September 17, 2015 – Hi all, Chef Alyssa here from the ALDI Test Kitchen! As my mother always said, “Waste not, want not” – words that travel with me as I prepare meals for my friends and family. My family is very conscious of our imprint on the earth and it’s important for me to carry this philosophy as I prepare my produce!
Here are my top 8 favorite ways to Make Every Bit Count when it comes to produce:
- Onion Peels, Carrot Peels, Celery Leaves and Roots – Save these and use them to enhance the flavors of your stocks and soups. They have an intense flavor so you won’t need too much, but you can collect and freeze them until they are ready to be used.
- Herb Stems- These can also be used in stocks and soups, but when blended with oil they make a great marinade or dressing.
- Pineapple Tops – I love to cut these off and use them as a display in fruit trays and platters. Or, for a fun trick the kids will love, carefully tear the top off and place in a cup of water. When it starts to sprout, you can plant in dirt and watch it grow!
- Green Onions – Only use the green, and discard the roots? Much like the pineapple, if you place the roots in water they will regrow and you can keep clipping the green portions. Don’t forget to change the water every other day!
- Lemons – Seriously, one of the best for making every bit count! I recommend making vinaigrette with lemon juice, but if you zest the lemon first, you can extract a bright flavor. Use some of the zest in the vinaigrette, but save some to sprinkle on top.
- Banana Peels – Use these to quickly ripen an avocado by placing the two together in a plastic bag and letting sit overnight. For another great use, place a few peels in a pan when roasting tough meat to help tenderize.
- Avocado Skins – After making guacamole, scoop it back into the hallowed avocado skins and serve to guests. This is an especially huge hit when garnished with tomato and chopped cilantro. Plus, less dishes to wash! Win!
- Apple Cores– After slicing up apples for the kids, place the core in hardened brown sugar, and it will soften it up within a day.