The Daily Rind

The babe started eating my food. She's 11 months old now and has been getting solids for at least 3 months. While still primarily breastfed, she's worked her way up to 3 meals of solid food a day. And, naturally, she prefers whatever I'm eating to whatever's laid out in front of her. She rips arugula out of my salads, apples out of my hands, and bananas out of my mouth (Kidding. We don't do the Alicia Silverstone thing.).

Recently, she started eating my oranges. Housing them, really. Something to the effect of, if you give a baby an orange wedge...she's going to eat the whole flippin' bag of oranges.

I eat primarily organic foods myself, and that's all Baby Boss gets. Many pesticides are endocrine disruptors, and I'd much prefer that my kid's hormones are not disrupted in any way. But I get it. A bag of organic oranges is more expensive than a bag of conventionally grown oranges. Also harder to come by. So when I buy them (often), I want to get the most bang for my buck. How do I do that?  I eat the whole damn thing.

That's an exaggeration. But I do zest the rinds, which is pretty darn close.

While many of eat oranges, we don't often think to go beyond the inner juicy sections. But doing so can push you outside your food box, which is a good thing. Variety is the spice of life. It's also necessary for nutritional health. We should aim to eat as many different species and parts of species as we can (example: cilantro leaves and coriander seeds - same plant species, different parts). This ensures we're covering all nutrient bases.

Orange rinds contain fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C (lots), minerals, and flavonoids (anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-heart disease). So aside from lending a punch of citrusy flavor to foods, they're also really, really good for you.

Whenever you're about to eat an orange, first quickly zest or grate (after washing) the outer peel. You can use a citrus zester, or a cheese grater with small holes. Put zest in a small container and store in fridge (if you're going to use within a day or two) or freezer. You can also zest lemon and lime rinds. Always use organic fruit when doing this.

And THEN:

+ Add to salad dressing, like this one

+ Mix into granola, like this one

+ Add to smoothies, like this one

+ Add to ice cube trays and freeze with water for fancy + tasty ice cubes

+ Sprinkle over cooked veggies, like asparagus and green beans

+ Mix with crushed almonds and top fish before baking

 

Reduce waste, add flavor, AND up the nutritive value of food you're already eating. Maybe the cost of that bag of oranges isn't so bad after all...?