Food Health Money Saving Tips

10+ Surprising Food Parts You Should Stop Throwing Away

10 Surprising Food Parts You Should Stop Throwing Away
Written by Irina Vasilescu

We already know that eating apples with the peel on is way better for you than a peeled apple, but what other parts of veggies that many people throw away should actually be eaten? Check out these ideas for using parts of your veggies you always thought belonged in the bin or on the compost heap.

1. Swiss chard stems

When we prepare Swiss chard, we usually cut the leaves away from the stems and throw the stems away. That’s because they’re harder and take longer to cook. But they’re packed with nourishment, and can be absolutely delicious in stir fries. Just cook them longer-chop them up and add them at the same time as you would add onions into your pan.

2. Beet leaves

Why buy spinach or Swiss chard and beets, and spend money on three different veggies, when you could be eating the beet leaves? They’re full of calcium, iron, and vitamins. People have been eating beet leaves for thousands of years, and they really taste as good as any other leaf vegetable. Cook them, stir them, fry them, boil them in the same method you would cook spinach or kale.

3. Turnip leaves

As with beet leaves, they’re super nutritious, but they also have a distinctive flavor that’s really quite yummy. Try it!

4. Cauliflower and broccoli stem

Apart from being as nutritious as the florets, eating your cauliflower and broccoli stems adds much-needed fiber to your diet. Peel the thicker stems to get rid of the stringy part and chop them into stir-fries, salads, soups, and stews.

10+ Surprising Food Parts You Should Stop Throwing Away

Are you wasting too much food and therefore money at home? Read: 12 Easy Ways to Stop Wasting Food!

5. Broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprout leaves

Let’s put it this way: they’re all cabbage family, right? So the leaves are not only edible, but can be quite nice, provided you don’t overcook them. Shred the leaves and sauté or steam them just as you would with cabbage. Yummy with cheese sauce!

6. Butternut, squash and pumpkin seeds

Rinse off the pulp, sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and roast them till they’re crispy. Use them as tasty and healthy snack food, or sprinkle them into salads. They’re also great as a sprinkle on curries.

7. Radish and carrot tops

Lovely fresh radish and carrot tops usually end up in the bin, but they’re actually gourmet foods that should go in your cooking! Try them fresh in salads or cook them. They work equally well when sautéed, blanched or steamed. Use them in soups and stews; or add a little ginger, garlic and olive oil and sauté them as a side-dish on their own.

Tip: Carrot tops taste a lot like parsley!

8. Watermelon rinds and seeds

The rind is one of the most nutritious parts of the watermelon, but eating it raw can be a bit of a challenge, even though it is edible. Try pickling it and eating it as is or as an addition to savory snacks and dishes. As for the seeds, roast them as you would pumpkin, squash or butternut seeds and enjoy them as a snack food. Alternatively, chop them up with the fruit in a food processor and enjoy a healthy smoothie.

9. Mango skins

There are nutrients in mango skins that can help protect you against skin cancer. If you don’t like the texture raw, try blending it into smoothies or else make a delicious snack by oven drying them till they’re crispy.

10. Potato peels

As long as your potato skins haven’t started turning green, they’re good to eat. You can save money by eating your vegetables, so try doing it with the skin on. Keep potatoes in their jackets or peel them and make a crispy snack. Deep fry or oven dry them till they’re crispy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or spices. Yum!

11. Leek or spring onion leaves

If you’re not already eating your leek and spring onion leaves start now! Chop them up fine and add them to your soups and stews. Spring onion leaves are also good in salads, and they add a beautiful, dark-green color to the ‘look’ of your salad too.

Take a look at these yummy and quick recipes and try one for yourself:

Remember, a great meal should always be shared with your family and friends!

You may also like: 10 Inexpensive Recipes for Your Everyday Meals

Pin it for later:

10 Surprising Food Parts You Should Stop Throwing Away

Last Updated on

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our money-saving and DIY expert and also the editor-in-chief as she's always on the lookout for the latest online deals.


  • We always eat our potato peels but didn’t know you could eat the rind of a watermelon. Interesting. I’ll have to try pickling it sometime.

  • It always shocks me when I think about the things that I throw away that I could use for something else, so this article couldn’t have come at a better time for me really. I enjoy making things like soups, and a lot of vegetable parts that you wouldn’t eat whole can be put in there. That is something that I have been doing for a while, but I will now also take note of the tips that you have given and make sure that I’m not wasting anything else.

  • This is so informative and accurate! I just started leaving an inch on my chives and put them into a small glass with water. I like to put them on my window and I have some fresh chives within a few days. They grow back so fast! I have to use them with my breakfast eggs and sprinkle them on my nachos because they are growing in abundance. I’ll never buy them again!

  • One of my favorite dishes my mom makes is “Leek and potato soup” it is quite good on a cold day but a good summer soup too. I do eat broc stems and potato skins sometimes, “dirty mash” we call those potatoes. And thanks for adding those recipes I will be checking them out.

  • Haha, I love the cute picture at the beginning.

    What interested me the most in what you shared was about the beet leaves. I’ve been getting into beets a lot lately and never really thought much of the parts you typically take off. Then again, I suppose that could also apply to a lot the skins or stems to the other things you mentioned as well — the mango skin in particular caught my eye. It makes me wonder if those special blenders that can liquefy just about anything might be worth investing in.

  • I knew about a few of these before – but most of them are new to me. The watermelon rind is interesting. My concern is the use o pesticides – I suppose it’s only really safe to eat the skins of bio fruit and vegetables?

Leave a Comment