Are You Throwing Away the 'Best' Part?
We wanted to take a moment to offer new meaning to some old advice your parents used to offer; "Eat your fruits and veggies!"
Fruits and vegetables are a must-have in your diet. They are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, (usually) low in calories, and excellent energy sources.
Here's the twist. When your parents told you to 'eat your fruits and vegetables', they were referring to the sliced, skinned and prepared portion on your plate - we are referring to 'all of the fruit and vegetable', skins, tops and stems included.
Skins, tops and stems often have higher concentrations of nutrients than the fruits or vegetables themselves.
The skin of most fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, potatoes, squashes and even kiwi, contain antioxidants, fiber and other healthy properties.
Tops of vegetables like beets, carrots, or any other vegetable that sprouts a leaf or anything green are full of nutrients. They can be a great contribution to your diet.
The stem is the component that's rooted in the soil. For vegetables such as kale, collards, parsley and swiss chard the stem often contains substantial vitamins and nutrients.
Some uses and benefits for your, tops, skins and stems:
Beetroot tops are loaded with calcium, magnesium and iron.
Use the tops of beets and stems of swiss chard to make a wonderful and colourful side dish.
The skins from citrus fruits contain bioflavonoids, which have antioxidant qualities.
Potato skins have potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
- Use the zest of an orange into a cookie, muffin or yogurt.
- Put the skins of any fruit and vegetable through your juicer.
- Leave the skin on mashed potatoes to take full advantage of their nutritional value.
So next time you are preparing fruits or vegetables for a snack or meal, don't throw away the 'best' part. There are countless uses for tops, skins and stems when you are eating 'ALL' of your fruits and vegetables.
- Stems make a great base to a stir-fry. Add in broccoli and swiss chard stems at the beginning along with your onions and celery. That way they can soften and absorb lots of flavour.
- Stems make for a great base to soup stock (collard stems, kale stems, parsley stems). Let them infuse in your water for an hour or so and then remove. They will leach all of their nutrients into your soup stock.
- The stems of any fruit and vegetable can also be put through your juicer.
Note: Remember to wash your fruits and vegetable parts thoroughly as they were handled during transport as well as exposed to pesticides during production.
This recipe was sourced from Fully Nourished by Marni Wasserman.