The Real Reason You Should Be Saving Your Onion Skins

While some people prefer to eat their potatoes and their apples with the skin still on, everyone seems to be on the same page about onions. You peel them, you cut them, and you throw the skins in the garbage. However, it turns out there is another use for these papery skins that typically wind up in the trash bin or the compost pile. 

Food & Wine reports that these skins are actually full of flavor. Of course, you're not going to want to bite into an onion peel while you're eating a pasta sauce, but if you're using these alliums in a dish that is strained or where it's easy to remove the skins, try using them to infuse a little extra flavor into stews, soups, stocks, or sauces. And, as is the case with so much produce, the skins are actually extremely healthy and contain antioxidants (via Times of India).

Ways to use onion skins in your cooking

If you're making a stock or a soup from which you plan to remove the onions, try using the onions without peeling them. Many soups are strained and you'll be able to catch the peels in your strainer rather than the back of your throat. Slow cooking a pork shoulder in the pressure cooker? Try quartering the onions and tossing them in the pot with the skin still on. It will save you time cutting them properly and will allow you to see if you can taste the difference. There's even a recipe out there to make an onion jam by tossing whole onions into a slow cooker with skin and all (via Cooktop Cove). 

Still not sold? If the idea of using onion skins just isn't appealing to you and you prefer to skin your onions and slice them beautifully, All Natural Dyeing says you can always save the skins and use them to make a dye instead. Who knew this inedible part of the onion could be so useful?