10 Ways to Cook With Your Food Scraps

Not every fruit peel or veggie stem needs to be tossed! Find out which ones are edible.

10 Ways to Cook With Your Food Scraps

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 30 to 40 percent of the American food supply is wasted each year. Before you toss those edible leaves, stems, and peels, or leave them in the compost bin, find out how you can cook with them and get more nutritional bang for your buck.

Cook Chard Stems

Colorful chard stems are another vegetable portion that can easily be overlooked. Try braising, grilling, roasting, sautéing, or slow cooking these red, yellow, and purple stems. If you want to include both chard stems and leaves together in the same dish, separate and chop up the stems and let them cook first before adding the leaves to make sure the stems have enough time to tenderize.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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