You have no problem spending money every week on fresh fruits and vegetables. But when you pick off the “weird” parts of the produce and discard them before cooking, you aren’t just tossing a few bucks in the trash—you’re also throwing away some serious nutritional benefits.
These forgotten spare parts come jam-packed with vitamins and heart-saving amino acids. Add them to your kitchen arsenal and reap the surprising rewards.
1. Cantaloupe Seeds
Their Hidden Powers: These seeds are usually the first to go when you crack open a melon, but they’re high in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.
How to Eat Them: Roast them in the oven and toss with olive oil for a nutrient-packed snack.
2. Onion Skins
Their Hidden Powers: These flaky exteriors are high in quercetin, a compound that can help lower your blood pressure and support a healthy immune system.
How to Eat Them: Add them to a stew or broth for extra flavor, then pick them out before serving.
3. Watermelon Rinds
Their Hidden Powers: These rinds contain the amino acid citrulline, which can help improve your blood flow.
How to Eat Them: Throw them in a quality blender with watermelon flesh (the red part you normally eat), strawberries, and a dash of orange juice for a refreshing smoothie.
4. Broccoli Leaves
Their Hidden Powers: These leafy greens are a triple threat with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.
How to Eat Them: Cut them up and throw them into a stir-fry along with the rest of the broccoli.
5. Celery Tops
Their Hidden Powers: They’re super flavorful and full of muscle-building magnesium, bone-strengthening calcium, and vitamin C.
How to Eat Them: Use them like an herb and add to a vegetable or chicken soup.
6. Orange Peels
Their Hidden Powers: You already knew they smell fantastic, but they’re also rich in digestive system-soothing fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C.
How to Eat Them: Use a cheese grater to sprinkle some on top of fish or chicken.
7. Swiss Chard Stalks
Their Hidden Powers: Their vibrant, reddish-purple color signals that they’re high in carotenoids, which act as disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also full of Vitamin K, an important nutrient for boosting bone health.
How to Eat Them: Sauté them with mushrooms and onions for a tasty side dish.
Source: Men's Health
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