When you think about food waste in your own home, chances are you think about the chicken that went bad before you could cook it, or the leftovers that you threw out without ever eating them. It's less likely that you think about the waste that happens when you throw out parts of produce that almost everyone throws out, like radish leaves, which are very edible greens that can be used to make radish leaf soup or pesto.
This time of year, we toss out a lot of watermelon rinds, but they, like the radish leaves, are edible. Next time you finish devouring the sweet, juicy insides of a watermelon, think about turning the rinds into something yummy.
Watermelon Rind Jam
Do a search for watermelon rind jam, and you'll find many variations. The green part is peeled away from the rind, and the white part is used to make a sweet jam that can be put on toast or on top of desserts.
These hard-to-spell watermelon preserves are a South African method of using the rind of the watermelon. It's similar to jam, but soft watermelon pieces end up being preserved in a thick, sweet syrup, perfect for adding as an accompaniment for cheese at the end of a meal, according to Afri Chef.
Pickled Watermelon Rind
The Huffington Post calls pickled rinds "summer's most unexpected snack." Pickling is a quick way to make a snack out of the rinds, and the pickles are ready in just a few hours. You can make them in the morning and eat them later in the day.
Watermelon Rind Coleslaw
Grated rind can be used in place of cabbage in watermelon rind coleslaw. The slaw turns out sweeter than the traditional version, but this would make a wonderful addition to summer picnic fare.
Watermelon Rind Salsa
Adding a sweet component to salsa isn't unusual. Peach salsa is a real treat, after all. In this recipe for pickled watermelon rind salsa, the rind, onion and jalapeño are pickled together with spices, oil and lemon juice for an hour before serving. There are several other recipes that use the rinds on the recipe's website, so spend a little time exploring what other culinary uses there are for watermelon rinds.
When you eat the watermelon rinds, not only will be curbing food waste, you'll be adding nutrition into your diet. The rind contains health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, and it also contains citrulline, an amino acid that's important for heart health and your immune system, according to Mercola.