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7 Ways To Get Creative With Leftover Fruit And Veggie Peels

Make the most of fruit and vegetable peels that would otherwise increase your food waste.

Annabelle Dcosta

Whether you’re looking for ways to cut down on food waste or simply to make the most of your produce, these tips and tricks surely come in handy. Here are ways you can dig out the best from your peelings. So go ahead, put those saved peels to some good use!

1. Make Vegetable Stock

Instead of buying ready-to-use or store-bought stock, you could make your own using the leftover stalks, skins and peels of whatever veggies you’ve got at hand. From the skins and peels of onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic and ginger to the roots of herbs like parsley and cilantro, you could throw any of your leftover peels into the stock.

If you don’t require them immediately, wash and clean the peels and save them for later use in the refrigerator. Once you have a good amount of leftover, transfer them all into a pan of water and simmer on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once cool, strain and store in a jar or container. You can refrigerate this stock for up to four days and use it for just about anything - soup, risotto or stew.

2. Turn Them into Something Yummy

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Love potatoes? Make the most out of them by saving the peels. Simply soak the peels in water for a good half an hour. Let them dry and then season with whatever spices you like. The same goes for carrot peels. Bake them or throw them into a pan with some hot oil. You’ll have crispy chips to add happy to your dull evenings in no time. Spice up your cakes, muffins and other baked goodies with orange or lemon peels zest. You could also use them to up the flavour your cocktails.

You could also treat yourself to some candied orange or lemon peels. To get started, simply cut strips of these peels and throw them into a saucepan filled with water and let boil. Drain and set aside. In another small saucepan, mix together equal amounts of sugar and water and boil until it turns sticky. Next, add in the peels and cook until they become translucent. Drain the excess sugar syrup and set it aside to cool. Store in an air-tight container and munch on these when those sweet tooth cravings kick in.

3. Welcome Youthful-Looking Skin

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Leftover fruit and vegetable peels can work wonders for your skin’s health, thanks to the antioxidants and other nutrients in them. In addition to helping whiten, exfoliate and cleanse your skin, some fruit peels also make for good moisturisers. What’s more, they are natural, effective, and economical. For a natural moisturiser, rub the fleshy part of an avocado, papaya or banana peel on your face.

To make your own DIY face scrub, dry a few orange or lemon peels in the sun for about two to three days. Grind them to a coarse powder, mix with unpasteurised yoghurt and a dash of honey. Generously apply this onto your face and neck. Let it stay for 15 to 20 minutes and then gently scrub. Rinse with lukewarm water. Do this once a week. 

4. Say Goodbye to Tired Eyes

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Potato peels are a good source of enzymes and vitamin C, both of which can help get rid of dark circles and also soothe puffy and tired-looking eyes. You could also use cucumber peels for their cooling properties.

All you need to do is, before going to bed, refrigerate these leftover peels for around 10 to 15 minutes. Once chilled, place them over and around your eyes and let rest for at least 20 minutes. Rinse your eyes with cold water. Do this every night for best results. In no time you’ll be left with always fresh-looking eyes!

5. Whiten your teeth

Unlike other over-the-counter bleaching agents, fruit peels don’t cause dental erosion and are absolutely economical. Rubbing your teeth with the inside of a banana or an orange peel can help brighten your smile naturally,and helps to get rid of yellow tinges from your teeth.

These peels are also a good source of magnesium, manganese and potassium, and can help recharge your tooth enamel, thereby keeping them white and bright. Make sure you do this either after or before brushing your teeth, and in no way should this replace your regular dental hygiene routine.

6. Repel Pesky Pests

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Yes, you can keep those uninvited guests away from your home without having to bother about the ill-effects of the hazardous chemicals found in most store-bought repellents. Citrus peels, especially orange and lemon, are a great (and natural) way to keep pests and insects away.

The citrus scent makes these fruits a natural pest deterrent, thereby keeping your home free of bugs and pests. Simply place these peels around strategic areas in your home such as the corners, windows and doorways or in places frequented by pests. 

7. Soak in Goodness

Orange and grapefruit peels have a great scent and make for a good therapeutic bath soak. You could go a step further by throwing in some cucumber peels too. Their cooling properties will help soothe any itchiness or dryness. You could also use up your lemon peels for an extra boost. They have natural bleaching properties which can reduce skin discolouration and also perk up your skin.

Photo: Shutterstock
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