Fruit and vegetable peel, how to use it so as not to waste
Yes The Big Book of Peels by Lisa Casali, there is a lot of information on the nutritional and sustainable value of fruit and vegetable peel.
What we usually call waste, are actually valuable sources of nutrients and taste. This is how fruit and vegetable peels no longer have to end up in the wet bin because this makes no nutritional or even ethical sense.
Use the peel of fruits and vegetables in cooking it is a plus that will certainly affect your wallet (remember that you paid for everything that is weighed), but also the well-being of the planet. This story of throw away scraps and peel of fruit and vegetables is not an old question, far from it. The peasants of the past did not throw away any of the products of the land. Peels and scraps were very often their main ingredients for humble but nutritious recipes. It is precisely from those recipes that our famous gastronomic tradition is born and the Mediterranean diet considered intangible heritage by UNESCO since 2010.
With the passing of time, industrialisation, the frenzied production of food and ready-to-eat and packaged dishes, waste has become such. We started throwing away like obsessed, without considering the economic, nutritional and environmental damage we were creating. We all know today’s situation, we are certainly not here to make morals, but we can recover with some small changes that can do nothing but good for everyone and everything.
So here is a small (but precious) decalogue of fruit and vegetables to eat with the peel.
Don’t throw it away: 10 fruits and vegetables to eat with their peel
There are numerous variety of carrots and for none of these you will have to discard the peel. These are very common vegetables rich in vitamins, mineral salts and nutrients starting with Vitamin C. Nothing is thrown away from carrots. Wash them very well, if necessary leaving them to soak in water and baking soda and use the pulp and peel as if they were a single ingredient. The leaves are excellent for giving crunchiness to salads, but also for filling ravioli and filled fresh pasta.
Excellent, cheap and easy to cook, the potatoes they still constitute the main ingredient for many populations today. Do not peel them, wash them very well and put them in the oven with their peel. The flavor and texture that the potato peel will give is truly unique, try to believe!
In the case of asparagus it is not the actual peel, but the waste of the leathery stem. Not only the tips of these vegetables are good. Consider that by eliminating the stem you will give up more than 50% of the product you paid for. Asparagus stems are excellent for preparing edges for soups and risottos. The waste fiber can instead be dried in the oven or in the dryer to obtain fabulous strips that will give crunchiness to your first courses.
I bean pods make up about 70% of their weight. So it makes no sense to throw them away. If you buy very fresh broad beans, the pods are perfect for many recipes. Wash them well and remove only the small part of the ends and the central fillet. Boil them in water for about ten minutes and then grill them. They will be excellent as a side dish in addition to your salad. Try them with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.
The same goes for i pea pods which, unlike those of broad beans, are even more tender in their seasonality. You can dry them and eat them as a snack, but you can also blanch them and sauté them in the wok together with other vegetables with ginger, soy sauce and citrus juice. You will get a sensational recipe of Asian flavors and aromas.
Also there pumpkin peel it has been thrown away for years for no good reason. The seeds can be toasted and become delicious hunger-busting snacks, but we all know this by now. And the peel? Cut the pumpkin into thin slices without peeling it, place it in an oven pan and season with oil, seeds and aromatic herbs to taste. Cook the pumpkin (with its skin) as you usually do and you will notice that even the rind will become soft and will have a delicious taste.
Who knows why at one point we got into the bad habit of discarding and throwing away the leaves and central stem of the cauliflower. The motivation is unknown, but try frying cauliflower leaves in batter and you will never stop. The leaves and stem of the cauliflower can be prepared in the same way as the tops of this wonderful winter vegetable. Boiled, fried, baked, with pasta and in a thousand other ways, cauliflower is good (everything) in every way.
The amount of waste of the artichokes it is conventionally very high. But from today you can reduce it to a minimum, let’s go step by step. The stem, once defibrated from the outermost part, can be boiled or cooked in a pressure cooker and is really tasty as well as rich in iron. The outermost leathery leaves can be cooked in a pressure cooker. They will become very soft and once blended and filtered you will obtain a delicious and enveloping artichoke cream.
How many times have you eaten only the red part of thewatermelon throwing away everything else? We know the answer: too many! By eliminating the outermost green part, with the white part of the watermelon you can create a delicious vegetarian carpaccio marinated with oil, salt and lemon juice. Once boiled in water and vinegar, the white part of the watermelon can become a delicious pickled vegetables or a mostarda to accompany your main courses.
Together with mela let’s put it there too pera. These are two of the most common table fruits that must never be peeled because their source of nutrients resides in the peel. Buy fruits from organic farming, wash them well under running water, dry them and enjoy them in their entirety.
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