Most of the time when we’re cooking, we’re worried about getting food on the table as quickly as we can, especially if you have a hungry family to feed. We don’t spend a second thinking about the fruit and vegetable scraps that we leave in our wake as we tear through the kitchen. These are just the unimportant bits and pieces that are thrown out without a second thought. But what if we can turn this waste into something more?
Ah onions. They may make you cry, but there’s no doubting that they’re essential to almost any savoury dish you can name. While no one enjoys peeling onions, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the peels.
According to a survey by the European Union, there are more than 500,000 tons of wastes coming from onions. What most of us don’t know is that these peelings are actually nutrient-dense. Plus, they have many uses. Next time you peel an onion, save the skin for later use.
Onion Peel Uses
Before you throw away onion peel, know that they are actually not as useless as you think. Here are their top uses:
1. For slow cookers and soups
The skin is nutritious and is actually rich in phenolic compounds and fiber. Together, they can help combat coronary disease. Simply add the peel to your dishes and you can enjoy these benefits.
2. Dye for wool and hair
You can use onion skin as a natural dye. The peelings are also useful in making hair dye, which can turn your hair into golden brown. Plus, onions are beneficial to hair, since they can fight hair loss.
3. Cure leg cramps
Onion skins are actually effective in combatting leg cramps. All you need to do is to put the skins in water and let them boil for 10 to 20 minutes. After that, you can take the skin off of the liquid and drink the concoction as if it’s tea. This is best to consume before you go to bed. Expect great results after about a week.
Onion peel can improve your health because it has some health benefits. It has been confirmed by recent research that the skin of the onion has flavonoids, which are plant compounds that have powerful antioxidant qualities. Just like onions, the peel also contains quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory compound that can help get rid of cancer-causing free radicals.
Quercetin has been studied for quite some time now, especially its uses in our health. This compound may provide the following benefits:
- Reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels
- Reduce blood pressure levels
- Decrease instances of inflammation
- Enhance muscle development and function
- Fight allergies
- Treat depression
- Fight some forms of cancer as well as other diseases
To take advantage of the quercetin compound in onions, along with the other plant compounds found in the bulb, don’t take the skin off. Simply toss one or two whole onions (including the scales) into your pot the next time you have soup, rice, or put a stew in the crockpot. To make sure you’re getting these benefits, choose organic onion only; otherwise, you will end up ingesting the pesticides sprayed on the peel.