We are all well aware of the benefits of eating fresh produce every day which should include a plentiful supply of vegetables. But are you getting a good bang for your buck when you are literally throwing away 20% of your produce?
What I mean is the actual vegetable trimmings. How many of us simply cut off the heads of the carrot and throw them straight into the trash can (or the “bin” for our English readers)? Or throw away the skin from the potato’s we peel once or twice a week?
Have you ever considered adding turnip tops to sautéed veggies and salads? Or adding celery leaves to your salad greens? In fact, turnip cauliflower or beet greens are a delicious and nutritious addition to many sautéed dishes or salads.
Below we list a few ideas to get you started on turning your leftover bits into healthy treasures.
Toss the peels with olive oil
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F until crisp (15 to 20 minutes)
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy
Variations could be adding dried Italian herbs, curry powder, chili powder to the olive oil before baking
Carrot-Top Chimichurri Sauce
1 cup of carrot tops
1 cup of fresh cilantro
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
1/4 cup of red bell pepper
2 tablespoons of yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Place all of the above ingredients in a food processor until you have a rustic type thick sauce.
Sesame-Ginger Radish Greens
1 bunch of radish greens
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
A pinch of red pepper flakes
Add 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil to a pan, warm until hot but not smoking
Sauté the above ingredients until the greens begin to wilt, approximately 1 minute
Stir in 2 teaspoons of tamari or soy sauce
Finish by sprinkling with 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
Greek Broccoli-Stalk Salad
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon,
1 tablespoon of minced red onion
1/4 cup of pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
Trim the tough skin from the stalks of 1 bunch of broccoli
Use a peeler to shave the stalks into thin short ribbons
Toss all of the above ingredients into a bowl and serve
It’s not just vegetables, what about candied lemon or orange rind? It really does taste like candy, and you can do this to any citrus fruit.
Candied Lemon Rinds
Cut lemons into slices about 1/4 inch thick and remove the fruit pulp.
Cut the rings in half so the peels are in long strips
Bring water and lemon peel to a boil in a small pan
Drain water, and repeat with fresh cold water
Repeat the boiling step three times
Drain and set peels aside
Combine 2 cups fresh water with 2 cups sugar
Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar
Reduce heat to low and stir in citrus peels; simmer until the white pith is translucent
Store peels in syrup, refrigerated, to keep them soft, or allow them to dry
Toss dry candied peels in additional sugar and store airtight at room temperature
If you use oranges you can add brandy, cloves or other spices to the mixture.
Chop them up and add them to your cookie or cake batter.
Or just eat it them by themselves.
Sesame-Ginger Radish Greens, Carrot-Top Chimichurri and Greek Broccoli-Stalk Salad recipes courtesy of David Joachim