I recently found some excellent tips in the Dec 2011 edition of the Oprah magazine on the health benefits of what we normally throw out as scraps. It was too good not to share. Here you go:

  • Swiss Chard Stems: Swiss Chard,      btw, is super easy to grow in Arizona in just about any season. Mine was      growing strong all summer long enduring extreme heat! I’ve been putting it      in my morning smoothies packed full in the blender, blend it down with a      little water, add some frozen berries and other goodies. And this tip says      to keep the stems as they are loaded with glutamine, an amino acid      boosting the immune system and helps recover from injury according to the      Institute of Food Technology in Germany.
  • Celery Tops: Be sure to      eat the leafy parts of celery as they have five times more magnesium and      calcium than the stalks! Also rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants as well      as anti-inflammatory compounds. Now I know why my mom cut the whole thing      up and put in our chili and soups.
  • Orange Peel: Grate the      zest on salads, vegetables or right into a jar of honey to preserve it and      adds a nice flavor to your honey. The peel is loaded with flavonoids which      have anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Broccoli Leaves: More bitter      to the taste but pack on 90% of your vitamin A requirement. (The florets      only have 3%)
  • Watermelon Rind: According to      a USDA study, the white rind is high in citrulline, an amino acid which      helps to dilate blood vessels improving circulation. Since it is tart, you      may want to blend with the watermelon flesh and a line to make a      refreshing drink. Feeling really crazy? Add some run, gin or vodka and      sugar.
  • Onion Skins: Want to      reduce your artery plaque buildup? The papery skin of the onion contains      antioxidants rich in quercetin. Simmer in soup for flavor (and the health      benefits) and discard before eating.

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