Food, Healthy Eating

5 Food Scraps You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

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5 Food Scraps You Didn't Know You Could Eat | WWII poster

Clean your plate, don’t take more than you’re going to eat, save leftovers. These are all things you hear when discussing how to cut down on food waste.

But what about when you stray away from the obvious? It turns out there are more ways to eliminate waste than you may think. For starters, you can use up the stuff that you may have deemed inedible, like stalks, stems, and seeds.

Not only will you be keeping them from filling a landfill- you’ll also open your eyes to a variety of new products that can be made right at home.

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

1. Date pits

5 Food Scraps You Didn't Know You Could Eat - date pits

Dates are addictive- especially those of the medjool variety. I go through these caramelly gems lightning fast, meaning I am left with plenty of pits. It just so happens that not only are they edible, but they can be used for coffee of all things! Well a coffee substitute- the caffeine content of the pits are negligible.

To prepare: Bake the seeds on your oven’s lowest setting for one hour. Then grind into a powder and brew like you would regular coffee.

2. Papaya Seeds

5 Food Scraps You Didn't Know You Could Eat - papaya seeds

Papaya seeds are a spicy counterpart to its sweet, juicy flesh. I will eat them plain, sprinkled over salads, but I recently tried them a new way that I like even better. I made a powder that can be used in place of pepper in just about any dish.

To prepare: Dehydrate or bake seeds on low temperature until dry. Then grind in a high-speed blender or food processor and store in the fridge.

3. Apricot Seed Kernels

5 Food Scraps You Didn't Know You Could Eat - apricot kernels

I would’t have thought to eat apricot seed kernels until I came across the ingredient in raw truffles I had bought. It turns out they are quite the treat, tasting like almonds and bursting with healthy fats.

To prepare: Crack open apricot pits to reveal their inner kernel. Then you can them plain, or grind them into butter.

4. Corn Silk

5 Food Scraps You Didn't Know You Could Eat - corn silk

The blonde, stringy bits at the end of your corn aren’t just for looks. They have many healing properties when used the right way. Brew up some corn silk tea to reap its benefits, which include keeping the heart and urinary system healthy.

To prepare: Steep silk in boiling water, then strain (or don’t) and drink. Yep, that’s it!

5. Sweet Potato Greens

5 Food Scraps You Didn't Know You Could Eat - Sweet Potatoes

I just tried these neutral greens for the first time. I had no idea that they could be eaten, let alone that they taste so good. They are similar to spinach, with a firmer texture- so they hold up better when cooked.

To prepare: Sauté in apple cider vinegar and dress with squeezed orange for a refreshing side dish.

How else do you utilize food scraps?

Related: How to Regrow Your Groceries

8 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Is Freeganism the Next Step Toward Sustainability?

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Photo: Unknown via Wikimedia Commons; Farmanac, Janine, Dricker94, Market Manager, Jamonation, all via Flickr

Quincy Malesovas

Quincy Malesovas

Quincy is an NC-based college student who is passionate about leading a healthy and compassionate life. Aside from classes, she fills her time with cooking, writing, travel, and yoga. You can find more from her on her blog Shugurcän and on Instagram.
  • Christiana Tawzer Brown

    Wow, what an awesome list of foods scraps you can eat! I had no idea. I’m especially excited to try out the date pit idea.

  • Nanaverm

    Apricot kernels and apple seeds have cyanide in them. They shouldn’t be eaten in any quantity. Sweet potato greens are sold in farmers markets selling to Asians in Oakland, CA.

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