Because of my Produce Box deliveries, my awareness of the parts of food that we use and the parts that go to waste has increased. Produce Box items arrive to your door a little differently than if you pick them up at the grocery store. For example, carrots might have the greens attached when you get them, or you’ll find broccoli and Brussels sprouts still attached to the stalk.
At first I just cut off and throw away the parts I wouldn’t normally use. But then a friend mentioned the broccoli stalk could be used multiple ways instead of throwing it out. Peel and chop up to use in a salad or cook it and puree for a soup. Then I read that the Brussels Sprouts stalk is delicious steamed, once you cut away the bamboo-like outer skin. Little by little I discovered recipes that used the parts of the vegetable that would normally get thrown away, like the peel.
Did you know that every year roughly one third of the food
produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted? In developing countries food waste and losses happen mainly at the early stages of the food value chain (like before harvest or in storage before delivery to the retailers).
But in medium- and high-income countries, like the US, more than 40% of waste happens at the retail and consumer levels. For example, in the grocery store broccoli (and cauliflower) is cut off the stock into florets; carrots, cauliflower, and beets are sold without their green tops. Broccoli stalks have a richer flavor than the florets and those greens are nutritional powerhouses full of vitamins A and C. (Just a half cup of beet greens provides 30% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.) Or at home you cut off the tops of the carrots and onions and throw them away.
If just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world!
When only using part of the vegetables in a dish, we waste food and opportunities to add flavor and nutrition are missed. The skin/peel of a vegetable contains more nutrients than in the vegetable itself!
For example, the peel has 50% of the nutrients in the potato. When you toss the peels you miss all that fiber, potassium (more than a banana), iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and vitamins C and B-6! I decided to make something with that yummy potato peel “waste.”
Our house loves chips, so it was pretty obvious what I should make with the peels.
Potato Peel Chips
Using peels from 4 medium to large russet potatoes, and a yummy mix of spices, create a delicious and healthy(er) snack with stem-to-root cooking.
Coat the peels thoroughly with the oil and spices. Carefully spread the peels on the hot baking sheet in a single layer, skin side down (I didn’t do this and not all of the peels got crispy) and roast for 10 minutes.
Stir the peels using a spatula and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and check if they are crispy enough. If not, return to the oven and continue baking for another 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on the chips at this stage because they can burn quickly.
Place on a pate and serve immediately.
Waste Free Potato Peel Chips
Cook Time20 m
- Peels from 4 medium to large russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 teaspoon Roasted Garlic & Bell Pepper Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Garlic & Herb Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Add the seasonings into a small bowl and mix well.
In a medium bowl add the peels, avocado oil, and the spices mix.
Toss to coat thoroughly.
Carefully spread the peels on the hot baking sheet in a single layer, skin side down. (I didn’t do this and not all of the peels got crispy.)
Roast for 10 minutes. Then for even browning, stir the peels around using a spatula and roast for another 10 minutes.
Check to see if they are crispy enough. If the peels are to your desired crispness, remove from oven. If not, continue baking for another 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on the peels at this stage because they can burn quickly.
I used a regular peeler, but used more pressure so that the skins would have a little extra potato flesh on them.
If you won’t be baking the peels right away, place them in a bowl of water to prevent browning (up to a day). When ready to bake, drain the peels and squeeze them dry in a clean dish towel.
You can substitute the avocado oil with olive oil, or for a really spectacular flavor use some rendered bacon fat.
After removing from the oven, sprinkle the chips with your favorite shredded cheese to punch up the flavor.
Mix up the spices: Try paprika, cayenne pepper, and thyme for a spicy kick. Or use bacon bits, parmesan cheese, and italian spices.
These crispy chips also make a great garnish for soup and chowder.
Please note: Avoid any green peels as they may contain solanine which is a toxin.