You may have been raised to peel everything before you eat it, but as it turns out, the skin or rind of many foods contain a lot of precious nutrients that shouldn’t end up in the trash. As long as you give that carrot a good scrub, it’s perfectly fine to eat it skin and all. Everyone knows you can throw your veggie peels and scraps into a pot of boiling water with herbs to make a flavorful and nutritious soup stock, but we’ve got a few other reasons why you should save your skins:
Most people throw out the rind of a watermelon, but it’s totally edible and also contains beneficial nutrients like an amino acid called citrulline, which plays an important role in the body’s ability to eliminate waste. How can you eat it? Watermelon rind can be pickled, stir-fried and even turned into that refreshing cold soup known as gazpacho, but we thought this recipe looked especially delicious and wholesome: Vega-Licious’ Watermelon Rind Smoothie.
When you’re trying to eat healthy, removing the skin before cooking your chicken might seem like the best idea. This is because it contains a lot of fat, so removing it logically reduces the fat in the recipe you’re cooking. This might be misguided because chicken skin contains good fats that can help fight cholesterol, and removing the skin really doesn’t remove that many calories from your meal. On top of that, it tastes great! So next time you cook your chicken, consider leaving the skin on, or try this recipe: Baked Chicken Cracklings.
Once you’ve grated away all that delicious parmesan and you’re left with the tough rind, you might be tempted to throw it away, but stop right there! You can use it to add richness and flavor to soups of many kinds, and even your sautéed greens! Just toss it in and let it melt. Don’t forget to remove any leftover lumps before eating. Mmmm cheesy tomato soup!
Citrus Fruit Rinds
The rinds of lemons, limes, oranges and pomelos contain tons of vitamin C and a high concentration of flavonoids, which are plant compounds known to have antioxidant properties. And the richly scented essential oil found in citrus rinds is also used to fight acid reflux. You can also use the rinds in smoothies and baked goods. Here’s a recipe to try: take orange peel and scrape off as much of the peel as you can, then dry them in a single layer on a rack for a few days. Use the dried peels to flavor your tea and add a boost of extra nutrition. You can also pulverize the dried peels into powder and use them to flavor seasonings like salt and pepper.
Not to be confused with the popular pub snack known as potato skins, potato peels are the skins of the potato that usually get thrown in the compost. They’re full of nutrients like iron and they’re super flavorful. With the right seasonings, they can be really crispy, tasty snacks! Here’s how to roast your potato peels into deliciousness: The Kitchn’s Roasted Potato Peels.
Keep these skins, peels and rinds in mind next time you’re in the kitchen looking for a little extra flavor and nutrition. Give them a try and let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter at @luvoinc.