8 Recipes That Make Delicious Use of Produce Scraps, From Kale Ribs to Carrot Tops

8 Recipes That Make Delicious Use of Produce Scraps, From Kale Ribs to Carrot Tops

In our efforts to minimize food waste and make sustainable choices in the kitchen, utilizing every part of the produce we buy is key. From kale ribs to carrot tops, potato peels to watermelon rinds, and beyond, there are numerous ways to transform often-discarded scraps into delicious and nutritious dishes. In this blog post, we’ll explore eight creative recipes that showcase how to make the most of produce scraps, turning them into flavorful snacks, condiments, soups, and more. Let’s dive in and discover the culinary potential of these overlooked ingredients!

1. Kale Rib Chips

Don’t toss those tough kale ribs! Instead, turn them into crispy, flavorful kale rib chips. Simply remove the leaves for other recipes and chop the ribs into bite-sized pieces. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and your favorite seasonings, then bake until crispy. These chips are a nutritious snack packed with fiber and vitamins.

2. Carrot Top Pesto

The leafy greens attached to your fresh carrots are not only edible but also make a delicious pesto. Blend carrot tops with garlic, nuts (like almonds or walnuts), Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Use this vibrant pesto as a pasta sauce, sandwich spread, or topping for grilled meats.

3. Potato Peel Crisps

Instead of discarding potato peels, transform them into crispy snacks. Wash and dry the peels, then toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp. These potato peel crisps are a crunchy and flavorful alternative to store-bought chips.

4. Broccoli Stem Soup

Broccoli stems often get overlooked, but they’re full of flavor and nutrients. Peel and chop the stems, then saut√© them with onions, garlic, and vegetable broth until tender. Blend the mixture until smooth to create a creamy broccoli stem soup. Season with herbs and spices for a comforting and nutritious meal.

5. Watermelon Rind Pickles

Instead of discarding watermelon rinds, use them to make tangy pickles. Peel off the green skin and slice the white rind into thin strips or cubes. Prepare a brine with vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices like cloves and cinnamon. Pour the brine over the watermelon rinds and let them pickle for a few days. These pickles make a refreshing and unique addition to salads and charcuterie boards.

6. Beet Greens Stir-Fry

When you buy beets, don’t forget about the nutritious greens attached to them. Chop the beet greens and stir-fry them with garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add some protein like tofu or chicken for a complete meal. This beet greens stir-fry is a quick, healthy, and flavorful way to use up these often overlooked greens.

7. Citrus Peel Zest

Before juicing citrus fruits like lemons, limes, or oranges, zest the peels and save the zest for later use. Citrus zest adds bright flavor to a variety of dishes, from salads and marinades to desserts and cocktails. Store the zest in an airtight container in the freezer for long-lasting freshness.

8. Vegetable Scrap Broth

Save vegetable scraps like onion peels, carrot ends, celery leaves, and herb stems to make a flavorful vegetable broth. Simmer the scraps in water with salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings for about an hour. Strain the broth and use it as a base for soups, stews, risottos, and sauces. This homemade vegetable broth reduces food waste and adds depth of flavor to your dishes.

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