LIFESTYLE: Healthy recipes from fruit scraps

When you’re cooking up a broccoli casserole or juicing a watermelon, you’re probably tossing the stem or the rind. But you might want to hold onto those scraps for a bit longer, because you can use them in surprising ways. It turns out that what you consider useless food scraps are actually loaded with high-quality nutrients.


So what are these foods parts you wouldn’t think to repurpose? They’re actually found in foods that are likely already in your fridge. Maggie Moon, MS, RDN, and author of The MIND Diet, gave us some recipes that use some of her favorite underused food parts.


Sweeten your smoothie by tossing in a pineapple core

Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also high in bromelain, an enzyme that digests proteins to promote better digestion and reduce inflammation, says Moon. If it’s not too woody or prickly on the outside, the pineapple core can be pleasant to chew on, but you can also easily blend it into a smoothie to add vitamin C and natural sweetness.



“Take the core of one pineapple, and blend with a green apple, cup of baby spinach and 1-inch piece of peeled ginger for a super zingy, antioxidant-rich fresh green smoothie,” says Moon.


Another option? Blend and strain the pineapple, and use the juice to sprinkle on cut apples, potatoes, artichokes or avocados to keep them from browning, she adds. The addition of pineapple juice will help preserve the freshness.


Use citrus zest to make a hearty healthy holiday treat

Before tossing out that lemon or orange rind, wrap it in plastic and toss it in the fridge — not the trash.



“Citrus zest is one of my favorite ways to brighten up dishes and drinks. They add extra zing to jams, mustards, and dressings, whether homemade or purchased,” says Moon. You can simply grate over salads, grains, greens, and fish as a garnish, but if you’re feeling indulgent over the holidays, “try lightly candied citrus peel for a slightly sweet, slightly tart treat,” says Moon.


“Peel zest off fruit, trying to get as little of the white bitter pith as possible. Slice into thin strands and boil for 10 minutes. Let cool/dry on a paper towel. Meanwhile, prep a lighter simple syrup (usually one to one sugar to water) with 1 cup water and a half-cup sugar. Stir in dried zest and bring to a boil (about 10 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon to cool before enjoying. You can dip half of the stick in melted dark chocolate for an extra special treat,” she says.


Whip up a tangy salad dressing with watermelon rind

We know that watermelon is rich with vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene. But the watermelon rind is also seriously underrated. “Watermelon rind has more of the immune-boosting amino acid citrulline than the flesh,” says Moon, so by throwing it out, you’re missing out on the good stuff.



“My favorite way to enjoy watermelon rind is swapping it in for green papaya in a Thai salad. It’s also great in a fresh salsa—simply dice and combine with onions, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper,” she says. Or, pickle them with spice.


While you can use watermelon rind for a fresh salsa — simply dice and combine with onions, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper — Moon’s favorite hack is to use it in a salad dressing.


“Using a spoon with a fine edge, scoop out the rind in big rustic strips. You can slice them down thinner afterwards if you prefer. Make a dressing by combining the juice from three limes, a tablespoon of fish sauce (you can always add more to taste), a tablespoon of brown sugar, and 3 minced garlic cloves, plus salt and pepper to taste. Dress the watermelon rind in the dressing and let sit for at least 10 minutes,” she says.


Written by Isadora Baum
Source: Men’s Health

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