Save the peel! The next time you’re making a recipe with onions, don’t toss those peels. They are gold and TikTokers are showing how to use them in unexpected ways.
Onion peel powder is a spicy new TikTok trend where onion peels are dried in the oven or a food dehydrator and then pulverized in a spice grinder. You can store the powder in a jar to use later.
Use this powder as a seasoning for roasted or grilled meats and vegetables and add to bread dough to give it a mild onion flavor to your loaf. You can also add salt and you’ll have ready-to-go onion salt. Cookbook author Sarah Marshall says onion powder is akin to asafoetida, a root used in Indian cooking. It works as an all-natural gumming agent.
Finding ways to use onion skins is smart for multiple reasons. Not only does repurposing onion skins reduce food waste, but it’s also a thrifty way to make seasonings and spices at home. Five or so onions worth of skin makes a few tablespoons of powder that will last quite a while in a sealed jar, kept in a cool, dry place.
Beyond environmental and cost reasons, onion peel powder has major health benefits, too. The skin is where the onion stores its power: Onion skins contain massive amounts of dietary fiber and polyphenolic antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and have anticancer effects. The particular antioxidants in onion skin also fight cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
Onion peels are increasingly used by the food processing industry as a functional ingredient that helps extend shelf life, but they are a good supplement for human shelf life too.
Once you’ve mastered onion powder, don’t stop there. Try making garlic skin powder or an all-purpose veggie peel powder that can be a super healthy and flavorful seasoning.
If you’re not up for the effort of making onion peel powder, there’s still a lot more you can do with the peels rather than toss them out. Throw them into a vegetable stock to extract some of that antioxidant goodness. You can also steep a big batch into a large scale tea with water to fertilize plants. Some beauty experts even say that onion peels make an amazing hair rinse that doesn’t leave an odor. At the very least, they make great compost.
The next time you cut up onions, think twice before discarding that peel. They may be one of the biggest treasures in your kitchen that should stay out of the trash!