I have talked before about why food waste is one of the biggest issues we face, with almost a third of all food getting wasted each year. If you want to know more about ways you can reduce your food waste, head over to this blog post here.
For those of you who are following me on instagram (If you aren’t why not!? Click here to head over to my page and follow me), you’ll know that is the place I am most active, in terms of social media. This month I am running a challenge called “Money Saving May”, a big part of which is getting creative with our food waste. If you haven’t joined the challenge yet, it’s better late than never so check out the rules and mini challenges below.
Why not download the challenge for yourself and tag friends on social media to join in with you!?
Because of this, I thought there was no better time to share some of the more odd (?) ways I use up food scraps which save me money and prevent food from heading to landfill.
Don’t waste edible parts of veg
Did you know that so much of the veg scraps we throw away are perfectly edible and actually contain a lot of nutrients. Admittedly, onion peels, beetroot roots, broccoli stalks and carrot tops are all rather unappealing but are great for incorporating into recipes. My absolute favourite thing to do with veg scrap is make vegetable stock powder. “POWDER!” I hear you scream. Veg scraps are widely used to make stock in liquid form but you can actually make stock powder too which is what we like to do in our house. We save our food scraps in a tub in the freezer and once it is full we make stock powder which can be used just like your standard OXO cubes (other brands are available!).
Use Herbs in Creative ways
We have all been there, in fact this is something I did just last week, we have picked up herbs from the market/ greengrocers or supermarket and then we find them in the bottom of our fridge looking a little sad. If this happens don’t throw them out. Instead why not make herby pesto! It’s incredibly easy to make and tastes really yummy on rice, pasta or even pizza.
If this isn’t your thing, pop them in your food processor (or chop by hand) and portion them out in ice cube trays and top up with water or oil. These can then be popped straight into stews, curries or anything else you might be cooking on the counter top.
Regrow veggie scaps
This is a weird one and certainly isn’t for everyone but did you know you can actually regrow quite a lot of greens from veg scraps? My favourite ones to do are lettuce stumps and spring onion stumps. Why would you not want free food! It is as simple as storing the chopped bases in a little water and within a couple of days they will have sprouted. You aren’t going to regrow an entire plant but you will definitely get a few more leaves. If you transfer it into soil, you have a chance of regrowing it further, some have even grown entire celeries from celery stumps. If nothing else, it’s an amazing thing to see.
Come on we all do this right… we buy bananas (obviously the single bananas we have selected to stop them being thrown out!) and we forget they are there until they’re brown. Don’t throw them away! Take them out of their skins, chop them and pop them in the freezer. Make sure to portion them out into half or whole banana portions so it is easier later on. They are great to add to smoothies, overnight oats, muffins, banana icecream or even banana bread – if you haven’t had enough of it over the last year.
Don’t throw the skins away either… chop them up and pop them in a jar with some water. Wait a few days and you’ll have yourself a homemade plant fertiliser! Alternatively, you can actually pop them straight into the soil, although honestly I haven’t tried the direct method as I only have a few small houseplants.
I have to admit these are one of my absolute favourite things when it comes to zero waste living. We use a couple a week as we get through a lot of hummous, check out my recipe here if you want to make your own.
Lemons are great because they are the perfect solution when it comes to cleaning your home. Add the zest into some white vinegar and you’ve got an all purpose cleaner (not suitable for all surfaces so maybe not ALL purpose). Another great idea is to add lemon rinds to a bowl of water and pop it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. This will loosen up the gunk that’s chilling in there and will also deodorise it!
I am hoping to grow a lemon tree one day as I am conscious about the carbon footprint of the lemons themselves and will update you if that happens!
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and try out some of the recipes. If you do make sure you let me know and tag me in photos on social media. If you did enjoy this post make sure you subscribe to my blog so you get posts sent directly to your email and you never miss one! Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these hacks before and let me know which ones I have missed off of my list! Speak soon.