How To Use Up The Peels Of These 5 Vegetables

There’s no need to waste the leftover peels of vegetables. Some peels are safe to eat. They are high in fibre and you can make multiple dishes using the peels.

By D Tejaswi
31 Jul 2022

Let’s assume that you are meeting the goal of two and a half cups of vegetables daily. The produce is washed thoroughly, but here's something else to consider—should you throw away all of the peels? Research in Advances in Nutrition, 2012 finds that vegetable peels are high in fibre. When you eat veggies along with the peel, it may lower the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s says The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015. One of the easiest ways to meet your daily intake of fibre is to consume vegetables along with the peel.


Related Story: 6 Ingredients For Fibre Rich Smoothies


Peels of vegetables such as potato, onion, garlic, bottle gourd, radish, and zucchini are loaded with fibre. These keep you full for longer and also provide an extra dose of vitamins and minerals. For instance, a boiled potato’s skin contains up to 175 per cent additional Vitamin C, 111 per cent more folate, 115 per cent extra potassium and 110 per cent more magnesium than without the peel.


In general, vegetable peels contain over 30 per cent of the total fibre of the vegetable, writes Heather Norman Burgdolf, in an article for College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, UK.


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Here are 5 vegetable peels you can use.

1. Garlic: Garlic peel is an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and E and some unique proteins. A paper published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022 finds 67 unique proteins in garlic peels that help you to lower your blood pressure. “Interestingly, the outer garlic peel also accumulates multiple sugars, including rhamnose, mannitol, and sorbitol at a higher level compared to the clove,” says the paper. Studies find that sorbitol benefits oral health, rhamnose offers anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties, and mannitol helps prevent the development of dental caries.


How to use garlic peels

Put garlic cloves in the microwave for just 20 seconds to loosen the peel off the clove. Once you have the peels, just dehydrate the skins, and pulse them in a food processor to create a powder. Use the powder as a flavouring agent to your dishes.


Find the recipe here


2. Onion: Onion peel powder is antioxidant-rich. Onion peel contains flavonoid, specifically quercetin, is well-known for its beneficial properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer effects. In addition, flavonoids play an important role in prevention against oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for development of cardiovascular and neurological diseases, finds Antioxidants, 2020.


How to use onion peels

Add onion peels to boiling soups or gravies. Take the peels out once you can smell the aroma of onions in the dish.


Find the recipe here


Related story: 6 Ingredients For Fibre-Rich Smoothie


3. Radish: “Radishes do not have to be peeled; just wash and cut off the tops and root end,” says a paper Rethink Your Radishes - Nutrition and Food Safety published by the University of Wyoming, US. While its flesh is typically white and you find different skin colours including red, purple, black, yellow, and white, all you need to do is to thoroughly clean the vegetables before you dice, slice or cut them. Radish peels are a good source of antioxidants to protect your cells from damage, finds a paper published in Open Chemistry, 2021.


How to use radish peels

Prepare a radish peel chutney by frying the radish peels, grated coconut and red chillies. Add some tamarind, jaggery, salt and turmeric before grinding smoothly.


Find the recipe here


4. Bottle gourd: Bottle gourd peels are a great source of fibre, and are also helpful for improved digestion and metabolism. This low-calorie vegetable and its peel are also a great option to keep weight in check and manage blood sugar levels. A study published in PLOS One, 2022, finds the highest antioxidant activity in bottle gourd peels over other edibles like mango, apple and ridge gourd. So, whether you want to reduce the risk of several diseases including CVD and certain cancers or reduce the cell damage caused by oxidation, have dishes made that include bottle gourd peels.


How to use bottle gourd peels

Make a chutney or stir fry using bottle guard’s peels. Fry and toss them with green chillies, tomates and dry spices for richer taste and appearance.


Find the recipe here


Related story: Refreshing Mango Spritzer


5. Potato peels: About 50 per cent of a potato peel is dietary fibre. Potato peel also contains quercetin which protects the body's cells from free radical damage. The protein contained in potato skins, known as patatin, also helps in reducing blood pressure and maintaining heart health, finds the paper ACTA Scientific Nutritional Health.


Use of Potato peels

Take leftover potato peels, sprinkle some oil and seasoning over the peels and put them in the oven until they turn slightly brown and crunchy.

Watch the recipe here.







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