Tips for using up food scraps
(that you may not have thought of!)
7.6 million tonnes of food is wasted or lost in Australia every year! Those statistics are frightening.
Not only is this tough on the household budget, it’s tough on the environment. Making use of everything we have and avoiding throwing things away is a great habit to get into.
There are some pretty obvious tips on reducing food wastage like using your bones and veg scraps for bone broth, freezing bread crusts for bread crumbs, feeding dogs and chooks and composting.
But, I have a few tips for you that you may not have thought of yet.
♥ Leftover tea and coffee
If you make a pot of tea and coffee in the morning and it doesn’t all get consumed, you can make sure you use it in some other way! What I like to do initially is pour myself one cup and then put the rest in a thermos to keep hot and fresh until I am ready for another cup.
Any tea or coffee can also be refrigerated straight away (don’t leave it brewing as it will go nasty and bitter) for use in iced tea and coffee later on. Iced chai latte with milk is simply divine!
Cold tea bags are also fabulous for treating under eye puffiness.
♥ Leftover citrus
Never, ever, ever throw out your citrus peels/halves again. You can turn them into a gorgeous, fragrant and totally non-toxic cleaning spray. They are also fabulous for cleaning around the house – everything from freshening the dishwasher to cleaning chrome in the shower. Read this post for some inspiration. You can also use them to lighten the dark skin on your elbows, dry out the peel and use in cooking or add to some olive oil to make lemon flavoured oil for cooking.
♥ Smears in jars
You know those leftover bits clinging to the inside of the jar? Peanut butter, sauce, jam, honey, oil, kombucha juice?
Here is what you can do:
Turn them into a salad dressing, milkshake or marinade straight in the jar …… shake and eat!
Got passata or sauce that’s got a tiny bit left? Add a touch of boiling water (glass only) and shake and then use.
♥ Coffee grounds
There are so many things you can use leftover coffee grounds for! My favourite is to add some coconut oil and make a delicious body scrub. Cheap, easy and so effective. Now I am also wanting to make a coffee candle. Awesome!
♥ Egg shells
These are rich in calcium and other minerals and can make a fabulous garden fertiliser – simply crush and sprinkle. You can also use them to make homemade chalk. What a great project to do with the kids. Empty egg shells are also great seed starters.
♥ Banana Peels
The inside of a banana peel makes an awesome shoe shine, teeth whitener or wart remover. Add them to a jar of water and leave for a day to make an awesome homemade plant fertiliser!
♥ Pawpaw skins
These make great exfoliators due to the enzyme, papain. Simply rub it all over your face, wait a while and rinse off! Avocado skins also are great for a nourishing face mask.
♥ Meat fat
Our grandparents never threw away meat fat! It was always carefully strained and re-used in cooking. Roast potatoes in meat fat is simply divine and the nutrients are so good for you. Try it!
♥ Potato Skins
Puree up these babies and use them as a hair treatment. Leave in for 15 minutes and then wash out for strong, healthy hair. You can also toss them in oil and salt and pepper and whazz in the air fryer or oven until super crispy for potato peel chips! Yummo.
♥ Vanilla Pods
I am lucky enough to have loads of vanilla pods from bulk buying. After using them in a recipe, I save them in a jar and re-use them by infusing in milk to make a drink or custard, adding to a pot of tea to make a vanilla flavoured tea, adding to a jar of rapadura sugar to make vanilla sugar. Heavenly.
♥ Broccoli Stalks
So many people throw these out but they are fabulous sliced thinly in a stir fry, grated into bolognese or frozen to use in soup. Don’t throw away precious nutrients!
♥ Cauliflower Leaves
Did you know that you can eat these? Roast with some olive oil or use them in this vegetable dish.
♥ Apple Peels and Cores
These can be made into your own homemade apple cider vinegar. This is so much cheaper than buying ACV!
♥ Pineapple Skins
You can make a yummy fermented pineapple drink with the skins or boil them up with coconut sugar to make cordial.
♥ Watermelon Rinds
You can make these into fermented pickles. Love it.
♥ Carrot Tops
My friend Mich makes an amazing pesto with the green carrot tops! How cool. Get the recipe here.
♥ Cracker Crumbs
I make homemade seed crackers and there is usually some crumbs left at the bottom of the jar. They are so good sprinkled on salads or soup!
♥ Repurpose Cooking Fails
Let’s face it, this happens at times and it’s heartbreaking to waste all those expensive ingredients (not to mention your time and energy!) Get creative about how to turn them into something else. Some ideas:
- turn failed cake into trifle, cake balls, pudding or just add a heap of icing to cover!
- turn failed bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor
- if you have made something too salty, throw in a raw potato to mop up the excess
- split mayo can be rescued by remaking and using the split mixture instead of oil
- overbeaten egg whites can be fixed by adding an extra egg white for every two
- add overcooked rice or pasta to meatballs or meatloaf
I would love to hear your tips on what you use food scraps for – inspire us!