27 Clever Ways to Reuse Food Scraps

Got some food scraps that are destined for your trash or compost bin? Before you toss those out, take a look at these creative ways to reuse them.

We have a serious food waste problem. While a lot of the food that goes to waste worldwide is on the supply side, we as consumers can do our part to reduce food waste as well. These ways to reuse food scraps are just one aspect of how we as consumers can reduce food waste. Check out some of these articles for more tips and ideas to reduce food waste at home:

With 30-40 percent of our global food supply going to waste, anything that we can do to maximize the food we have can help. Check out these awesome ways to reuse food scraps to help you put a dent in the food waste in your kitchen!

Ways to Reuse Food Scraps: Make Vegetable Broth

Veggie scraps make delicious broth!

27 Awesome Ways to Reuse Food Scraps


1. Make broth. Celery tops, onion and garlic skins, carrot peels, and other food scraps are great for flavoring your vegetable broth. Just save the scraps in a freezer-safe container until you have enough to cook them up. When the broth is done, strain out the solids and toss them into your compost bin.

2. Use old lemon peels to infuse liquor. Check out this simple recipe for lemon brandy. You can also use this technique to make lemon vodka, rum, tequila…pretty much any liquor you like!

3. Save those kale stalks. Most recipes for kale and other dark leafy greens call for removing the leaves from the stems, but there is a lot of nutrition in those kale stalks! Try this recipe for kale stalks with chili and garlic.

4. A small slice of citrus peel keeps brown sugar from hardening. Just make sure that you store the sugar in the refrigerator, so the peel doesn’t rot.

5. Is your garbage disposer stinky? Throw citrus peels into the garbage disposer to destink it.

6. Apple peels make a tasty tea. If you want to make this recipe vegan, go for agave nectar or maple syrup in place of the honey or skip the sweetener all together.

7. Use apple peels to clean aluminum cookware. You can get the deets from DIY Network.

8. You can actually eat carrots without peeling them, but if you want to peel your carrots, save the peels. You can use them to make carrot oil, which is a great addition to your DIY beauty regimen.

9. Cucumber peels deter pests. You can find a list here of how to use cucumbers to deter ants, moths, mites, wasps, and silverfish.

10. Reuse those broccoli stems. Like kale stems broccoli stalks have tons of nutritional value. Just slice away the tough outer skin and try some of these recipes!

11. Does your kiddo eat his sandwiches with the crusts cut off? Save the crusts in a container in the fridge and grind them into breadcrumbs.

amond flour muffins

These cranberry muffins were made with almond flour left over from making almond milk!

12. After making almond milk, dry the leftover pulp in the oven and use it in any recipe calling for almond flour. Try these almond flour muffins to start.

Related Reading: 10 Foods that You Should Make from Scratch

13. Next time you get a bunch of beets, save the leafy tops. Wash them well to get all of the dirt off, and you can cook them up just like you would Swiss chard, a close relative to the beet.

14. Did someone say chard? Check out this recipe for quick-pickled Swiss chard stems!

15. After cutting the top off of your pineapple, don’t toss it in the compost. You can actually use that top to grow another pineapple.

16. Save the bottoms of your green onions, too. You can plant them in a pot or your garden to grow new onions.

17. Speaking of onions, you can use the skins to make fabric dye. Both yellow onions and red onions work to make dye.

18. Reuse celery leaves. Celery tops are full of nutrients and flavor. Green Talk shows you lots of ways to cook and store celery leaves.

19. Use coffee grounds to deodorize your hands and cutting board after chopping garlic and onions. Rub them on, then rinse away. It seriously works like magic!

20. Next time you make a romaine salad, save the lettuce hearts to grow more lettuce. Here’s how!

Ways to Reuse Food Scraps: Potato Peels

Save those potato peels to use as a natural remedy for warts.

21. Use potato peels as a natural remedy for warts.

22. You can reuse the pulp left from juicing veggies to make broth. Just like tip #1, you’ll probably want to strain out the solids when the broth is done.

23. Leftover fruit pulp adds fiber and vitamins to your smoothies.

24. Instead of tossing peach pits into your compost, try this recipe for peach pit jelly.

25. Got tomato scraps? Use them to make tomato sauce.

26. Save those cracker crumbs. The crumbs from the bottom of that bag of crackers work great as breading or to top off a casserole. If there aren’t enough in the box, mix them with your other breadcrumbs. Maybe crumbs you made from those bread crusts (#11)?

27. Infuse vinegar with citrus peels. Just like with infused liquors, you can experiment with different sorts of citrus and different vinegars.

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Debbie Miller
Debbie false6 months ago

That article was chock full of ideas... a few sound very much worth trying out to me.

Sharon Stein
Sharon Steinabout a year ago

I've tried some...didn't know about others...and want to share one...used coffee grounds can be mixed with soil and planted in...

Stardust Noel
Stardust Noelabout a year ago

I use the things I can, in my compost bin, like citrus peels.

Jane R.
Jane R.about a year ago

I have silverfish but don't think I want to put cucumber peel all over my house. It will just attract other critters such as roaches looking for food.

Lydia S.
Lydia S.about a year ago

Thanks , interesting tips .

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

Some good ideas! Thanks!

Amy W.
Amy W.about a year ago

#21 - Potatoes or Potato peels and Warts (check out the link. Lots o' folks posting). Walked to the store tonight to pick up a few potatoes. One small wart on my hand that I have been fighting for 15 years. Should be able to give you the lowdown in the next two weeks.

Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgadoabout a year ago

Thanks--some of these I do but could do more.

colette gioberto
colette giobertoabout a year ago

Thanks for the tips! I'm trying the cucumber one.

Graziella Veri
Graziella Veriabout a year ago

noted,liked and shared.Thank you