Think twice before throwing those fruit and veggie rinds on the compost pile! Here are some ways to use them for extra health benefits:
- Olive oil infusions – Add citrus peels to olive oil for flavor and to reinvigorate oil that’s been on the shelf a while.
- Savory chicken – Stuff all kinds of fruit and veggie peels inside a free- range chicken before roasting to give it extra flavor. Trimmings from onions, celery, citrus, apples, garlic, etc., can be stuffed in the chicken cavity or sprinkled around the roasting pan. Once baked, the trimmings break down faster in the compost pile.
- Hair dye – Boil potato peels in water for about a half-hour, strain and let cool. Rinsing hair with this water after shampooing will gradually darken grey hair without any synthetic chemicals.
- Air freshener – Boil lemon rinds in water on the stovetop, then throw them in the garbage disposal, to freshen the air in the kitchen. Also, place a couple in the humidifier to make the whole house smell lemony-fresh.
- Houseplant help – Use banana peels to shine the leaves on houseplants to make them sparkle; this also serves as a natural pesticide and fertilizer.
- Easter egg dye – Boil organic Easter eggs with onion skins to naturally create wild yellow and orange eggshells.
- Potpourri – Dry all types of citrus rinds, apple peels, pomegranate skins and other fruit trimmings on a rack or in a food dehydrator to make homemade potpourri. Sprinkle on a little essential oil for more aroma, if desired.
- Foot rub – Rub papaya skins and pulp on the bottoms of the feet to help soften and sooth skin, particularly on the heels. They’re rich in Vitamin A and papain, which breaks down inactive proteins and removes dead skin cells.
- Metal polish – Lemon, lime and other citrus rinds and pulp/juice are high in citric acid, which makes them great for polishing brass, copper, and other non-ferrous metals. Sprinkle on a little baking soda to hasten polishing (ketchup works, too).
- Pest control – Sprinkle ground-up nutshells around tender garden plants to keep slugs and other pests away; they can’t stand crawling across the rough texture (crushed eggshells also work).
- Note: Always thoroughly wash the rinds of produce that will be eaten or come into contact with food, even if it is organically grown.