Eat Smart

What You Never Knew About Rinds and Peels

Photo: Greenopolis.com/

Those orange peels you just threw in the trash are full of nutrients and belong on your plate. Stems from some of your favorite vegetables provide a powerful mix of antioxidants. Read on to see why you should start eating these delicious trimmings!

Orange peels have four times the amount of fiber than the actual orange itself. Tangeretin and nobiletin are flavonoids that can reduce the risk of diabetes and have anti-inflammatory properties. Instead of tossing the peel, grate the zest over vegetables such as green beans or asparagus. For a different dessert, place the peels in simple syrup, boil and glaze in melted dark chocolate.

Don’t know what to do with extra Swiss chard stems? The stems are proven to boost immunity and help the body recover from injuries. Tie the stems together and cook them in vegetable stock for 20 minutes. Add red wine, honey, garlic or vinegar for a flavorful twist.

Don’t forget about celery tops! The leaves have five times more calcium than stalks and are a good source of vitamin C. If you’re looking for anti-inflammatory compounds, celery tops are your best choice. Use to season fish or chicken, or stir into salsa.

Watermelon rinds are rich in citrulline, an amino acid that helps to improve circulation. The next time you’re making drinks for a get-together, place rinds in a blender with lime, watermelon flesh, sugar and vodka.

If you’re chopping onions for a salad, keep the skins! Onion skins have more antioxidants than onions and are a great addition to soups and stews for robust flavor.

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