Tips for using all parts of your fruit & vege

Stalks and skins going in the bin? Make sure you use all parts of your favourite fruit and vegetables with these simple tips and tricks that will see nothing going to waste.

Vegetable broth

Almost any clean and unspoiled vegetable scraps can be used to make homemade vegetable broth. Use roots, stalks, leaves and peels from vegetables such as onions, potatoes, leeks, carrots, celery and more, which can be stored in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch of broth. Avoid vegetables from the cruciferous family such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower as these will leave strong, bitter flavours in your broth.

Herb stems

Rather than just using the leaves of herbs, mince their stems and add them into any recipe that asks for their leaves. You could also add minced herb stems into pesto, salsa verde, chimichurri or herb butters. Hard-stemmed herbs like rosemary or thyme can be steeped in oils and vinegar to infuse them with flavour.

Kale stems

The stiffer stems of kale can be used just like their leaves, either cooked into dishes, chopped into salads or blended into juices and smoothies. If you find the flavour of kale stems too bitter, simmer in a pot of water until soft, then mince and add to pesto or chimichurri.

Potato skins

Potato peelings don’t need to go to scrap bin, as they can be transformed into a delicious side dish or snack! Simply fry skins in oil until crispy, then season generously with salt. You could also use larger skins to make stuffed potato dishes.

Apple skins and cores

Apple peel and cores are highly flavoursome, and can be used to make sauce or jam, or blended into juices and smoothies, being sure to remove the seeds first. You could also use unwanted apple peelings, cores and browning flesh to make your own apple cider vinegar, by fermenting them in water and sugar for 2-3 weeks.

Citrus zest and skins

Whenever you use citrus, zest it first so you are making the most of the whole fruit. Zest can be kept in the freezer until you want to use it. Citrus peels can also be used in many ways, such as making candied orange peel to garnish desserts, infusing a cup of tea with extra flavour, or even keeping a peel in your brown sugar container to stop it solidifying!

Broccoli and cauliflower stalks

Broccoli and cauliflower stalks are highly nutritious and make a great low-carb replacement in dishes. Use a spiralizer to make broccoli stem noodles, or you can grate or blend both broccoli and cauliflower stems to make a replacement for rice. You could also grate either veggie into dishes such as fritters, quiches or frittatas, or simply cut them into pieces and roast with the rest of your vegetables.

Try re-growing them

A fantastic way to make the most of your vegetable scraps is to use them to actually regrow the vegetable! Celery, lettuce, green onion, leek and fennel roots, as well as sprigs of herbs such as coriander and basil will grow into new plants simply by putting them in a glass with an inch of water on a sunny windowsill. After the roots and plants have grown for about a week, they will be ready to be planted back into soil!

With these handy ideas, you will cut down on what you put in the waste bin and find some tasty new ways to enjoy the different parts of your fruit and vege.