6 Common Kitchen Scraps You Can Put to a Good Use

Saving animal bones isn’t just for pinching pennies


(KaliAntye / Shutterstock.com)

You know how some cooks use last bit of the chicken, down to the bones and everything? They’re onto something here. While you may be used to tossing citrus zest, meat bones, or potato skins after cutting away the meat or squeezing the juice, you’re missing out on some of the food’s most concentrated nutrients! Read on for six foods you don’t need to toss.


Animal bones are perfect for making homemade stock or broth, and are also great for adding flavor to dishes. Bone broth has many benefits: it can heal your gut, make you look younger (it’s pumped full of collagen), it can even help develop stronger bones from it’s high levels of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.


Instead of cutting your lemon in half, squeezing out the juice, and throwing away the remains, save the zest. There’s a ton of flavor locked into the outer skin of lemons, limes, and oranges that is perfect for adding flavor to salad dressings, rice/quinoa dishes, drinks, desserts, meats...okay most foods. Zest is an antioxidant booster and can also help you cut down on eating excess sugars.


Many people who enjoy the kale or broccoli stems and throw away the stems are missing one of the most nutritious parts of the vegetable. Kale and Broccoli stalks have insoluble fiber, which is great for cleaning out the digestive system, Throw the stalks in your morning smoothie, add them to a stir fry, or bake them in the oven for an added nutritional boost.


Celery leaves, which are often ignored, are packed full of vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. All the vitamins that keep your kidneys working, enhances your skin, regulates your blood pressure and cholesterol, and supports your immune system. Leaves can be added into soups, or sprinkled on top of dishes as a garnish.


The next time you’re peeling and slicing cucumbers for a salad, keep the rind, because it’s actually healthier for you than the light green insides! Cucumber skin contains Vitamin K, great for supporting bone, vision, and blood clot health. Just wash the skin thoroughly before adding into smoothies, salads, or soups.


Always eat the skins no matter how you prepare your dish. Potato skins contain more protein, fiber, antioxidants, beneficial minerals, and vitamin B than the actual potato. Next time you’re roasting potatoes (this works for either sweet potatoes or other types) throw them in  the oven whole with the skin on. Delicious and nutritious.