You Should Be Saving Your Garlic And Onion Peels. Here's Why

If you're an avid cook, there's a pretty good chance you always have garlic and onion on hand. The two ingredients make up the base of most dishes, and sautéing them in a bit of oil is all you need to do in order to activate their savory flavors. The reason for this versatility comes down to science, Sweetish Hill shares. They're both alliums, and as such, they both contain high concentrations of sulfur. Because onion and garlic share this chemical compound, Well Tuned explains, we perceive their flavors are compatible.

There's no denying that onions and garlic are versatile whether they be used together or on their own, but it isn't only due to their flavors. It's also due to the fact that you can cook with every part of them — peel and all — contrary to what most assume. If you want to get the most out of your onions and garlic, consider reserving the leftover scraps for another cooking application instead of tossing them out.

Garlic and onion peels can be turned into a stock

Though stock can be purchased at any grocery store, it's relatively easy to make at home, because it's the product of slow-cooking meat bones or vegetables in water. What most people don't realize though, is that garlic and onion peels can also be turned into stock. According to Food & Wine, you can simply stash the peels in a freezer bag every time you cook with onions or garlic, and when the bag is filled, you'll have enough to make a stock.

Per Garlic and Zest's instructions, transfer all the peels into a stock pot, then fill it with cold water just until the peels are covered. You could add other vegetable scraps or aromatics, but according to Food & Wine, the garlic and onion peels alone work just as well. Cook the stock as you normally would, by bringing it to a boil and simmering for at least 2 1/2 hours, and after straining, you should be left with a delicious cooking liquid.

Make your own garlic and onion powder

If you don't often cook stews and soups or anything that requires stock, it's still possible to utilize your leftover garlic and onion peels. When fully dried and pulverized, Green Goddess shares that you can make your own onion powder with onion peels. Per mindbodygreen, you can also do the same for garlic peels to make garlic powder. And if you use garlic and onion a lot already, you might as well save the peels instead of buying store-bought onion and garlic powder.

Although garlic and onions impart more flavor to dishes when they're fresh rather than dried, there are many dishes where powdered is ideal, like in a dry rub or smooth sauce. As MyRecipes also points out, the powdered form doesn't burn as readily, which is better for longer cooking times and direct heat. So while you could continue discarding your onion and garlic peels, you can always find a way to use them, whether it be as a seasoning or in a stock.