Here in the U.S. we waste around 40 percent of the food we produce, and part of that happens in our very own kitchens. Check out some of these ways to bust food waste by cooking with food scraps!
You probably see citrus or apple peels and watermelon rinds as fodder for your compost, but you can actually get quite a bit of extra mileage out of your food scraps. We spend so much money on healthy, organic produce for our kitchens, and these food scrap reuses help you stretch your food budget by making using seemingly-inedible food scraps to make delicious food and drinks!
Related Reading: 25 Ways to Reduce Food Waste
14 Ways to Cook with Food Scraps
1. Cook up Kale Stems – So many kale recipe call for removing the stems, but they’re totally edible and nutritious.
2. Apple Peel Jelly – Not into your house smelling like apples? Apple peels contain natural pectin, which makes them perfect for making jelly from scratch.
3. Apple Peel Tea – Got more apple peels than you can handle? Turn some of those leftovers into a comforting cup of tea.
4. Make Apple Cider Vinegar – I know! I should have called this article “wonderful uses for apple peels and other food scraps.” You can use apple peels and cores to make your own apple cider vinegar from scratch.
Related Reading: Health Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
6. Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden – Just make sure you use them the right way. Anna Hackman at Green Talk has the deets on how to do this properly.
7. Make Sauce from Tomato Scraps – Do you have a pile of tomato skins and cores left over from a recipe? Turn them into yummy tomato sauce.
8. Cook Up Veggie Broth with Vegetable Peels – Skins, peels, woody stems, and other scraps from prepping veggies still contain a lot of flavor and nutrition. Turn them into an all-purpose veggie stock to make the most of them.
9. Grow More Food – Check out this list of food that you can re-grow from leftover scraps. Amazing!
10. Infuse Some Booze – The same method that you use for making infused vinegar (#5 on this list) works with alcohol! Experiment with fun combinations like grapefruit-infused gin or plum tequila.
11. Make Almond Flour – Almond flour is just finely ground up almonds, but you can also dry out the leavings from making almond milk and use them in recipes that call for almond flour!
12. Keep Leftover Kale Chips – Don’t you hate when you buy an expensive bag of kale chips and there are lots of crumbs of precious kale left in the bag? Save that shake and use it as a topping for mashed potatoes. You won’t be sorry.
Related Reading: 10 Superfood Kale Recipes
13. Pickle That Watermelon Rind – After enjoying a refreshing watermelon this summer, save the rinds to make southern-style sweet pickles. It may sound plain crazy, but I promise that they’re crazy yummy!
14. Stuff a Pillow with Cherry Pits – Clean your cherry pits and dry them out, then use them as stuffing for a soothing, warming pillow for aches and pains.
Do you have any recipes or other cool food scrap reuses? Let’s keep the ideas going in the comments!