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4 Ways to Maximize Your Meals

Think twice before tossing those peels, stems or leafy tops. "They contain tons of nutrients and can stretch your food budget," says Ronna Welsh, the owner of Purple Kale Kitchenworks, a cooking school in Brooklyn. Power up your diet with these healthy extras.

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Orange Peels
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Save Orange Peels

Why: Citrus rinds are packed with flavonoids, which help fight harmful free radicals.

Serve: Zest the peel (but not the bitter pith underneath) and add it to risotto, salad dressing or marinades.

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Save Celery Leaves

Why: An excellent source of vitamin C, they may lower unhealthy blood lipid levels.

Serve: Chop the leaves and sub them for parsley in pasta dishes and stews or for cilantro in stir-fries.

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Save Beet Greens

Why: One cup supplies more than a quarter of your daily value of magnesium, potassium and vitamin A.

Serve: Boil for one minute, dunk in ice water, squeeze out excess moisture, chop and sauté in olive oil with garlic.

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Save Broccoli Stalks

Why: Each one has four grams of fiber and 25 percent of the folate you need in a day.

Serve: Slice off the tough outer layer. Cut the rest of the stalk carrot-stick-style and dip in yogurt seasoned with cumin and lemon juice.

Originally published in FITNESS Magazine, February 2012.

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