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Provenance Potatoes Heart Peelings

11th March 2021

Let’s talk about peelings…

how many of you throw your peelings away? Did you know there are so many inventive ways of using them up?

Potato peels are good for you! - Throwing away potato peels is like throwing away nutrients. Take advantage of all those B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C and fibre by using the skins rather than throwing them away.

Use potato peels to replace breadcrumbs - If you're making fish cakes, meatballs, croquettes or other dishes that require breadcrumbs, you can substitute with potato peels. Simply replace the breadcrumbs in the recipe with the potato peel preparation (see below), in a ratio of one to one. They have the same binding properties, with the added benefit of being gluten-free.

To prepare, put the peels in a food processor, and process until you get pieces the size of rolled oats. Keep an eye on the peels - processing for too long will give you a sticky mess!

Make gourmet mashed potatoes - World famous chef Heston Blumenthal uses discarded potato peels to infuse a strong potato flavour into his mash.

Potato peels in your beauty regime - Potato peels can be used to whiten and brighten skin. You can use fresh potato peel strips or crush the peel to make a paste. For dark bags under your eyes, apply a mask of crushed peels and rinse off after 20 minutes. Get rid of acne using a face mask of crushed potato peels.

Add to compost and worm farms Potato peelings are perfect for composting as they are thin and the hot temperatures in compost heaps means they decompose quickly. Worms also love the decomposed matter that results from potato peelings, making them great for worm farms.

Crispy potato peelings Potato peels are already thinly sliced and thus the perfect candidates for home-made crisps, crackers and fries.

The options are endless: coat the peels with olive salt, salt & pepper, cheese, herbs, rapeseed oil, paprika, garlic…and bake them at 190 C until crispy (this takes 10-15 minutes). Or, deep fry them until golden and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese, or as dippers with a sauce or dip. Once baked or fried until crispy, you can cut the peels up into small pieces and use as you would croutons - in a salad or soup. A fantastically gluten-free!

Make vegetable stock To make a nutritious vegetable broth, gather some other vegetable scraps - carrot peel, celery leaves and onion peels and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and you’re good to go! You can freeze the stock for later if you don’t need to use it straight away.

Using potato peelings to start your fire Dry your peelings in a well ventilated area for 48 hours and use them as firelighters. They are chemical and odour free!

Make potato water The leftover water from boiled potatoes or potato peels is really useful. Added to gravies, sauces, soups and broths it gives an earthy flavour and the starch provides thickening properties. Potato water can also be used as a substitute for milk in bread or cakes. Nigella Lawson advocates adding it to bread to improve the texture and to help the dough rise. It's wonderful for watering plants, soaking tarnished silverware in or washing skin. To make potato water from your leftover peels, simply boil them for 10 minutes in a pot of water. Remove the peelings, and throw in the compost, then let the water cool before use.