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11 Recipes That Make Delicious Use of Produce Scraps, From Kale Ribs to Carrot Tops

Reducing food waste is a smart and eco-friendly way to make the most of your groceries. Many of the scraps we typically throw away can actually be transformed into delicious and nutritious dishes. Here are 11 creative recipes that make delicious use of produce scraps, from kale ribs to carrot tops.

Savory Kale Stem Pesto

Transform tough kale stems into a flavorful pesto with garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. This savory kale stem pesto is perfect for spreading on toast, mixing into pasta, or using as a dip. The fibrous stems, often discarded, become tender and aromatic when blended with the right ingredients. Simply chop the stems, blend with garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice, and you have a vibrant pesto that makes a great addition to many dishes.

Zesty Carrot Top Pesto

Don’t toss those carrot greens! Blend them into a vibrant pesto with lemon, nuts, and olive oil. Carrot top pesto is a bright, zesty sauce that’s perfect for dipping or drizzling over roasted vegetables. The fresh, slightly bitter flavor of carrot tops pairs wonderfully with the acidity of lemon and the richness of nuts and olive oil. This pesto is a fantastic way to utilize the whole carrot and add a unique twist to your meals.

Crispy Potato Peel Chips

Turn potato peels into crispy snacks by tossing them with olive oil, salt, and your favorite seasonings, then baking until golden brown and crunchy. These crispy potato peel chips are a tasty and waste-free snack that you can enjoy any time. They are easy to make and can be flavored with a variety of seasonings, such as garlic powder, paprika, or rosemary. Not only do they reduce waste, but they also provide a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips.

Refreshing Watermelon Rind Salad

Use the often-discarded rind of watermelon to create a refreshing salad with cucumber, mint, and a tangy vinaigrette. A surprising and delicious way to reduce food waste, watermelon rind salad is crunchy, hydrating, and full of flavor. The rind’s mild taste absorbs the vinaigrette beautifully, while the cucumber and mint add a cooling, refreshing element. This salad is perfect for hot summer days and showcases an innovative use of watermelon rinds.

Flavorful Broccoli Stem Slaw

Instead of tossing broccoli stems, shred them into a crunchy slaw with carrots, cabbage, and a creamy dressing. This flavorful broccoli stem slaw is a refreshing side dish for any meal. The often-overlooked stems add a nice crunch and are packed with nutrients. Mix them with shredded carrots, cabbage, and a creamy, tangy dressing for a delicious and healthy slaw that pairs well with a variety of dishes, from burgers to grilled meats.

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Hearty Vegetable Stock

Collect vegetable scraps like onion skins, carrot ends, and celery leaves to make a flavorful homemade vegetable stock. This hearty vegetable stock is a perfect base for soups, stews, and sauces. By simmering these scraps in water, you can extract their flavors and create a rich, aromatic broth. It’s a fantastic way to use up leftovers and adds a depth of flavor to your cooking that store-bought stocks can’t match.

Citrus Peel Infused Water

Instead of discarding citrus peels, infuse water with them for a refreshing and flavorful drink. Citrus peel infused water is a simple yet effective way to add a burst of flavor to your hydration routine. Just add the peels to a jug of water and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. The oils from the peels will infuse the water with a subtle, refreshing citrus flavor. It’s a great way to make your water more exciting and make use of leftover peels.

Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves

Separate the leaves of Brussels sprouts and roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper until crispy. These crispy Brussels sprout leaves make a delicious and nutritious snack or side dish. Roasting them transforms the leaves into crunchy, savory bites that are hard to resist. They’re a great alternative to chips and can be seasoned with a variety of spices to suit your taste. This recipe is an excellent way to enjoy Brussels sprouts in a new and exciting form.

Sweet Apple Peel Chips

Turn apple peels into a sweet treat by tossing them with cinnamon and sugar, then baking until crisp. These sweet apple peel chips are a healthier alternative to store-bought snacks and a fantastic way to use up leftover peels. The natural sweetness of the apples pairs perfectly with the warmth of cinnamon and sugar. Bake them until they’re crispy and enjoy them as a snack or dessert. They’re a delightful way to reduce waste and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Nutritious Beet Green Smoothie

Don’t throw away beet greens! Blend them into a nutritious smoothie with fruits like banana, pineapple, and spinach for a boost of vitamins and minerals. This beet green smoothie is a great way to start your day with a healthy dose of nutrients. The greens add a slightly earthy flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the fruits. It’s a delicious and easy way to incorporate more greens into your diet and make use of the entire beet plant.

Radish Greens Soup

Don’t overlook radish greens! Simmer them into a velvety soup with potatoes and herbs for a nutritious and flavorful meal. Radish greens soup is a surprising and delicious way to use up the leafy tops of radishes. The greens add a peppery flavor that complements the creamy potatoes and aromatic herbs. This soup is easy to make and provides a comforting, nutritious meal that makes the most of your produce scraps.