Peeling fruits and vegetables can be a simple process using traditional paring knives or a peeler, but what can you really do with all of those trimmings? We’ve got some practical methods that aren’t just for composting and might just make you rethink what trimmings are really perfect for!
Trimmings for More than Compost
You’ve been told by numerous websites that you can make great compost from veggie trimmings and skins from fruits. It’s actually a total shame that these highly prized items are ending up in the compost bin for worms to get more benefits from than you can at home. But it’s not exactly what you might be thinking if you start to question if they can be used as-is.
Save Your Scraps
No matter what kinds of scraps that you have, these can all be used for all sorts of re-purposed needs. You can place these trimmings and scraps in plastic bags to go into the freezer. Better yet, these can be freeze-dried and placed into vacuum-sealed bags so they’ll be more compact and last nearly forever. These scraps can ultimately be used for making snacks or perfect for creating vegetable stock.
If they’re freeze-dried, this makes them ideal for rehydrating and turning them into sauces that have just as much flavor as when they’re made fresh. Even when you have fruit trimmings, these can be used for special treats that go into flavoring pies, cookies, and pastries.
Save The Seeds
All fruits and veggies have seeds that can be saved and set aside to be used for growing in your backyard. Most people think that seeds aren’t so important but the overall cost of seeds that you buy online is pricier than you can imagine these days. When properly dried, seeds can be planted at the start of a growing season very easily and provide delicious vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, and even squash.
Many of these seeds are great to grow if you use the age-old Farmers Almanac that was originally introduced by America’s most iconic president Benjamin Franklin. He ironically used his pen name Poor Richard’ to gain trust from early American farmers to help them to determine the best time of the season to grow fruits and vegetables with the best results.
Make Fried Potato Skins
Potato trimmings are one veggie trimming that often seems it has virtually no use except for the compost heap. In reality, you might never have known that the skin of the potato is responsible for a majority of vitamins that aren’t in the actual potato itself! But for an alternative take on reusing potato skins, you won’t believe this clever trick. These can be fried and eaten as potato skins too!
They can also be roasted if you don’t want to have a super crunchy snack and retain much of their appealing chewiness. It’s sort of a cross between a French fry and potato chip but will have many of the beneficial nutrients still left over. The best part is these can be seasoned with all sorts of spices to give these treats your own signature flavor.
Save the peelings from citrus fruits as often as you can since there’s no end to what this savory rind can be applied to. Not only do lemon and lime skins make incredible candied treats for the holidays, but lemon zest can also be added to baking items when you bag them up and freeze them. They are also ideal as an ingredient for sauces, stews, and baked goods. Don’t forget that oranges are perfect to save skin rinds when making candied fruit.
Tasty skins from carrots make a vitamin-packed trimming that has a slew of uses. It can be used for vegetable stocks and sauces of all kinds when dried and stored properly. It can also make an amazing carrot cake that will taste better than using what you would typically shave off with a peeler and throw away. When totally dried, carrot peel powder can be produced and used as a spice additive for soups and stews.
When dried in a food dehydrator, the skins from carrots make healthy snacks for kids and still have all of the health benefits that go with them. Just make sure that your carrots are washed clean before removing these skins so you don’t have any leftover soil on the skin itself.
There is nothing like eating watermelon and honeydew in the summer, however, we usually just toss out the rinds after the sweet fruit inside is eaten. Melon rinds make tasty pickled additions at your dinner table too. You can prepare these rinds with very little effort using large masonry jars and some simple preserving additives to have pickled rinds that you can enjoy long after you’ve eaten the inside of nearly any kind of melon.
Just like those old days when they used to sell the Shrunken Apple Head kit with Vincent Price, you needed to peel your apple first. Even if you have a finicky kid who doesn’t like the skin on their apple slices, the leftover pieces are still good as gold. Apple skins can be roasted with a little bit of brown sugar and butter to make a sweet snack any kid will love.
Alternatively, apple skins and any kind of hard-skinned fruits can be removed and saved for drying and ground up to use in baking and sauce flavorings. If you haven’t considered that apple peelings and other types of fruit can make a savory flavored cider, you might be missing out otherwise. You can also make apple cider vinegar that is very simple to make using recipes online and never have to buy that expensive vinegar from the store anymore.
Natural Vegetable Dye
That’s just the way they used to dye clothing back in the good old days with certain fruits and veggies that have a lot of color within their skins. Beets, red and blue cabbage, red and yellow onion, and even spinach have all been used to create the vegetable dye. These trimmings might not be the greatest for eating, but they also make eco-friendly Easter egg colors that you can use apple vinegar cider made from (apple peels) to help set the color in the eggs shells.
For the best recipe results, you can check Pinterest or video tutorials on Youtube for the best inspiration and how-to instructions.