Reimagining Food Scraps: Clever Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Food
In today’s society, food waste is a major issue that continues to plague the world. According to the UN Environment Programme report done in 2021, 17% of our food is wasted both in retail and by consumers. With so many hungry mouths around the world, it’s sad and disheartening to hear that a huge chunk of the food we consume is going straight into the trash. But what if we told you you could reduce your individual contribution to this statistic by learning how to make the most of your food scraps? Yes, the kitchen leftovers that are usually tossed into the bin can be reimagined and transformed into nutrient-packed treats and goodies. So let’s all pitch in to do our part as we explore creative and sustainable ways to make the most out of our food.
1. Fruit and Vegetable Broth: Turn Scraps into Gold
Next time you’re done prepping for dinner, don’t toss away those vegetable peels, stems, and leaves just yet! Transform those once-unused bits into the most wonderful homemade broth. All you need to do is store your veggie scraps (onion skins, carrot peels, celery leaves, etc.) in the freezer until you have enough to fill a large pot. Add in water, herbs, and seasonings, then simmer for about an hour. Just strain out the scraps and you’re left with a flavourful and nutrient-rich broth that can be used for whatever you need.
2. Citrus Peel Cleaner: Fresh Scents for the Home
The next time you enjoy a delicious citrus fruit, pause for a moment instead of tossing those peels. Citrus rinds, from lemons, oranges, and grapefruits, are actually perfect for creating an all-natural fragrant cleaner. You can fill a jar with the peels, top it up with white vinegar, and let it sit for a couple of weeks to completely infuse. Then, just strain the mixture and you’ve suddenly got a homemade, eco-friendly cleaner that will leave your house smelling pleasantly fresh.
3. Composting: Give Back to Mother Earth
Composting is an easy and eco-friendly way to convert your food waste into nutrient-rich soil. You can compost many things, from fruit and vegetable scraps to coffee grounds, eggshells, and even paper products. The resulting compost is great for fertilizing your garden, enriching the soil, and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
4. Potato Peel Crisps: Great for Snacking
After peeling a bunch of potatoes, consider turning those peels into a tasty homemade snack before tossing them in the trash. It’s quite simple, just toss the peels in a bit of oil, sprinkle them with your favourite seasonings, then bake until nice and crispy. It’s a solid guilt-free snack that both reduces waste and satisfies your salty cravings!
5. Coffee Ground Face Scrub: Your Kitchen’s Beauty Secret
If you’re already thanking your morning coffee for helping you kickstart your day, turns out there’s something else to be thankful for. Coffee grounds make for an excellent exfoliant for your skin. That’s right, we’re making coffee ground face scrubs. Mix the used grounds with a bit of honey or coconut oil and you’ve got yourself a natural, eco-friendly exfoliator. To make things even better, the caffeine in the coffee can also help tighten skin and reduce under-eye puffiness.
6. Stale Bread Croutons: Elevate Your Salads
Got some stale bread on hand that’s ready to be disposed of? Instead of throwing it out, transform it into crunchy, delicious croutons that’ll be a great topping for any dish. Simply dice the bread, toss it with olive oil and seasonings, then bake until they’re golden and crispy. Not only are you reducing waste, but these homemade croutons are the perfect addition to any soup and salad you make at home.
7. Herb Stems Pesto: Flavour-Packed and Sustainable Sauce
Herb stems, especially those from soft herbs like basil, parsley, and cilantro, are densely packed with flavour and nutrients. So instead of discarding them like you usually do, blend these stems together with garlic, nuts, cheese, and olive oil to create a homemade pesto. This sustainable, flavour-packed sauce will be just the thing for any pasta, sandwich, or salad dish.
As you can now see, there are plenty of ways to make the most of our food so we can reduce our food waste. It’s easy to just throw things in the garbage when we’re done with them, but taking a moment to utilize our ingredients to the max can make a wonderful impact on the world. Why not give these methods a try so you can fully appreciate the versatility of food?