Wednesday, January 26, 2011

[Don't waste food] Pumpkin and Squash Skin Crisps

There are so many times that people throw away perfectly edible (and perfectly delicious) food scraps just because "a recipe doesn't call for it," they just don't know what to do with it, or it just doesn't occur to them! Considering that 29 million TONS of food thrown away every year we should all be a little more conscious, and a little more creative, in our cooking habits.

Enter pumpkin and squash skins. Ok, so you've roasted a pumpkin or a squash, spooned out the meat and there it is, the lone skin. Though normally neglected when not attached to it's innards, pumpkin and squash skins are just as flavorful. When faced with this dilemma, my roommate came up with an ingenious idea: roast them again!

Pumpkin Skin Crisps
Crispy, delicious, healthy, beautiful, resourceful... Everything I want in a snack.
Ingredients:
the leftover skin from roasting a pumpkin or a squash
salt
spices of your choice (I used cumin, paprika, and ground ginger)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F
Cut skin into desired shape (I obviously did strips) and spread onto a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and spices.
Bake until edges get brown and crispy and curled, about 15 minutes (Keep an eye on them, the time depends on the type of squash!)
Nosh away.

Get creative! You might as well try making dinner with leftover stems, peels, seeds, and all those other tasty "leftovers." And don't forget, you can always simmer food scraps with other veggies, herbs, and spices to make homemade vegetable stock.

In the end, the LEAST you can do is compost your food scraps. By doing this you are keeping the nutrient cycle alive; feeding other animals or our bacterial friends. The city of Ann Arbor picks up compost weekly (check to see if your city does too!), create your own compost bin, or go with the Darshan Karwat Composting Plan of The-World-Is-My-Compost-Bin and chuck that apple core right out the window!

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