Stop! Don’t throw your kitchen scraps away; put them to work. I’ve got some brilliant ideas for your fruit and vegetable peels, so prepared to be amazed.
Why use peels and scraps you may ask; because you are conscious about wasting food and because the peels of fruits and vegetables,specially organic grown, are filled with vitamins, flavors, aromas and other beneficial elements, it is almost a crime to throw them away. Some people are peelers, some people aren’t. Some people swear by the nutrients and fiber found in produce skins, others prefer removing the outer layer to reduce pesticide load. Regardless of your peeling preferences and beliefs, citrus rinds, potato and other root peels, and even scooped-out avocados all have more than one life.
Now that you are into this let’s see what you can do with your peels and scraps.
1. Homemade Broth
Celery tops, onion and garlic skins, carrot peels, and other food scraps are great for flavoring your vegetable broth. Just save the scraps in a freezer-safe container until you have enough to cook them up. When the broth is done, strain out the solids and toss them into your compost bin.
2. Veggie Chips
Instead of throwing out those potato, beetroot, carrot and courgette peels when you are finished with them, save them for making your own veggie crisps. You just have to mix the peels with enough olive oil to coat them evenly and then spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. Add salt and dried herbs to you liking and enjoy a perfect homemade snack
lemon or orange peels in liquor
Lemon brandy is a fabulous way to use up the lemon peels after making lemonade. It is a tasty drink and can also be used for a variety of baked goods and cooking flavoring purposes. It also makes a great gift. Find the full recipe here. You can use the same method to infuse vodka or tequila as well.
Remove the pith and pound your citrus peels, adding some olive oil to create deliciously flavored lemon oil.
You can also infuse vinegar or honey with your leftover citrus peels to create great tasting dishes.
4. Aromatic Tea
Fruit peels are perfect to make aromatic tea. Just add the peels in simmering water, remove pot from heat and add the tea of your choice. Here you can find the recipe for the perfect aromatic tea.
5. Spice up your Recipes
Mix lemon or orange dried peels with freshly cracked pepper. Store in jar and use to add lemony flavor. Perfect for meat and fish.
Make citrus extract powder and add it to sugar, or you can use fresh twists, put them in a jar with sugar, let the oil from the peel infuse the sugar and remove. If you use fresh vanilla, after scraping the bean, add the pod to sugar to make vanilla-infused sugar.
If you don’t need the rind from your citrus fruits right away and you are planning to use the inside or the juice, take a few minutes to grate the outside before you begin using the inside. By making your own citrus zest, you will have it on hand for when you need it later. Just scrape off the outer later, avoiding the white inside. You can freeze zest or let it dry completely and then store it in the cabinet in an airtight jar.
6. Potpourri & Natural Aromatics
Instead of throwing out those peels and spending money on store bought potpourri, you can simply make your own. Any citrus peels, pomegranate skins, apple peels or other fruit trimmings can be dried completely and then set about to help your home smell wonderful. Keep it in an airtight jar if you don’t need it right away and then display your homemade potpourri in a glass dish.
7. Beauty Recipes
refresh you face
Peaches are very high in Vitamin A and Potassium, which is great for your skin. The next time you enjoy fresh peaches, save those peels. You just have to add a little white sugar to the inside of the peach skin and then use this as a gentle scrub for your face. It will help to keep your skin hydrated and make you feel revitalized as well.
Rub the fleshy part of an avocado peel on your face for a rich moisturizer.
relieve tired eyes
Potato peels are great for relieving puffiness and tiredness around the eyes. You just have to gently press the inside of the peel onto your eyes and leave there for about 10 to 15 minutes. The vitamins in potatoes are great for relieving slight inflammation and there is no need to rinse afterward.
8. Fabric Dye
Pomegranate and onion peels are great for dying fabric. Just add the fabric to a large stainless steel pot and then fill with hot water. Add your pomegranate or onion peels and allow them to sit overnight. In the morning, you will need to simmer the water and peels and then remove the peels to add your fabric. Make sure that the fabric is wet when you add it to the pot. Simmer the fabric very lightly for about an hour and allow it to cool overnight.
9. Natural non Toxic Cleaners
Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, limes and others are perfect for shining metal. The high citric acid will do wonders for your copper, brass and other metals so use those leftover peels to clean pots and pans or anything else metal that you have lying around. Just sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the object in question and then scrub with your citrus peels.
clean coffee pot and tea kettle
Lemon zest or rind is great for cleaning the stains off your glass coffee pots or carafes. You just have to add a bit of salt and ice and throw in your leftover lemon rind. Then just swirl the pot around for a few minutes and empty it out. Rinse with warm water and your coffee pot will sparkle like new.
clean away grease
Citrus zest is great for a lot of things, not the least of which is cleaning up grease. Lemon peels can help you to do away with greasy messes. Just sprinkle your stove-top or anywhere else where there may be grease with baking soda or salt and then rub the lemon peel over it to remove the grease.
Pixabay images / veggie chips image credit: Faith Durrand