Have you been incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies in your diet?
Then good for you! But what are you doing with the leftover seeds, stems
and skins? If you're following the latest food world trend, you've
been cooking--and eating--those scraps of food.
In a way, the food scraps trend is a continuation of the nose-to-tail trend,
in which chefs use all parts of an animal in different dishes. It's
a way to cut down waste and be more conscious of what we're consuming.
Plus, in many cases, such as with produce peels, there are a lot of nutrients
to be found in the parts we normally throw away.
Ideas for using food scraps abound. Not only are there tried-and-true methods,
such as using meat bones to create stock, roasting pumpkin seeds, and
making candied citrus peels, but also newer ones, such as cooking kale
stems. Recipes and tips are found on the Internet and in food magazines (Food & Wine uses the hashtag #loveuglyfood), and amateur home chefs can get inspiration
from the pros, such as New York restaurateur Dan Barber, who opened a
pop-up eatery using ingredients such as fish cartilage and chickpea water.
There are several cooking techniques you can use to make kitchen scraps
not taste like an afterthought. For instance, instead of those bones for
a meat-based stock, use onion skins and peels and trimmed ends from carrots,
parsnips and celery for a flavorful vegetable stock. You can also roast,
braise, stir-fry, pickle and infuse oils--cooking with scraps can bring
out your creativity in the kitchen.
Here's a roundup of ideas to get you started:
Pickle leek greens (via
Process carrot and radish tops in pesto (via
- Steep apple peels and cores to make tea (via food52.com)
- Incorporate celery hearts and leaves in a grain dish such as risotto (via
- Roast potato peels for a crunchy snack (via wholefoodsmarket.com)
- Braise beet and turnip tops (via wholefoodsmarket.com)