So we all know that there’s some awesome nutrients in vegetable peelings and that we should just scrub our veg clean and eat them whole, peel and all. But sometimes it doesn’t look so pretty, think brown bits of potato skin in your lovely fluffy white mash. Sometimes it’s the texture, the skin is often much tougher than the inside even if it is yummy. Or maybe you just have a fussy eater and you’d rather save the tears and just remove the peel than spend an hour arguing at the dinner table.
But don’t toss your potato peels in the trash.
Even if you normally feed them to your chickens or put them in the compost, you might want to consider trying some of these ideas first.
1. Make Quirky Crisps
Heat your oven to about 150 C / 330 F and line a baking tray with parchment or one of those fancy silicone mat things.
Toss your clean, dry potato peels (and any other veg peels you may have laying around, carrot, beet, sweet potato and parsnip just to name a few) in about tablespoon of oil (olive oil or coconut work well) and whatever seasonings you prefer. Salt, pepper, a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, Cajun spice and taco seasoning are all good options but you can probably come up with lots more.
Spread your peels in a single layer on the tray and pop them in the oven for about 40 minutes or so until crisp. Keep an eye on them.
Let them cool on the tray a little before eating. They’re great for dips.
They’re usually best eaten within a few hours of baking, but you can keep them in an airtight container a few days and re-crisp them by popping back into the oven for a few minutes.
2. Use Them as Croutons
Prepare as above and crunch them up on top of soups or use them to pimp your salads.
3. Use them to Colour Greying hair
Now I haven’t tried this one, but know someone who swears by it. Apparently The starches in the vegetable act as a natural colourant They have been used as a dye alternative for fabrics for centuries, so it’s not surprising that they would darken greying hair. Just boil some water, add your peels to the pot and allow them to boil for at least 25 minutes. Strain and use to rinse your hair a few times a week. The trick, I’m told is consistency.
4. Potato Peels for Puffy Eyes
Using your leftover potato peelings, place the underside of them on each eye for around ten minutes. The enzyme ‘catecholase’ is in potatoes, which acts as a skin lightener – say goodbye to dark circles!
5. Use them to Clean Your wood Stove
I don’t know the science behind it and I wouldn’t recommend burning potato peels instead of cleaning the flue of your stove, but burning potato peels does seem to extend the time between cleaning.
6. Use Them to Remove Rust
It’s the inside part of the potato that does it, so you need peels with a bit of flesh still attached, but you just dip them into some bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and rub away. You might need to pop your peels into a mesh bag of some sort first, perhaps a good way to re-purpose one of those awful mesh fruit n veg bags.
7.Remove Mineral Spots from Your Glassware
If your dishwasher leaves mineral spots on your glassware, simply use the flesh side of a potato skin and rub the spots on your glass. This should remove any grime that’s been left behind.
So there’s seven ways to use your potato peels. If you know of any others or have tried any of the above ideas and can vouch for their success (or failure) feel free to leave a comment and let us know.