7 Genius Nutrition Hacks a Dietitian Just Inspired Us to Try


You already love these foods! Now, this dietitian’s intriguing ideas will supply you clever new ways to enjoy more of them. (We bet you did not recognize this about corn silk…) 

Use more of the foods you love

You may no longer suppose twice about tossing out the peel of eggplant or the seeds from squash, but it’s time you should. Hidden within those food scraps are nutrients galore, and a wealth of cool new ideas for checking out them out in your kitchen. 

Limiting meals waste and ingesting greater plants is top for you, your wallet… and, yes, Mother Earth. While it would possibly not be sensible for all of us to swap to a plant-only diet, the subsequent exceptional element might also be to in reality eat greater of your plants. Think the skin, peel, seeds, leaves, or woody stems of fruits and vegetables—as Sherene Chou, MS, RDN, co-founder of meals planet explains, giving these small tips a strive “can add up to a huge distinction environmentally and nutritionally.” And, how. ReFED, a national meals waste lookup nonprofit, estimates that the equal of ninety billion foods goes uneaten in the U.S. per year. To be a section of the solution while also enriching our diets, here’s how some of my registered dietitian colleagues and I love to utilize the parts of produce that frequently get discarded.


Corn silk

Transform into: Corn silk crunchies

You know corn silk as a long, feathery plant strand underneath a fresh corn husk. But do you want to know something wild? According to a Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy study, corn silk has important antioxidant properties and may play an active role in reducing oxidative stress, which helps manage type 2 diabetes. (Note: Most likely safest, but if you are allergic to corn or are taking medications that affect potassium levels, you should  avoid corn silk if you have a corn allergy or take any medication that affects your potassium levels.)

  • To put together corn silk crunchies: Compost or toss any black silks. Then dehydrate all last corn silks in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven for a few hours. Sauté the dried silks in sunflower oil or olive oil until crisp, then season with simply a little salt and pepper. 
  • Enjoy: Break up crunchy corn silks and sprinkle them onto salads, in Mexican dishes, corn chowder, or chili. 

Winter squash scraps

Transform into: Squash-flavored hummus

Got a complete butternut squash or pumpkin? You can use the outer peel, flesh, seeds (and shells of the seeds), and pulp. Just like the flesh, the pulp of squash is surprisingly nutritious, supplying dietary fiber; beta-carotene for immunity, your eyes, and skin; and plant phenolic compounds that can help battle disease. 

  • To prepare squash-flavored hummus: Sauté the stringy flesh in a little oil (again, my favorites are sunflower or olive oil), until it’s cooked via and has caramelized. Purée in a blender with your favored hummus, plus a sprint of salt and cayenne. 
  • Enjoy: Serve your squash hummus in a bowl with crudités, sliced pita, or something your preferred hummus dippers are. 
  • Tip: If you’re making pumpkin or butternut squash soup, add pulp in with the broth, then purée into a soup that will deliver a creamy body. Roast seeds for sprinkling on your squash-flavored hummus or soup, too. 

Broccoli stems

Transform into: Breakfast broccoli coins

Trying to get more fiber? Broccoli stems are packed with it. Plus, a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) portion of raw broccoli stalks affords 93 milligrams of vitamin C (that’s 103 percent of the Daily Value [DV]), 71 micrograms of folate (18 percentage DV), and solely 28 calories. Like broccoli florets and leaves, the stems incorporate sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound. 

  • Prepare your broccoli coins: Slice broccoli stems very thinly, close to the width of a coin. Sauté in a little oil over medium heat to absolutely cook dinner thru and gently brown. Season with dried sage, thyme, and black pepper (like breakfast sausage). Serve after the broccoli coins are browned, or relax them for later use.
  • Enjoy: Toss your broccoli cash into eggs, a vegan scramble, or a breakfast burrito… or organize them onto avocado toast. (For the notably adventurous palate, consider reducing these into savory oatmeal.) 

Eggplant peel

Transform into: Marinara with more

It’s a trick some Italian moms use: sneaking secret veggies into a beloved dish, so the household gets extra vitamin than they realize. An eggplant is ideal for this. 

Here’s why: that deep, crimson hue is thanks to anthocyanins—naturally-occurring pigments that may play a role in lowering risk for persistent diseases. Research published in Plantsin 2021 counseled this consists of practicable anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic properties. (Interestingly, one study also discovered the peel may provide anti-Salmonella activity.) 

  • Prepare your eggplant marinara: Roast whole eggplant in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for about forty minutes. Then halve and scoop out the flesh for recipe use (such as baba ghanoush). Blend the peel with three cups marinara sauce, and simmer with a sprinkling of purple wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt. 
  • Enjoy: Serve somewhere you love marinara sauce, like over pasta, on pizza, over lunchtime scrambled eggs, or for dipping. 
  • Tip: Consider selecting organic eggplant to reduce consumption of pesticide residues. 

Pineapple core

Transform into: Pineapple shreds

The health benefits of pineapple are impressive. For starters, pineapple may additionally act as a cardioprotective agent and is packed with fiber that may assist enhance digestion. Notably, one bioactive enzyme you’ll locate in pineapple—including the core—is bromelain, which may additionally offer anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties, among others.

You can also now not have recognised that a pineapple core is edible, however you might find that its firmness makes it less complicated to work for cooking with than the pineapple’s flesh. Pineapple core can deliver an extra zing of taste to oatmeal or a savory salad, almond pilaf, stir-fry, tacos, or pizza. 

  • Prepare pineapple shreds: Grate the uncooked core with your kitchen grater. Chill the purée until you’re ready to use it. 
  • Tip: For smokiness (yum!), grill your pineapple core before you grate it. 

Watermelon seeds

Transform into: Spiced, roasted seeds

Those toothsome little buggers become extra exciting when you find out what they can do for you. A ounce-ounce serving of watermelon seeds affords three milligrams of zinc (27 percent DV), and two milligrams of iron (11 percentage DV), along with healthy fats and a substantial eight grams of plant protein (16 percentage DV). 

Studies published in the International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review suggest that watermelon seeds may have antibacterial properties, as if more convincing was needed to eat these soil seeds. did. Watermelon seeds also contain large amounts of arginine (amino acid), which can help with heart health and even male sexual health. 

  • Prepare seasoned roasted watermelon seeds: Wash and dry the black watermelon seeds. Lightly mix the oil and sea salt. Roast in an oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit  for 20 minutes, then add spices such as chili powder.
  • Enjoy: Sprinkle onto salad or munch as a snack. 

Celery leaves

Transform into: Superfood sauces

You comprehend that celery is true for you; it turns out its leaves are noteworthy, too. According to 2021 research published in Bioinformation, the leaves of celery are a powerful source of antioxidants. What’s more, a study posted in the Journal of Food Biochemistry advised celery leaves may also be really useful in the prevention or cure of inflammatory diseases.

 Plus, celery leaves offer what some human beings reflect on consideration on a fantastic bitterness and brightness to cuisine.

  • Prepare your celery leaf sauce: At serving time, mince celery leaves and—in a one-to-one ratio—stir into pesto, mayo, mustard, ketchup, salsa, or guacamole. 
  • Enjoy: Serve simply like your common sauces or condiments. 
  • Tip: Also simmer celery leaves into soups and stews for added flavor and benefit.