Looking for some easy ways to rescue your food, or use up some common food scraps? It's easier than you think and here are a few simple ideas to get started straightaway and reduce your food waste.
Revive Stale Bread
You can save your stale bread by quickly running it under the tap and then popping it in the oven at 180°C for 5 minutes if slightly stale, but go for 10-15 minutes if it's rock hard and you will have soft delicious bread. Alternatively, slice, bake, and smash it up for bread crumbs.
Use Your Bread Crusts
Throwing out the bread ends and crusts leads to a heap of waste, but we don't notice because it's usually a small daily occurrence that doesn't really seem to matter. Many families are throwing out over 20 kilos of bread each year through discarded crusts. I've written an entire post about how you can easily stop throwing it out and start using it, read it here.
Grow Food From Scraps
It’s truly amazing what can be grown in small containers from food scraps. I absolutely love making the most of scraps this way and it basically creates free food. Celery, leek, spring onions, lemongrass, garlic, tomatoes, avocado, pineapple, ginger, lettuce and more. Plus, you really don’t need a big garden to start doing this on a small scale. If you have poor soil or outdoor conditions, simply grow ends in water and change it every few days so it doesn't get slimy. Tomato ends containing seeds can be put into a pot or thrown into the garden and its fun to see what pops up.
Make Smoothies or Ice-Blocks
I am forever cutting up fruit that my kid decides only to eat one or two slices of, so instead of trying to eat all the remains, I save it and make them eat it later. Use a glass or container to store the fruit, if its banana, apple or something that goes brown quickly just cover with the milk you are going to blend it with. This is a fast base for a smoothie in the morning. If you want to save it longer, blend it up and freeze for icey poles. This works with yoghurt and mile providing it is frozen before its inedible of course.
Make Soup Stock
If you love soup and rely on buying stock, this is a way to get it free and zero waste. It can be bits of onion, carrot tops, garlic ends, celery leaves, ginger peel, veggie peel, tomato bits and loads more(In case it’s not obvious, please don’t use any mouldy stuff). This works particularly well with meat bones too and can create a flavoursome broth.
I save my scraps up in a designated container in the freezer which I keep adding to. When ready to make stock, just add to a pot of water, simmer and drain with a colander for a great soup base. For some handy hints on making stock check out and The Crafty Cat Vegetable Scrap Stock.
Make Zero Waste Soup
Soup is a fabulous way to use sad looking veggies in your fridge like floppy carrots, wilted celery and so much more. I'll be sharing one of my recipes soon along with hints on how to use what you have to make a delicious and healthy meal.
Halloween Pumpkin Guts
Last year, we opted not to do a Halloween pumpkin as I didn’t want to be throwing all the centre of a perfectly good pumpkin away. The Halloween pumpkins are quite different to the ones we are used to for eating BUT then I stumbled across How to Use Leftover Pumpkin Guts with recipes like pumpkin lattes, cookies and body scrub to name a few, plus loads of ideas for pumpkin seeds.
Use Pumpkin Skin
You can eat pumpkin skin, I just prefer not to so I cut it into strips and bake it for a healthy treat for our dog. It is so simple to do and your dog will love it. See how to do it here.
Reuse Coffee Grinds & Tea Leaves
Coffee & Tea has so many extra uses from body scrub recipes, feeding your plants or eliminating odours. Here are 20 ways to reuse coffee and tea.
The easiest thing of all is when your coffee or tea go cold, tip in on a plant, this reduces what ends up in our oceans and plants love it.
I use a lot of vinegar for cleaning, and I can’t say I love the smell BUT you can infuse it by adding any type of citrus peels, it really does make it smell amazing. Get the recipe here.
Tricks For Apples
Stop sliced fruits browning by squeezing a little lemon juice on top. I tend to use fruit juice as kids can detect the sour lemon! If you have Apple Peels try making make this Apple Honey Tea.
It doesn't sound exciting to eat banana peels, but did you know you can include it in your cake recipe? Its a food scrap most of us don't consider usable, but here's a great Banana Peel Cake Recipe to try out next time you're in the mood for baking.
A simple method to use peels and scraps while feeding your garden is to whip up a speedy compost tea, head here to find out how.
Eating Foods Root to Stem
The absolute best way to not have scraps in the first place is by using the entire fruit or vegetable in cooking.
There are so many options and here is a brilliant list of over 40 ways to do it.
Let me know below, What are your favourite ways to use food scraps?
Looking for more ways to reduce your household food waste? Head here