Another way to reduce waste and be more self-sustainable is to try to eat some plant parts that maybe you even did not know are edible! I am mostly talking about different vegetable and fruit parts. Our gut microbiome loves diversity and any additional type of fibre may feed the variety of friendly gut bacteria.
So here are some examples:
- Carrot tops
- Beat leaves
- Cauliflower stalks
- Broccoli stems
- Leek green part
- Fruit peels
- Citrus fruit peels
- Potato and sweet potato skins
- Kiwifruit skin
- Celery leaves
- Herb stems
- Stems from kale and chard
You may ask how on Earth I can eat it?
Please note that some parts are not necessarily tasty. But it also depends on your palate. The best way to incorporate them into your diet is to use them alongside the normal meals you eat.
Having smoothie for breakfast? Use kiwi with a little bit skin on.
Preparing shredded cabbage for salad? Shred the stem as well.
Got fresh carrots with green tops? Prepare the pesto.
Just juiced carrots? Make carrot cake from fibrous rests.
Don’t have time to peel potatoes? Cook or roast potatoes together with skin.
Using leek for your dish? Use all of it including the green part.
Cooking with beets? Beets leaves can be used as an add on to soup or instead of spinach.
Eating watermelon? Scoop extra 2 cm of white flesh.
Steaming cauliflower or broccoli? Cut stems in slices and steam them together, when tender, add olive oil, salt and pepper to have a snack.
If deciding to use fruits peels e.g. apples, which are not organic, you may consider soaking them in water with baking soda or washing them with Castillo soap.
When you peel citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits do not remove all the white part which is just under the skin (yes, the bitter one!)
Do not throw away something just because it is chewy, hard or you have not eaten it before! The parts that are more fibrous maybe be happily digested by your gut bacteria.
To sum up, the general rules for parts harder to eat:
- blend it
- cut it into fine slices
- mix it with something you would normally eat
- cook it
- chew it for longer! especially if you are a fast eater
And as always be open-minded and creative!