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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

One man's mashed potato remnants are another's yummy tater skins!

What's that they say about nutrients being just beneath the skin of most vegetables? Anyways, when I peel potatoes, I hate tossing the skins into the compost. Instead, I turn those potato peels into a delicious snack.

I toss the peels in olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Then I spread them on an oiled baking sheet. Roast in a 385 degree F oven, for about 20 minutes, stirring and turning them over every 7 - 8 minutes. When the skins look toasty, I top with a bit of grated cheddar and pop back into the oven for 3 minutes.

Umm, yummy. A healthy, frugal snack, made from something that many folks consider garbage.


  1. Those look delicious. I must peel my potatoes quite a bit thinner because I really only thin, thin skins left when I peel so I doubt making skins would work. But we do make a lot of potato wedges/slices/chunks or whatever you want to call them. I also toss them in oil, shake on some salt and maybe sprinkle parmesan cheese or chopped rosemary. I just love them. Peels on or peels off and nobody cares since they gobble them all up very quickly.


    1. Hi Alice,
      My homegrown potatoes have thinner skins. If I were to peel them, it would be like you said, very thin skin, pieces, likely with lots of holes. So I don't even peel them when making mashed potatoes. But the store russets have such thick skins that there's always lots of skin, there. And when I'm wanting a snack like tater skins, I always peel them thick, just for me!!
      Anyways, yes, roasted potatoes with rosemary, garlic, salt and oil -- also really delicious, and they make the house smell tantalizing!

      Have a great day, Alice!

  2. I get the best ideas from your blog! I can't wait to try these.


    1. Hi Angie,
      I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
      Enjoy your day!

  3. Sometimes I peel my potatoes because I feel like I can't get all of the dirt from out of the eyes, etc. even with a brush. I would worry about that with the skins. Do you have that concern? With that being said, the roasted skins look delicious.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      that's what fingernails are for!(scratching out the dirt in the eyes of potatoes) Ha ha!

      So, homegrown potatoes are always dirtier, with my garden. And they require a lot of scrubbing. I do sometimes miss a bit of dirt and then I get a "gritty crunch" in a bite. I feel like, especially with homegrown (no added chemicals), that I'm just getting something extra -- eating a little bit of dirt. While I wouldn't make a habit of eating dirt, humans have been eating dirt since the first day. So I just don't mind all that much if there's a bit of dirt in one of the eyes that I don't get out. I figure when I eat a baked potato, skin and all, I overlook any extra dirt, so with seasoned skins, I just don't pay attention to it. But that's just me. Maybe other people would be bothered by an occasional bit of grit.

      Since keeping a garden, I've accustomed myself to all sorts of things I'd never have done before, like eating holey lettuce where a bug has chewed. But I understand if someone else doesn't feel the same way.

    2. One thing I should have said, I do discard green parts of potato peels. I really don't know if the green is very bad for a person or not. So, I compost those pieces. What you don't see in the first photo is my small pile of green skins.

    3. I would be less concerned about the dirt from potatoes from your garden as opposed to store-bought potatoes. You know what you put on your own potatoes, but store-purchased ones are a big question mark. That being said, L&L, if you have a kitchen scrubbie dedicated to cleaning veggies with nooks and crannies (I send mine through the dishwasher periodically, although probably not frequently enough!), you may feel better about that.

      Lili, these do sound delicious. I read this book last winter--you may find it interesting. Some things the author wrote about were too intense for me, but I thought she had some very good points.

    4. Hi Kris,
      definitely on more concern for commercially grown and packaged potatoes vs homegrown. And I would think also about the potatoes that are sold in the off-season, as they've been sprayed with fungicide and the anti-sprouting chemical. For someone really concerned about this, then their options are to grown their own, or buy organic.

      I checked out that book on the Amazon "peek inside" feature. I like the line, "chronic illness became the new normal for children". How many kids of friends do we all know who have ADHD, asthma, allergies, etc, and our culture just says, well that's just how it is, instead of researching into why these illnesses are happening.

      And I would add this extends to adults as well. As a culture we seem to be okay with just average or normal health, when optimal health is so much better. I've had this discussion with health professionals over the last couple of months, about my own health. With blood testing, I'm not satisfied for being on the very low end of normal, but still within normal ranges on anything. I now always ask what's the "optimal" level. Anyways, you can understand my own current dealings with this mass-acceptance of less-than optimal health.

      Thanks for the link to that book, Kris. It sounds like a good read.

      Anyone else interested in reading more from the book itself, can go to Amazon, and search "the dirt cure". When you find that book, click on the "look inside" above the image of the book's cover on the left side of the page.

      If you don't already know this, you can then read some of the book. I do this to see if I want to check my library for particular books. I know -- I'm not a very good sales person for Amazon (ha ha), and here I have links to their site on the side of my blog! Yikes!

    5. On the topic of potato eyes... check out this post over at Frugal Girl:

      I use the Kuhn Rikon peeler, which actually has a convenient little tool built in for scooping out the eyes. Of course, I'd been using that peeler for over 20 years, and didn't realize what the little eye-scooper thing was until I read Kristen's post! Oy Vay!

    6. Errrr... I just re-read that post and didn't actually see the part about the eye-remover goomer - maybe it was a different post? Well ANYWAY, if you look at the picture of the thing, there's a little round part just to the right of the blade - and that little goomer is designed to scoop out the eyes - works like a charm!

      OK... it's in THIS post (near the end)

    7. Thanks for the info on the potato peeler. I think I remember that post of Kristin's. My mom's peeler was all metal, and she could use the tip of the peeler to scoop out potato eyes. My peelers have that thick plastic tip which is blunt and can't do anything like that. I'll keep Kristin's one in mind next time I have to buy one. (That may be a long while -- they multiply around here. I was given a set of peelers for Christmas last year. Recently, a friend left hers here when we were making applesauce, and I still have it sitting out to give back, but we keep forgetting! So there are several peelers in my kitchen right now.)

  4. Yum! I often make something similar to this when I have potato peelings. Potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes.

    1. Hi Mary,
      One of my favorites, too! Especially when roasted and crispy, just love potatoes.
      Have a great day!

  5. OMG... that looks delicious! I'm kinda paranoid about eating the skins of non-organic potatoes because I've heard they're sprayed with something horrible to keep them from sprouting. Have you done any research on this? Do you think I'm being overly paranoid?

    1. Hi Cat,
      when I wash potatoes, I put them in a basin of water and allow to soak, while I do other things. Then I scrub with a brush before peeling or baking. I figure I've gotten a good deal of any sprouting inhibitor off by washing. My thinking on eating veggie peels is this -- most of the nutrients are often just under the skin of a fruit or vegetable. If I ate only the "heart" of the veggie or fruit, then I'd be missing out on those nutrients. For me personally, I'd rather get more nutrients and eat the skins, too, than get fewer nutrients to avoid any residual-after-cleaning substances. In the ideal world, I'd only be eating organic produce of all kinds. But I don't have the ideal circumstances. I do as much as I can, like grow many of my own fruits and vegetables, and clean produce pretty well, and try not to be anxious about the rest. But it's everyone else's decision to make for themselves.

      If you wanted to eat potato peels, but don't want to take any chances with chemicals you might ingest, then you have options. You could grow your own potatoes. Or you could buy organic potatoes, for the ones you want to eat the peelings from. You could still buy non-organic for the ones you would peel before eating, and save money, there.

      While I don't have proof of this, I suspect that potatoes packaged for sale in the fall (those sales the week before Thanksgiving, often potatoes are on sale for $1/10-lbs), are not sprayed or not heavily sprayed with sprout inhibitor, as they're expected to be cooked within a couple of months of packaging. My tidbit of suspicion on this comes from purchases and storage of these potatoes in recent years. These potatoes, bought in November, when stored in my cool, dark pantry, begin to sprout within 1 month of purchase. If they are really spraying these with sprouting inhibitors, then they're not spraying enough to keep the potatoes from sprouting for the whole winter. This is just a hunch, though. No evidence one way or the other.

    2. (cont'd for Cat) In any case, something to consider, even if you peel your non-organic potatoes, while they are growing in the soil, they are absorbing the chemicals laden in the soil, along with the nutrients. So, the interior of the potatoes have taken up chemical fertilizers, heavy metals and other pollutants in the soil. Not to make you even more paranoid about eating those non-organic potatoes, but just something to think about. And not to further anyone's paranoia about potatoes -- commercial potatoes in the form of French fries, potato chips, potato flakes, these are all also likely sprayed. At least with the potatoes that you prepare at home, you can scrub those skins pretty well. But you have no idea how well the skins were cleaned before skin-on potato chips (which seem to be popular now) or fries or flakes were made.

      Cat, these are the two common sprout inhibitors:
      Maleic hydrazide and chlorpropham

      New sprout inhibitors have been developed and show a lot of promise. But for the ones being used, here's some info on toxicity:

      "Human Risk Assessment
      Maleic hydrazide is of low acute toxicity. It has been shown to cause
      genotoxic effects in some mutagenicity studies. However, in view of
      several negative cancer studies, its genotoxic hazard is considered
      negligible. The contaminant hydrazine has been shown to induce tumors.
      However, EPA has set an upper limit of <15 ppm hydrazine in technical
      grade maleic hydrazide products. This level alleviates any concern of
      lifetime cancer risk to humans considering both dietary and worker
      exposure. "

      Take what you want from that excerpt. It's from the archives. Newer and safer sprout-inhibitors are being tried out in the state of Washington, and probably other states as well.

      Part of the answer, though, is in consumers going back to how our ancestors ate. They ate in-season produce, so sprout inhibitors wouldn't even be necessary. In our family, that means buying potatoes in the fall for fall and winter consumption, then not eating potatoes, for the most part until I have garden new potatoes, in summer.

      Now, if you really wanted a potato treat like I make, but didn't want to use the skins, you could peel the potatoes, then use your peeler to shred off pieces to toss with seasonings and oil, then bake, and add cheese. Skinless potato skins!

    3. Holy Kazoli! Somehow I knew you'd have the skinny on this topic! That is all fantastic information, and does alleviate my concerns quite a bit. I think your point about nutrients vs. residual chemicals is very well taken.

      Honestly, I sometimes think that all of this "information" on pesticides and toxicity can backfire on us. I mean, I read somewhere that an astonishingly high percentage of people avoid fruits and vegetables altogether for fear of pesticides - and that's just crazy from a health standpoint!

      Thanks so very much for such a thorough and well researched answer to my question!

    4. Cat, I've looked this stuff up for my own family before. Even if I don't buy all organics, I'm still very interested in this sort of information, so I enjoy reading about it, and take what I can to apply to my own family.
      have a great day, Cat!

  6. Thanks for this tip....I have never thought to do this!! But always felt a bit wasteful as I threw the skins into compost. I think letting the potatoes soak in water for a few minutes, then scrubbing with a kitchen brush should get most of the dirt and chemicals out.

    Which gives me another thought...lately, we've been buying organic carrots from Costco, from your discussion here today, I'm thinking, since it's organic, I should just scrub and not peel the carrots to save time, money and nutrition. We need to prepare 10# of carrots every week for my father, so just scrubbing and not peeling would save so much time, and be healthier too.

    Have a great day!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      That's right, for organic carrots, there's no need to peel, except for aesthetic purposes (skins darken in cooking). You save time, carrot and nutrients.

      With non-organic carrots, I always cut off the tip. My mom said that the tip is where the bulk of the chemicals from fertilizers were stored in a carrot. I don't know if this is true, but it's what I've always done. So, with organic carrots, I just wash, and cut off the green end. the rest is totally edible.

      Have a great day, yourself, YHF!

  7. That looks really tasty! I personally save up my veggie peelings (apple and pear peels too!) and scraps in a bag in the freezer, for stock- making several times a month :-)

    1. Hi Patience,
      Do you add your fruit peelings to the veggie stock? That's such an interesting idea. But I'll give that a try. I'd think a bit of apple would go well with onions, carrots and celery peelings.
      Thank you, I now have a use for some of our apple peelings!

  8. Yes I do add them. Not tons and tons at a time, but a couple handfuls of apple peelings along with the veggie scraps seem to work just fine :-)


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