Eating Kitchen Scraps
A taste test.
There are several reasons why you should keep kitchen waste to a minimum and plenty ways to do so. When it comes to shopping for food, try to buy fresh products with little to no packaging. Stores that focus on sustainability have been popping up all over the globe. Just around the corner of the kitchen stories HQ, an independent super market recently opened, which only sells unpackaged goods. But even then, people tend to eat only the nice parts and toss away the icky parts. That’s especially true in the case of meat. But fruits and vegetables also fall victim to picky eaters. Bananas, for example, come with their own natural packaging that, according to the collective wisdom of the World Wide Web, is perfectly edible and, therefore, should fill up your belly instead of your trash can. So are my taste experiments really safe? When it comes to food safety or health related issues, I strongly recommend asking your physician. The following article makes use of the layman’s tools of judgement – the senses, first and foremost the sense of taste and, of course, common sense. There is a reason why toxins don’t taste like candy cotton and vanilla ice with chocolate sprinkles. So in the name of science, to further the advancement of humanity, and to spare you a yukky aftertaste, I took it upon myself to literally eat trash.
Personally, I love bananas. Besides being rich in potassium, carbohydrates, and other good stuff, bananas just taste amazing. So the thought of eating peels didn’t gross me out as much as the thought of eating an avocado seed, which I will discuss later in the article. The untapped nutrients and antioxidants in the peel—as well as the fact that it constitutes more than ten percent of the weight of banana—make a sound argument for eating it. My first, fearless bite revealed a surprisingly okay, somewhat ropey texture. It didn’t taste of much. Also, it wasn’t as bitter as I thought it would be. But it left a weird coating on my tongue. So I tossed them in the oven with a bit of honey on top. This actually made it worse. The banana flesh tasted awesome, but, somehow, the peels turned out to be thoroughly bitter. Some sources suggest boiling the peel and then blending it with other fruits. This, in my opinion, was actually the best way to prepare them. So if you want to reap all the benefits without the weird flavors, make it a smoothie. But, be sure to properly wash them in order to prevent pesticide contamination.
Avocado aka “The Oprah of Instagram” has been a long time favorite among the young, beautiful, and occasionally hungry. Thanks to its wide availability, even those otherwise immune to the hype have embraced the buttery fruit as a versatile and healthy everyday staple. Avocados contain nearly twenty vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including folic acid, iron, potassium, and vitamin C. While the flesh can be turned into all kinds of tasty treats, the seed is mostly thrown away or used to unsuccessfully—at least in my experience—grow an avocado tree. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across numerous articles that suggest that eating the seed is actually quite healthy. This article states that a study revealed that avocado seeds have been used for medicinal purposes for generations to treat inflammations and to prevent cancer. So it must be safe then?! However, it’s safe to say that munching on medicine like it’s a candy bar has never been, nor will it ever be, a good idea. To unlock the hidden powers of the avocado seed, you need to chop it up, then finely blend it, put it on your granola or in your müsli, and then, of course, eat it. The moment the avocado was spinning inside the blender, its color changed from the characteristic greenish-white to a menacing red. It was as if it was cautioning me. “Better not eat me, or you’ll be very sorry.” It looked very much like sweet potato or carrot, which is a good thing I guess, but the smell was more like wet dirt and rotten walnuts. The taste was accordingly more on the bitter side. My conclusion: best to stick with the flesh and use the seeds to grow a nice avocado orchard instead.
I think I love pineapples just as much as I love bananas. The only thing that keeps me buying them on a regular basis is the prep time—yes, I’m lazy. And the huge pile of trash I’m left with after cutting it up is another argument against it. If only there was a way to make good use of the tough pineapple skin...wait, there is! This great recipe on Food52 suggests turning them into a refreshing tea. It is super easy to pull off. Just throw the peels, along with cinnamon and ginger or mint in a pot, pour in some water and let it cook for around twenty minutes. Enjoy it hot or put in the fridge for an awesome summer drink. However, be sure to use a ripe pineapple for a more intense flavor.
Would you like me to taste test more kitchen scraps? Be sure to let me know!
Published on April 17, 2016