Reducing food waste doesn’t have to be boring. Of course, a key component to reducing your waste is shopping smart, eating your left-overs and composting what you can… but you can have fun in the kitchen while doing it! Here are some of my favourite ways to reduce food waste, and end up with something delicious in the end!
1. Make your own vegetable stock
This is a fantastic way to use up miscellaneous vege scraps. Freeze vege scraps such as carrot peels and tops, celery ends, onion peels and herbs. You can supplement the scraps with more vegetables and additions such as garlic, peppercorns, mushrooms, leeks and green onions. Jennifer’s Kitchen has a great list of which vegetables should and should not go into stock here.
You will end up with a beautiful, natural broth that is practically free, and can be used as a base for heaps of meals. The best thing about it is that you know exactly what’s in it!
2. Use potato peels to make something amazing
Unfortunately, potato skins aren’t great in vegetable stock, so using the whole vegetable is important if you want to reduce food waste!
These potato skin chips are crispy, crunchy, salty, and an amazing alternative to store-bought chips. They’re also great to munch on while your actual dinner is cooking. Just…. just look at them….
And the best thing is, they’re super-duper easy to make. Simply dry the skins, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread them on a lined sheet and bake at 200°C for 10-15 mins.
Wanna know something even cooler? You can do the same thing with apple peels (sprinkle them with cinnamon). You can thank me later.
3. Keep those citrus peels!
There are so many uses for lemon, orange and other citrus peels out there, so there really is no reason to throw these things out! They can be used to make candied peels (a delicious little snack), be added to salads and even to make your own citrus infused olive oil or vinegar. One of my favourite uses is adding them to baked muesli and trail mix.
Citrus peels can also be mixed with vinegar to make a cheap and natural home-cleaner.
4. Grow food from your scraps
There are heaps of vegetables and herbs that can be grown from scraps, and for many of them you don’t even need a garden! Plants you can regrow easily include celery, green onions, carrots, leeks, basil and garlic. Natural Living Ideas has a great article about regrowing vegetables here.
5. Freeze over-ripe fruit for smoothies
Bananas looking a bit brown? Spinach a little wilted? Strawberries on the turn? Instead of throwing them out, freeze fruit and other smoothie ingredients for future use. Frozen fruit will make your smoothies colder and thicker (woohoo!), and over-ripe fruit will actually make your smoothies taste sweeter! This is because starches in the fruit turn into sugars as they ripen. So, not only will you save money and enjoy food that would have been wasted, but your smoothies will be even better!
So, do you think you’ll adopt any of these ways of reducing food waste? I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know if you do any of these or you have any other tips for delicious ways to reduce food waste!
Feature image: http://www.biodiverseed.com