If you're like most of us, chances are you just dump your food scraps straight into the bin. But you don't always have to. 

 

Quite a few of the scraps we tend to fling out are actually edible - and packed full of nutrients. While they won't give you your protein or carbs, they're packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals, so they're a great addition to your diet. 

 

Here are the best and healthiest leftovers that you should make the most out of...

 

Herb stems

 

 

Stems of herbs including parsley and coriander can be added to stock, broths and soups, or thinly sliced and added to salads. They're also good in Indian curries. Packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals, they're really tasty, so you can even pop them into oils and vinegars.

 

Broccoli and cauliflower stalks

 

 

They may look a bit hard and unappetising, but the stalks have almost the same nutrient content as the florets themselves, and can be used in the same way. You can steam, bake or stew them, or even add them to soups. Cauliflower is good for fibre, while broccoli is a surprising source of vitamin E. 

 

Root vegetable peels

 

 

You can oven-baked the peels from root veggies like potatoes, parsnip and carrots, add a sprinkling of salt and spices, and before you know it you have a healthy chip-like snack. Just don’t forget to clean the fruit or vegetable well before you peel it. 

 

Citrus peels

 

 

Full of vitamin C which will do wonders for your skin and immune system, the zest from your lemon or orange peel will give a nice, concentrated flavour to cakes, bakes and salad dressings. Once the hand juicing is done, citrus halves can be stuffed inside a chicken or duck before you roast it. You can also slice it thinly and add it to salads. 

 

Onion skins

 

 

Most of us wouldn't even think about using the skin of an onion, but we'd be wrong. High in antioxidants and fibre, they can easily be added to soups or stock. You can also use them to stuff chicken before roasting it - it gives it a real kick. 

 

Celery leaves

 

 

You can use these the same way you wold celery stalks. Just chop them up and add them to your meal for a major fibre boost. 

 

Carrot tops

 

 

These can be juiced, steamed or sautéed like other greens. Carrots, including their tops, are a great source of Vitamin A, vital for strong, healthy eyes. 

 

Pumpkin seeds

 

 

You can buy these seeds in the supermarket, so why would you throw them away? They can be scooped out and toasted on a tray in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle them on steamed veggies or salads for added texture.

 

You can also add them to your morning porridge. They're full of brain-boosting zinc and vitamin E, which will keep your skin nice and supple. 

 

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