Are you guilty of throwing away food scraps? Next time you want to toss those vegetable skins, think first if there is another way you can use it. Here are a few ideas on how to repurpose food scraps and reduce waste.
If you are tossing your onion skins in the trash, you are missing out on big flavor! Although you can’t eat them as is, you can use them to infuse flavor into your soups, stocks, or sauces. They will also give your stock a darker rich color. If you are making rice, add a few onion skins (or garlic skins) to the rice and water. As your rice cooks, it will take on the delicious flavor of the onion, but the taste won’t be overbearing.
If you made potato mash or fries, and are left with potato peels, don’t throw them away. Make roasted potato peels! Coat the potato peels with olive oil and seasoning, and roast at 400°F (200°C) for 10 – 15 min. Make sure you don’t leave your peels out for too long before you cook them, otherwise they will change color pretty quickly. You can use this method for other vegetable peels as well, although it’s not recommended for carrot peels, as they could become bitter. Since it’s ready in 10 minutes, it’s ideal to snack on while you prepare dinner.
If you need to used fresh orange or lemon juice, don’t throw the peel away! There are quite a few things you can do with citrus peels. If you are able to peel it carefully enough to get one long string of peel, you can hang it in your kitchen to dry. The dried peel can then be used to infuse your cup of tea, but you can also use it for desserts. Speaking of desserts, why not make candied orange peel – the perfect match for a chocolate and orange mousse! Finally, you can zest your lemon or orange before juicing it, and freeze zest to use later. In this way, you will always have zest available!
This seems quite obvious, but you can save the chicken carcass from your chicken roast, freeze it, and use it later for a stock or soup.
There’s no reason why you should be tossing stale bread in the garbage. Make your own breadcrumbs by blitzing bread pieces in a food processor, and toasting it in an oven. You can also chop up stale bread, toast them, and make your own soup croutons. Or you can save old bread pieces in the freezer, and use it to make bread pudding.
Many folks use up most of their parmesan cheese, but end up throwing the tough, chewy rind away. But it’s such an expensive ingredient and there’s so much flavor left in the rind! You can use the rind to infuse flavor into soups or stews. Simply put the rind into your sauce, and cook. It will leave your sauce seasoned and slightly thickened. It’s also a great addition to your risotto.
What food scraps do you use? Tell us in the comments below!