A few years ago “nose to tail” cooking—using every bit of an animal, even the cheeks, organs and feet—was a super-hot culinary trend. “Root to stalk” came next, with chefs embracing parts of vegetables formerly tossed.
Turns out it isn’t just au courant to use up more parts of our produce; it also has some really cool benefits.
Take orange peels. The zest—that is, the brightly colored part of the peel—is delicious in sauces and baked goods. And the whole peel, zest, white pith and all, is loaded with antioxidants and fiber, so it’s an anti-inflammatory, disease-fighting, blood-pressure-lowering, appetite-controlling wonder.
Did we mention that citrus is in season right this second? (And hey, it’s not just orange; lemon peels are just as fantastic for you.)
So now you know how nutritious they are, what can you actually do with those peels? Here are some tasty ways to incorporate them:
- Add a piece of orange peel to tea while steeping.
- Top your morning oats or other porridge with finely minced orange peel and a drizzle of raw honey.
- Drop a few pieces of orange peel into the blender when making a smoothie.
- Use some orange peel in a zesty salad dressing (see recipe below).
Tip: When using orange zest or peel, it’s best to buy organic. Then, be sure to scrub the outside of the fruit well and pat dry.
Try it: Whip up this easy, tasty dressing and give your salad an Asian flair.
Double-Orange Asian Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon white miso
1 – 2 teaspoons raw honey
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or another neutral oil)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Scrub orange under running water; pat dry.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel three strips from orange. Chop peel; place in a blender or small food processor.
Halve orange; squeeze out enough juice to reach ¼ cup. (If you don’t get ¼ cup, fill in with cider vinegar.) Add to blender.
Add miso, 1 teaspoon honey, garlic and ginger to blender. Blend until well mixed. With machine running, drizzle in oil until well blended and emulsified. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Add more honey if needed for balance. Use right away, or cover and keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
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