How to use up vegetable peels
We’re on a mission to encourage cooks to use every scrap of every ingredient to avoid unnecessary waste. Here, our Food Producer Emily Gussin shares ideas to use up pesky peelings with easy recipes and tips for root vegetable peel crisps, fritters and stock. Plus, we reveal which veggies genuinely need peeling and which just need a good scrub…
Which vegetables do you need to peel and which ones can you eat with skin-on?
Next time you reach for the peeler, ask yourself why. Does that carrot really need to lose a layer? The answer is likely to be no. Yes, root veg have come from underground, but that’s nothing a good scrub with a vegetable brush can’t fix. Unless you’re making mash or striving for an artistic masterpiece, your daily veg are fine to leave unpeeled.
These are our top 10 to scrub, not peel:
Crisp up your vegetable peelings
Potato and vegetable peel crisps are a simple way to turn waste into a snack or crisp topping for soups, pasta and stews. It’s best to make them as soon as you’ve peeled the veg and they’re a great option if the oven is already on for cooking your main dish. Change up the flavour by sprinkling on seasonings before cooking – try adding nutritional yeast for a cheesy (vegan) taste.
Spread the peels out on a tray to air-dry for 10 minutes, then toss with oil and salt to coat. Spread out on a baking tray and roast at 180C fan/gas 6 for 15-20 minutes or cook in an airfryer for 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle over flaky sea salt and enjoy.
Turn your vegetable peelings into stock
Keep a container or food bag in the freezer to save your veg peelings, tops, tails and scraps. Once it’s full, you have enough to make stock. Follow our best-ever chicken stock recipe or keep it veggie, adding herbs and peppercorns for extra flavour.
Turn your vegetable peelings into crumbs!
Whizz up potato peels with nuts and seasonings to make a crunchy topping for gratins or fish in place of breadcrumbs.
Turn your vegetable peelings into fritters
Finely slice vegetable peels and use to make fritters or pakoras. Make a batter with spices, flour and egg, then use to coat the peels and shallow or deep fry until crisp. Try these moreish feta and harissa fritters, too.
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