiber and B vitamins - there’s even more fiber and B6 in the skin than the potato itself. And sweet potato skins have antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber, which can all help keep you healthy.
Cucumber peels - Before you peel those cukes, know that most of the vitamins in cucumbers are in the skin. They’re full of insoluble fiber, and vitamins K and A, which are good for bone health and vision.
Meat bones - Save the bones from your next roasted chicken or beef and make a broth or soup. They add lots of flavor and nutrition without a lot of calories.