Ever give a second thought to throwing away the skin of your orange, the peel of your banana, or the rind of your watermelon?
If your answer was no, you put yourself in a category with millions of others around the world who dispose of peels and rinds from fruit and vegetables because they think they are inedible or don’t taste good.
What you don’t know, however, is that these peels and rinds you are throwing in the garbage are actually full of fiber and packed with nutrients like vitamin C.
Banana peels, carrot skin, citrus fruit peels, kiwi skin, even those hard watermelon rinds, and many others can all be consumed in some way. In order to help you get these extra nutrients, we took the time to break down some interesting ways that you can eat these less than appealing foods courtesy of our friends at Stack.com:
Citrus fruits(oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes) – These peels contain twice the vitamin C of the actual fruit itself — and also contain large amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. How to eat them: Since these peels can be very bitter and tough to chew and digest, consider grating the peel to create zest for the top of a salad with dressing, or even for the top of sweets like ice cream or chocolate.
Kiwis – The skin offers flavonoids, antioxidants, and — of course — a large amount of vitamin C. How to eat them: This one is simple. Instead of taking the time to spoon out the fruit from the skin, scrape off the fuzz from the outside and simply eat the juicy fruit like you would a peach.
Carrots – A carrot offers a variety of nutrients within the orange rough skin that is usually peeled and thrown away. How to eat them: All you need to do to safely eat the whole, unpeeled carrot is cleanse it carefully with water to remove dirt or other imperfections. The flavor of the vegetable should remain the same.
Watermelons – Watermelons contain something known as citrulline, which has an amino acid that is beneficial for heart health, your immune system, and much more. But, surprising to many, the rind contains much more of the rare amino acid. How to eat them: This one may be the toughest of all because it can sound extremely unappetizing to the ear. However, you can do a lot with this rind. You can pickle it, sauté it, or — one of our favorites — throw it in a blender with the rest of the watermelon and other fruits and veggies to make a delicious smoothie.
Bananas – Proportional to the commonly consumed part of a banana, the peel seems to be one of the biggest wastes in the world of fruit. However, this peel is extremely nutritious — as it has powerful antioxidants and an amino acid known as tryptophan that increases your body’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can boost your mood. How to eat them: When it comes to banana peel preparation, variety’s the name of the game. Boil the peel, cook it in a frying pan, bake pieces of it into dried-out chips, or just throw the entire fruit into a juicer.
No matter how you prepare these fruit or vegetable rinds and peels, the important thing to remember is the nutrients you are gaining. So find a way for yourself to enjoy these delicacies, and your body will thank you in the long run!