How To… use eggshells, banana peels, etc.

This is part of my Nutritional Health Series. Just check the tag for the other posts!

Oftentimes we throw away the outer shell of a food because we can’t think of what to do with it. But many peels and shells, especially from organic, local foods, are clean, healthy and rich in nutrients. The issue is: what do we do with them?

The different types of waste we have are…

  • Hard mineral shells. Like the shells from eggs or shellfish. Rich in minerals like calcium, selenium and zinc. Soak in water or lemon juice for 24h. Discard any shell that remains, keep the water.
  • Peels. From fruits or vegetables. Have many vitamins and antioxidants. Wash and chop.
  • Kernels and seeds. From fruits. Rich in minerals and healthy fats. De-shell, wash and roast lightly. Always check online as some seeds are poisonous.
  • Soft bits and ugly plants. From fruits and vegetables. Same nutrients as the rest of the plant. Process normally.
  • Bones and gristle. From meat. High in collagen, healthy fats, minerals and protein. Steep and then boil in water until the bone is clean and the gristle melts and is soft.

And all these types of waste can be repurposed. You just need to know how to do it.

1: Stew and broths.

Bone broths and vegetable broths can be easily made by boiling leftover trimmings from animals and plants. At the end you can either blend the remainder in to make a nice soup, strain and keep the broth or strain and use it as a basis for a stew.

2: Smoothies.

Ugly fruits and vegetables, seeds, vegetable trimmings and peels can all be blended into your morning smoothie. Cucumber peel, unwaxed lemon peel and melon rinds and seeds go lovely in a banana and melon smoothie.

3: Dirty water.

You can always use water from eggshells or seafood shells, soaked seeds or blended plants as a basis for some nourishing, rehydrating “dirty water”.

4: Pasta sauce.

Ugly vegetables, peels and trimmings can be boiled and then blended into a tomato base to make a pasta sauce.

5: Chutneys and jams.

Most peels, rinds and bruised or ugly fruits and vegetables can be easily made into a jam or chutney by just boiling with sugar and/or salt and vinegar.

And that’s how to sneak some of the less pretty looking leftovers from cooking into your meals. After all, they are often packed with nutrients, so why not?

What nutrient dense “kitchen waste” do you enjoy?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!