Food waste is one of the biggest contributions to landfills. One of the ways you can prevent food waste is to reuse food scraps when possible. There’s so much waste that can actually be diverted from landfill when you know how and when to reuse your food scraps.
My oldest daughter has me scrutinizing our habits at home and at first I have to say I was a skeptic, but seeing how she easily regrows green onions and uses scraps for other household things from gardening to cosmetic DIY and teas is inspiring.
Food Scrap Reuse
Food is a vital resource that can be preserved and stretched further with a little creativity. Using your food scraps is a great way to make the most of what you have and reduce food waste, which saves you money and also helps you support environmental conservation efforts.
The most common use for food scraps is to compost them into a fertilizer for your garden and houseplants. Anyone can put in a small composter to help reduce how much food waste goes into the trash or keep a bin of food scraps in your kitchen and use the broken down scraps afterwards.
These also make amazing fertilizer for plants. Roses love these. Don’t use them on indoor plants though as that can cause mold.
The calcium in egg shells is useful for a couple of things, but today we are chatting about food scraps, so crush up those egg shells and put them in your plants. Sprinkle them in all the plants. It won’t hurt. The extra calcium in these food scraps can be especially useful for plants that attract snails.
Leftover scraps of vegetables including onions and garlic can make a great addition to bone broth. Keep a container in the freezer for tossing vegetable scraps, onion skins, and other small bits from trimming vegetables. Place this with meat bones from cooking and some fresh herbs for an easy and flavorful brother anyone can make.
Use apple and other fruit scraps to make scrap jelly. Boil the fruit scraps in a bit of water. Strain off the fruit scraps and use the juice to make homemade jelly. This is a common way to use up fruit scraps for a delicious treat to add to your stockpile.
Scrap bits of meat and vegetables can be used to make a stew. This is a great way to use up leftovers in the refrigerator including using leftover pasta sauces or gravies to give you a base for your stew.
Leftover Bread Becomes
Leftover bits of bread including the heals and scrap crusts from picky children can be used to make homemade croutons or bread crumbs for cooking. Chop and dry the crumbs for croutons or dry and crush them for simple bread crumbs you can use later for cooking.
Freeze leftover mashed potatoes to thickening soups and stews later on. This makes a great way to reduce waste. Use an ice cube tray for small portions and easy measuring.
Bring on the banana peels. I was tossing all of mine until very recently. You can actually boil banana peels to make a kind of tea. You can use parts of bananas in hair conditioner or even facial moisturizers. If you are putting it on your face though test a piece of skin first to be sure it doesn’t cause a reaction.
Keep the white portion of the green onion and place it in a jar with water. You can easily regrew onions this way. My daughter started this here and it works. We rarely need to buy green onions anymore.
Scoop out the pumpkin guts and seeds. Use the pumpkin for desserts, bread, cookies or anything pumpkin related. Pumpkin can be delicious in so many recipes. Don’t waste it if you can help it. Keep the seeds, wash them off and roast them. My kids and husband love this treat.
Food Scraps Can Be Versatile!
From coffee grounds to banana peels and more. You don’t have to toss all of your food scraps out with the garbage. Some scraps are useful and even tasty at times. Why not try some of these ideas and save on waste?