1. Watermelon Rind

You may not have considered eating watermelon skin before but grated watermelon rinds can be used as an alternative to cabbage in coleslaw or added to salsa. Pickled rinds are also popular in South Africa where they are used to make a sweet jam that’s sometimes served with cheese.

So before you chuck that rind into the bin, think about whether you can further make use of it!

2. Beetroot Stems

We are all familiar with the juicy red beetroot but many may not be aware that beetroot stems are also edible. Leafy beetroot stems are a great substitute or alternative to spinach, bok choy and swiss chard. As with other fresh greens, simply steam, braise or sauté with a little butter, vegetable oil or olive oil. You could even eat them raw, as an additive to salad.

3. Banana Skins

In the classic comedy skit, the protagonist steps on a banana peel and falls on his ass. However, if we were all to consume our banana peel, there would be none to slip on!

There are plenty of ways you can cook with these fruit peels and it is a surprisingly common ingredient in many parts of the world. Full of fibre, vitamins and minerals, it just needs to be broken down in a food processor or by cooking. Try banana peel chutney, spiced with chillies and garlic, or banana peel thoran which is a coconut-based curry.

Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

4. Cauliflower and Broccoli Leaves

There’s no need to throw away cauliflower or broccoli leaves. Make the most of the entire vegetable by roasting them in olive oil and a few pinches of salt to create kale-like crisps. Like other greens, they can also be sautéed, steamed or boiled.

Photo by Jeeray TANG on Unsplash

5. Strawberry Tops

There is no need to bin the tops of strawberries. These short, spiky leaves are full of goodness and you won’t even notice them if you’re whizzing them up in a blender to make a smoothie. Strawberry tops can also be used to add flavour when infusing water, spirits or balsamic vinegar.

6. Lemon Peel

Lemon peel is packed with nutrients so think twice before you throw it away. Grate the zest into salads, soups and smoothies. Save pieces of peel to use in fruit teas, fruit cakes or to mix into pastry before baking.

7. Carrot Tops

Don’t toss out those long green carrot tops just yet. The greens, while bitter, come packed with vitamins, including significant amounts of vitamin A, dietary fibre, vitamin C, calcium. And, like the root part of the plant, the greens too may help improve your vision. Mix them into hummus, stir fry, or a salad for a vitamin boost.

8. Broccoli Stalks

As it turns out, broccoli stalks could be even more nutritious than their tops (known as broccoli crowns). According to LiveStrong, 100 grams of broccoli stem contains 2.98 grams of protein, 48 milligrams of calcium, 88 milligrams of iron, 25 milligrams of magnesium, 325 milligrams of potassium, 27 milligrams of sodium, and 400 IU of vitamin A. The stems have the same nutritional value as the crown itself. So, if you are throwing them away, you’re throwing out all those nutrients too!

Photo by Vino Li on Unsplash

9. Pineapple Core

Pineapple contains bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme; it has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce nasal and sinus inflammation, and it can mitigate arthritis and muscle pain. It also has anticoagulant properties, meaning it breaks down the blood-clotting protein fibrin, for a potential cancer-fighting effect.

Here are 16 fresh pineapple recipes to help you be less wasteful and get as many nutrients in your body as possible.

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