Thursday, June 24, 2021


Just a few months ago, I posted about cooking with kitchen scraps, but the overarching theme had more to do with making the most of your leftovers than using actual scraps (stems, peels, cores) -- although James P. DeWan's column did touch on that. Well, I've just learned that IKEA came out with The ScrapsBook earlier this year. It's a cookbook based on using typically discarded parts of food and features other tips for reducing your food waste at home, including uses for inedible scraps like eggshells (besides simply composting them).

Skeptical as you may be about putting banana peels in a cake and apple pulp in a burger, you might be comforted to find within the cookbook some more familiar "waste not" tricks you already have up your sleeve -- or is it just me? Things like freestyle vegetable soup to clear random things out of the fridge, a stash of chicken bones in the freezer for making broth later, cheese rinds to enrich a sauce, and watermelon rind preserves.

Another thing the cookbook has going for it -- photos. You know you're more inclined to try a recipe when it comes with a beautiful picture of the finished product. Each recipe also has a real professional chef's name behind it, imbuing the incredible with some credibility.

And another thing. The e-book is free to download. No risk to flip through. Yes, IKEA products are identified throughout the book, but they're unobtrusive.

But, wait! There's more!

A few days later, I (coincidentally?) read a newspaper article titled "Think outside the banana" that featured two recipes using -- you guessed it -- banana peels. Apparently, these slippery characters have made news before:

  • Food personality Nigella Lawson made headlines when she prepared a cauliflower and banana peel dish on TV.
  • Nadiya Hussain (a Great British Bake Off winner who suddenly had a cooking show of her own) made whole-banana bread and also brought to light a savory way to prepare banana peels common in Bengali cuisine -- think pulled pork but with sliced banana peels -- which is essentially how vegans have been using banana peels for a while now, like a shredded meat substitute.
  • And, there's an earlier cookbook: Cooking With Scraps by food writer Linsday-Jean Hard.

I guess the thing most foreign to me that I am also most likely (maybe?) to try in the near future will be one of several banana peel recipes out there, as we just so happen to have a plethora of ripening bananas at the moment. I'll keep you posted if I do... 


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