Don’t Throw Away Those Sweet Potato Peels

One of my biggest pet peeves is throwing away food. I could kick myself every time I dump food down the drain or in the trash: it’s just a complete and total waste! And I hate waste. Which is why I am so thrilled to link up to  The Frugal Girl on her weekly feature where she posts a picture of all the food she had to throw away for the week, and invites other bloggers to do the same. The idea is to feel some accountability – who wants to admit they threw away all that money to the whole world? – to help you avoid throwing away food in the future.

So in the picture above, you see what I threw away this week:

  1. a child’s serving of chicken
  2. cucumber-tomato salad
  3. (not pictured) 3-4 soft potatoes

The chicken is leftovers from going out to eat with our extended family to celebrate some birthdays. I tried 3 different times to get both kids to eat their leftovers, but they categorically refused. By then, it was time to throw them away. Sadness.

I made myself the cucumber-tomato salad, ate half of it, then forgot about the other half. Oops.

And the potatoes went bad surprisingly quickly! I’m going to half to cook up the rest of the bag for dinner tonight before they go bad, too.

You’re probably wondering about the sweet potato peels, aren’t you? I have not recently thrown away any sweet potato peels. In fact, I’ve discovered recently that sweet potato peels actually make an amazingly delicious little snack that’s good for you, too. Considering it’s made from something most people would grind in the garbage disposal, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal!

Now if you Google “sweet potato peels”, you’ll find a bunch of tutorials that instruct you to bake the sweet potato whole, scoop out the flesh, and then roast the peels. That’s great if you actually need sweet potato puree, but not so great if you’re wanting to peel and cut the sweet potatoes for some other purpose (like sweet potato fries, for example). In that case, you’re starting with raw peels, a totally different thing altogether.

I couldn’t find a single recipe online that started with raw sweet potato peels, so I invented my own. And Oh. My. Goodness. They were soooooooo good. Even better (in my humble opinion) than the variety that starts with baked potato peels. Instead of baking the peels, I boiled them a little bit first so they weren’t completely raw when I put them in the oven. The olive oil just soaked into the tender peels and created a crisp but tender salty little treat that was rather addictive.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but trust me. These are good!

Boiling the peels adds an extra step, so these aren’t the QUICKest snack in my repertoire. But they’re still done in half an hour or less.

Very EASY! No special skills required.

Oh yeah, these are CHEAP. Can’t get any cheaper than this!

And very HEALTHY, too. The fiber from the peels and all the antioxidants and other goodness from the sweet potato is just the icing on this cake.

Sharing at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways


  1. I love this! I didnt know that I could use the sweet potato skins! But it sure makes sense. I cant wait to try it. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. jennifer says:

    Hmmmmph! I smell the delicious aroma of this recipe LOLZ… Thanks for sharing this with us…
    jennifer recently posted..internetcalls

  3. What a great idea! I’m going to try this!

  4. Too bad that I really don’t like sweet potatoes. I think you may have hit upon something.
    Live and Learn-Toss and Turn recently posted..Food Waste Friday–May 11, 2012

    • Haha! Actually, I don’t love sweet potatoes (don’t hate them, either), but I really did like these sweet potato skins. I couldn’t eat just one.

  5. Yumm! I bet if you deep fried these they would make a fabulous chip too.

  6. Yum! That sounds delicious!!
    Lena at frugalandthankful recently posted..Updates, updates

  7. I love sweet potatoes! I never thought to cook the skins!! Oh cool, I definitely need to try this out!! Awesome :)
    Jami Leigh recently posted..Last Minute Gardening Mother’s Day Presents

  8. Hmmmm…I’m not sure why sweet potato peels gross me out! Maybe ours just always look gross?

    I’m really glad you posted this…now I have to figure out why I have an aversion to them!
    Johnlyn recently posted..Groceries – Where Do I Begin???

  9. This is fantastic! I have a facebook group called the Four Pounds of Cheese Project (Americans throw away an average of 4 pounds of cheese a year per person) all about ways to reduce food waste. I’d love you to join and post your Food Waste Fridays posts over there, if you’d like. Thank you!
    Jenni recently posted..Fear Factor

  10. I’ll have to do this! I have yet to get the family on board with sweet potatoes – I love them all sorts of ways. If I could make chips out of them the littles would gobbled them up for sure!
    Sara Shay @ YourThrivingFamily recently posted..OXO Food Scale {Giveaway}

    • Thankfully, both my sons love sweet potatoes, they eat it like candy. I’m the one who doesn’t love them quite as much, lol. But I love these sweet potato skins!

  11. looking forward to giving these a try!

  12. Great idea! We are not good at using what we have each week and have set it as a new goal for the summer. Thanks for helping us to stay motivated with this goal. I am stopping by from Fugal Days Sustainable Ways. Have a great week!
    Becky recently posted..Mother’s Day Garden Gift

  13. sweet potato fries with the skins left on, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, baked and then shredded cheese sprinkled on top and melted. Delicious!

    • I don’t mind peels on my “real” french fries, but on sweet potato fries is a different matter. I much prefer them this way:)

  14. I’ve always left the peels on when I wedge-cut sweet potatoes to roast them… drizzle olive oil on the wedges and toss them a bit, sprinkle on some crunchy sea salt (not the finely ground table stuff, use a decently large grain… makes a different, really it does!) roast them about 400 degrees just until the edges start turning brown. I have not found anyone yet who doesn’t just LOVE them! My kids never used to like sweet potatoes, but that was when I mashed and buttered and sugared them up…. ICK!! Roasted is the way to go! You don’t even have to put anything else on them when they’re done. They are amazing and yes you eat them right along with the peels!
    TLS recently posted..Don’t ever let anyone tell you….

  15. I didn’t realize people peeled sweet potatoes, I always leave the skin on. I might change that so I can make the sweet potato skins! Does it count as waste if the dogs eat it????

  16. wow! it’s really amazing


  1. […] Cheese, it was all over for me.  Comfort food at it’s best.  At first I was eyeing these sweet potato peel fries, in her Food Waste Fridays post (love all the cool ideas, sections, and tips she has) using the […]

  2. […] the skin off of your first sweet potato (you can throw the peels out or use them to make “chips“). 7. Use a knife to cut the potatoes into slices about ¾ inch thick. Place the slices in […]

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