Leftover Ginger Peels Add Beautiful Aromatics To Steamed Food

Zesty and sharp, there are so many things that you can do with a hand of ginger in the kitchen, from making Thai pork bowls to blending up a smoothie. But once you've used up the juicy and incredibly aromatic flesh within, you'll end up with the bark-like peels. Most people will just throw these right into the trash or use them for compost — which is a mistake. The peels are actually a hidden treasure trove of flavors and aromas that definitely shouldn't be going to waste in a trash bin.

A simple way to make the most of ginger peels is to slip a few of them in the pot when you're steaming vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or beans. The steam's heat will release the aromatic oils from the peels and impart your food with the warm, zesty ginger flavor we all know and love.

But that's not all these peels have to offer. In addition to essential oils, ginger peels also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, such as gingerols and zingerone. These compounds are known for their ability to combat inflammation and free radicals, as highlighted in the International Journal of Food Properties. So, by using ginger peels, you're not only adding flavor but also fortifying the nutritional value of your steamed veggies.

Make a ginger broth from the peels

Every steamed dish will need a good broth. And if you happen to have ginger peels on hand, you can make ginger broth in advance and use it later in your cooking. Simply pour the ginger broth into a double boiler along with the vegetables and let them simmer in the fragrant steam. This will allow the ginger's essence to infuse into the ingredients, giving them a lovely aroma and a subtle touch of ginger without overpowering the flavors.

To make ginger broth, mix a quarter cup of ginger peels with a quart of water. You can size it up in this proportion if you have more peels, the more there are, the stronger the broth will be. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover it up, lower the heat, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Once it cools down, strain out the ginger peels and keep the broth in the fridge for up to five days.

Beyond steaming vegetables, ginger broth also makes a great base for a ginger smoothie, works as a marinade, and believe it or not, it's strong enough to be used in cocktails, too. If you're feeling creative, you can try swapping out fresh ginger for ginger broth in a Ginger Rabbit cocktail.