5 Surprising Waste Foods You Can Pickle

5 Surprising Waste Foods You Can Pickle

It’s all well and good to use as much of the edible parts of food as possible to reduce waste, but… are you really using all the edible bits? 

You may have heard of “nose to tail” eating, which usually refers to animal products, and is the practice of using every bit of the animal as possible, so that the absolute bare minimum is leftover.

It’s a really important movement catching on in many trendy restaurants, but is not always manageable in your home. I mean, where do you even begin to convince your kids to eat cow brains?

However, “nose to tail” eating can also refer to produce! There’s obviously no nose or tail, but it’s the same idea of using as much of your fruits and vegetables as you possible can. It means sauteing cauliflower leaves, adding beet greens to your salad, or deep frying vegetable peelings.

It can also mean pickling! There are a surprising number of foods that are delicious when pickled, and many of those are foods (or trimmings from food) that would otherwise end up in the trash.

Here are 5 of our favourite “waste foods” that you can actually pickle...

Swiss chard stems

Photo & Recipe courtesy of Feed Me Dearly on Food52.com

Swiss chard is an awesome vegetable to add to salads or soups, as a burger topping, or to saute on its own as a delicious side. But what about all those stems???

You can actually saute those stems or add them to stir fry, but you can also use them to make yummy pickles!

Try this amazing pickled chard stem recipe.

Watermelon rinds

Photo & Recipe courtesy of Cindy Lynn on GeniusKitchen.com

Nothing says summer quite like big, juicy slices of watermelon. But, as delicious and nutritious as watermelon is, it also produces a lot of waste.

That is unless you pickle the rinds! Once pickled, the rinds become tender and no longer tough. They’re delicious as a summer side and the addition of cinnamon and cloves makes them wonderful to save for chilly winter meals as well.

Try this deliciously spiced pickled watermelon rind recipe.

Orange peels

Photo & Recipe courtesy of Ayesha's Kitchen on Tastymalabarfoods.com

You can also candy orange peels, which makes a really nice dessert topping. But if you want to get creative, pickled orange peels are something really special.

Orange peel pachadi is a South Indian condiment that is often spooned on top of rice. It has a tangy, spiced flavour that will instantly have you coming up with new ideas for what it can be paired with.

Try this tangy and tasty pickled orange peel recipe.

Any vegetable

Photo & Recipes courtesy of Meghan Splawn on thekitchn.com

Whenever you have vegetables on the brink of spoiling or getting a bit wilted, break out the pickle jar! 

Just about any vegetable can be pickled to save it from the trash bin. The best part is that each time you do it, you’ll get a slightly different result based on whatever mix of veggies you have on hand.

Here’s how to pickle just about any vegetable.


Photo & Recipe courtesy of Marisa McCellan on seriouseats.com

Eggplant is one of those foods that you always seem to end up with too much of. Even when you choose the smallest one in the store, you always seem to end up with a big chunk leftover. And unless you have a plan for it, it usually goes bad pretty quickly.

Luckily, you can pickle it! Pickled eggplant is a yummy condiment and even great as a unique pizza topping.

Try this unique pickled eggplant with mint recipe.

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