Bright Side

10+ Foods Scraps You Can Actually Eat

Food waste is a worldwide problem with more than one-third of available food going uneaten. The good news is that there are several scraps that can be saved to use for delicious and nutritional solutions. Most people don’t know, but eggshells can be transformed into calcium powder, watermelon rinds can be pickled and cauliflower leaves can become a delicious soup, just to name a few examples.

So grab your kitchen tools and let Bright Side show you everything you thought you couldn’t eat, but actually can:

1. Eggshells

People with a calcium deficiency can get what they need from eggshells, since they are rich in this vital mineral. And since you wouldn’t just eat eggshells as is, the solution is to transform the eggshells into a calcium powder that you can put directly into your daily smoothie or that you can blend into your food.

2. Watermelon rinds

Watermelon is considered to be the favorite summer fruit of many people, but is very common to throw away all of its rinds. In reality, some people say watermelon rinds are very similar to a cucumber in taste and texture, making them the perfect candidate to make pickles with. They can be eaten as a snack or with other pickled veggies.

3. Cauliflower leaves

Cauliflower is trending now because of their never-ending cooking possibilities, but you won’t really see many recipes with their leaves. A good source of minerals, beta carotene, iron, and calcium, they are as delicious and versatile as the vegetable itself, whether making a nutritious soup or a crispy, healthy snack.

4. Zucchini flowers

While zucchini flowers are popular in some countries, like Italy, the rest of the world doesn’t look at them in the same way. Very delicate and smooth, if your zucchini is flowering, consider making a classic Italian dish instead of just throwing it away.

5. Carrot peels

We don’t think twice before putting all of the carrot peels into the trash. But they are actually flavorful and rich in vitamin C, and they can be elevated by transforming them into a carrot peel pesto. The perfect accompaniment to your everyday pasta.

6. Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) rinds

Although we’ve learned that we can’t eat Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) rinds, there’s a way to save them and enjoy that cheesy flavor a little longer. Many don’t know, but Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is soaked in water and sea salt for days, so to eat its rinds you just have to scrape them a little with a knife to remove the impurities from the external part. You can then add them to a broth or let them melt inside of a soup.

7. Cabbage hearts

Cabbage hearts are often considered trash because of their toughness and slightly sour taste. But, when cooked right, they can easily become a fan favorite. Mix them with broccoli, squash, or potatoes and cook them until they soften enough to make a rich purée.

8. Strawberry stems and leaves

Strawberry stems and leaves are often treated unfairly, (there’s even a special stem removal tool) but people don’t know they are eliminating a very nutritional part of this fruit that is rich in antioxidants,
anti-inflammatories, cardioprotective elements, and neuroprotective properties. If you don’t like the taste and texture, just blend everything together in your smoothie and enjoy.

9. Banana peels

Throwing away banana peels is almost an instinctual act, and although they can taste a bit bitter and tough while raw, eating them can really benefit your health since they’re rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A good idea is to make banana peel bacon, a delicious solution that even kids will want to try.

10. Brown avocado

Some of the ripe or bruised avocados aren’t even picked at the supermarket and go straight to waste. They may be softer, but they are still edible and can be used in almost every recipe using avocado. One of our favorites is a chocolate avocado pudding.

11. Onion skin

Onion skins have antioxidant-rich properties and although many people already use them to make vegetable stock, there’s a way to cook them without throwing away afterward. Boil them until soft and flexible, blend with olive oil, and mix it with your favorite flour recipe to create a batter. Dip slices of onion or chicken in them, and fry them.

Have you already tried any of these or do you have any other food scrap secrets? Share your recipes with us!