Warning: You may wish you had a time machine after reading this post. Because what you’ll discover is that, for years, you’ve been missing out on a ridiculously tasty treat — baked vegetable peels.
When prepping potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables, it’s common practice to first wash and then remove the outer layer of skin. But the next time you ready these ingredients for a recipe, throw out old habits instead of the scraps. And then set those peels aside to bake into a crunchy, chip-like snack to enjoy between meals or while making the meal.
How to Make Baked Vegetable Peels
To make vegetable peels, follow a simple formula: Mix the peels with a little oil and spices until everything is coated. Then, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. And finally, into the oven to cook at 400°F until the peels are slightly browned and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
But because the peels are very thin, I suggest checking on them starting at six minutes to avoid a burned mess and major snack-time disappointment.
Also note that when using potato peels, you’ll want to cook them right away to avoid them becoming mushy or pink. So whip up those potato peel snacks (for yourself or for guests) while the rest of the potato dish cooks. But, if you have carrot or parsnip peels, you can actually place them in an airtight bag or container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until you’re ready to cook them.
Spicing up Your Veggie Peels
If you are struggling with what spices to use, start simple with garlic powder and salt and a little dried dill weed. Then up the spice with some chipotle or curry, increase umami with Nom Nom Paleo's magic mushroom powder, or put the dip on the “chip” by sprinkling with dried Ranch mix.
Or, if you want to get really crazy, go the sweet route and mix carrot peels with sugar and cinnamon for carrot churro chips. Yeah, I said carrot churro chips.
As for enjoying vegetable peels, they can be eaten as a simple finger food — tossed with fresh herbs and cheese; dipped into ketchup; or best of all, used to enhance a favorite dish, like burgers (in place of fries or onion rings), casseroles (instead of Funions), or mixed in with yogurt (just like onion dip).
So start saving those peels today and enjoy crispy, peel snacks tomorrow.
(Image credits: Jessica Goldman Foung; Faith Durand)