Why toss something that can be given a second life? As we’ve mentioned before, food waste in landfills simply doesn’t decompose as quickly as we might think, and it produces harmful methane gas over the years that it can take to break down. Compost is a good alternative but should be a last resort after getting the absolute most possible out of your food.
Kitchen scraps are often seen as a total loss. After all, what could you possibly do with apple peels? Some people save bones and vegetable trimmings to make homemade soup stock, and that’s a delicious and nutritious way to use up kitchen scraps. But there’s more to scraps than soups!
Anytime we can repurpose or reuse food scraps, we’re not only reducing our household food waste, but we’re also reducing our consumption of other products and food items to even further reduce our overall impact on the environment.
Sprinkle them in your garden or mix them with potting soil to add a boost of nitrogen for your plants.
Also for your garden, coffee grounds can deter slugs and snails!
Exfoliate your skin - use grounds as is, or mix with a bit of coconut oil.
Fix scratches in dark wood - make a paste with water, spread it on the scratch and leave for 5-10 minutes. Wipe it away and the coffee should have dyed the exposed wood to minimize the appearance of the scratch.
Love bacon? Don’t waste the rendered fat you get from cooking it! Strain it into a heatproof jar or container and store in the fridge. You can then use it as a cooking fat to add amazing flavour to all kinds of dishes. Saute veggies, sear meat or seafood, cook up onions to start a delicious risotto, fry eggs… the possibilities are endless!
Add them to your water when cooking rice or other grains to add a hint of lemon (remove peels before eating).
Save the zest to use in homemade salad dressings, marinades and rubs.
Make lemon olive oil.
Remove mineral deposits in your kettle - fill a kettle with water, add lemon peels, bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Drain, wipe clean and rinse.
Make breadcrumbs - with or without a food processor - for homemade chicken nuggets, breaded roast veggies or casserole topping.
Make stuffed tomatoes.
Make a super simple, crowd-pleasing breakfast bread pudding.
Water from steaming or boiling vegetables is great for watering gardens and houseplants
Vegetable or meat poaching water can be used for cooking flavourful grains
Use it as a starter for soup, homemade broth or stews
When cookies or cakes go stale, there’s no need to toss them! Crumble them up and use them to top ice cream or yoghurt, or even mix them into frosting for a unique cupcake topping.
Use the halves as seedling starters - when the seedlings are ready to replant, you can plant them directly in the earth or potting soil, shell and all!
Keep neighbourhood cats out of your garden - Crumble the shells around your garden. They’re uncomfortable for cats to walk on and they will find somewhere else to go.
Give tomato plants a healthy calcium boost
Add them to soups and stocks for a calcium boost for yourself (remove the shells before eating).
Make cinnamon-spiced apple peel chips.
Make tea by simmering apple peels in water with a cinnamon stick or cloves and a touch of honey or maple syrup.
Add fibre and flavour to homemade smoothies.
Make apple juice.
Getting the most out of your food is always the best option - for your wallet and the planet. Do you have a tip for using up common kitchen scraps instead of tossing them?
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