What have you got left today: Vegetable Peels

By Max La Manna

The question I get asked the most is ‘What can I do with my vegetable tops and tails, odds and ends?

Vegetables in a dish and a jar of vegetable stock
Vegetables in a dish and a jar of vegetable stock.
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Vegetable stock

This is the recipe that solves this problem. Not only are you not wasting food you’re also eliminating single use plastic.

Here’s a tip– every time you cook from now on, place a bowl beside your cutting board. Any trimmings that don’t go towards cooking go into the bowl. Save these scraps in a bowl in your freezer. Once you have about 2–4 cups of food scraps you’re ready to make your stock.

Makes about 500ml. 

Here’s what you can use:

Ends of onions and skins, even garlic cloves carrot peelings, potato skins.those unwanted brussels sprout leaves broccoli that has seen better days.

Any part of the celery that green stem of a pepper

Beetroot leaves cauliflower core and leaves (if not consumed)

Soft mushrooms banged up tomatoes wilted leafy greens that are done for herbs that were never used.

Put your vegetable scraps into a big saucepan, and pour in enough water to cover your scraps (around 700ml). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir.

Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 30–40 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the vegetables have wilted and are soft and the liquid has turned a slightly darker colour and gives off an earthy aroma.

Strain the food scraps and collect the liquid. Fill containers with your homemade vegetable stock and store in jars in your fridge for up to 1 week or in freezable containers in your freezer for 1 month.

Potato peels in a roasting tin
Potato peelings in a roasting tin.

Potato & Squash Skin Crisps

Preheat oven to 180c.

Make sure the vegetables were washed thoroughly before peeling.

Add the peels to a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes until the skins start to brown and crisp. Remove from the tray once roasted and lightly crisped.

Add crisps to a bowl, season with a drizzle of oil, pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine.

These go great on their own or as part of a meal.

Featured image © Valeriia Sviridova, EyeEm | Getty