6 May 2020

    4 Iftar Perfect Recipes that use the Strangest Parts of Vegetables

    By Emirates Nature-WWF Team ,

    Cook from Leaf to Root to keep edible foods like peels, seeds, cores and over ripe produce out of the waste. Get started with these recipes and tips.

    You may be familiar with the trend to add veggies to everything we eat. Like raw brownies made of sweet potato or zucchini and beetroot. But have you heard of the movement to eat the entire food to avoid waste?

    The trend is referred to as ‘Leaf to Root’ for plant-based foods It is popular amongst the zero waste community and also amongst chefs across the world who challenge themselves to invent new recipes using these forgotten scraps.

    Here are some strange parts of foods that are actually edible, nutritious and tasty.

    • Watermelon seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack
    • Watermelon rinds can be pickled
    • Banana peels can be cooked into curry
    • Overripe peaches can be made into peach salsa or peach butter.
    • Carrot tops can be made into pesto
    • Apple peels and cores can be made into jelly
    • Lemon and orange peels can be grated to make zest
    • Broccoli stalks can be made into soup


    Let's cook smarter to reduce food waste

    According to Dubai Carbon, the UAE ranks among the top nations for per capita waste generation in the world. Roughly, 38% of the food prepared every day in the emirate is wasted, which jumps to around 60% during Ramadan! :(

    A lot of this food is edible. Globally, we throw away 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food every year. By saving 1/3 of food, we would have four times the food needed to feed the world’s 820 million undernourished people every year. This is what we should aim, during Ramadan and beyond.

    Let’s start by focussing on four common foods that we would normally throw away in own kitchens while preparing Iftar and Suhoor.

    1. Extra herbs
    2. Vegetable scraps
    3. Banana peels
    4. Stems of green leafs

    Here are four straightforward, interesting, food-saving recipes from around the web.


    1. Extra parsley from making falafel or salads? Use it in a salad dressing!

    The Academy of Culinary Nutrition shares a guide to making Salad Dressing from extra herbs (parsley – or even thyme, cilantro (coriander), oregano, basil and rosemary).

    Iftar Perfect Recipes that use every part - Extra Parsley

    Photo by Lindsay Moe on Unsplash


    2. Left over veggie scraps? Use them to make a nutritious batch of vegetables broth.

    Garlic and Zest shares a recipe for Vegetable Scrap Broth, which can be used to enrich the flavour of soups, stir fries and other dishes.

    Iftar Perfect Recipes that use every part - Left over veggie scraps

    Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


    3. Unwanted banana peels after having a fruit platter or smoothies? Start with a safe recipe- banana peel cake!

    Leaf to Root shares a recipe for Banana Peel Cake and tips on how to get it right.

    Iftar Perfect Recipes that use every part - Banana peels 

    Photo by Julia kouzenkov on Unsplash

    4. Extra stems from kale salads? Use it to make a healthy crunchy stir-fry.

    My Endless Kitchen shares a recipe for Sweet and Spicy Sautéed Kale Stems that mask the bitter taste of the stems.

    Iftar Perfect Recipes that use every part - Extra stems

    Photo by Laura Johnston on Unsplash

    Ready to start?

    Pick one recipe to make tonight, and challenge yourself to try all four over the next two weeks! Post a pic to Instagram with #YallaGreen #Zerowaste #RamadanatHome and tag us @ews-wwf 


    @dubaicarbon, @thesustainabilistme & @winnowsolutions

    For more recipes, check out daily #LowCarbonCooking Ramadan recipes