The Super Crispy Way To Use Up Leftover Potato Skins

Preparing potatoes to be mashed or made into hash browns not only involves a lot of peeling, but it also means there will be a large mound of unwanted skins left on the cutting board. There are two strong arguments for why those potato skins shouldn't end up in the compost heap: to cut down on food waste and to eat a highly nutritious part of the potato.

The numbers are staggering when it comes to food waste in the United States. Every year Americans toss out approximately 108 billion pounds of food valued at about $408 billion, according to Feeding America. The organization says that's about 130 billion meals. In addition to not adding to the amount of food wasted in America, by tossing out the potato skins, you're also missing out on important vitamins. The skin of the potato contains vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc, among other nutrients, per Livestrong

A low-calorie food, potato skins are beneficial for digestion because of the fiber they contain. The potato skin also contains a significant amount of iron, according to SF Gate. Of the whole potato, the skin has 88% of the potato's iron in it. Now that you are rethinking about tossing out potato skins, how can you prepare them to be eaten?

Turn your potato skins into chips

It's easy to turn those leftover potato skins into something every member of the family will enjoy. With a little work, those skins can become tasty and crunchy chips. Potato grower Simon Moltoni told Everyday that he likes to crisp up the skins in his air fryer. If you want to use your air fryer like Moltoni, then place the peels in the air fryer basket with a little oil and salt, per Cadry's Kitchen. Suggested toppings are sautéed minced garlic, sour cream, or bacon. A recipe from Ree Drummond for Food Network uses the oven for roasting the potato peels. After the peels are dried, they are seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano and are cooked with a combination of butter and oil. After 20 minutes of being cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, you'll have crispy potato skins that can be served with chives and sea salt. 

The same treatment can be given to sweet potato skins. Turn them into chips with olive or grapeseed oil and coarse salt and putting them in the oven (via The Healthy Epicurean). With sweet potato chips, other toppings should be considered, such as drizzled maple syrup or dried rosemary. 

Next time you find yourself leftover potato skins, turn them into a crispy treat that is sure to delight while providing a healthy snack.