Its everything pot pie in the dining halls today! But do you use everything in your kitchen? Food waste is no joke and costs billions of dollars and resources to go to waste. Let’s look at some things you could be throwing out but could be eating instead and maybe save a buck or two in the process.
Vegetable scraps -> Turn Them into Vegetable Stock!
Store up veggie scraps in the freezer and then turn them into vegetable stock. Almost every vegetable can work but it is recommended that you skip cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas, artichokes as they have strong flavors. However ends from carrots, peppers, beets, onion, celery or corn cobs and cabbage cores are a go! As are the dark green bits of Leeks, mushroom stems, carrot and celery leaves, herb stems. So go on and make some soup.
Vegetable Scraps -> Vegetable Powder
If you have a food dehydrator (Which you can DIY for under $20 and then make fruit chips and even jerky) you can make vegetable powder to kick up simple dishes or just as a couple extra nutrients
Vegetables past their prime -> Veggie Chips
Slightly old vegetables that are just past what you want to eat raw? Well I always throw them in the oven with salt pepper and olive oil and roast them, but you can make veggie chips for some good snackage. (Bonus you can use your shiney new food dehydrator)
See how here!
Overripe Bananas -> Faux Chocolate Ice Cream
If your banana is too ripe to eat plane you can go to the standard bake something banana solution, or you could make an icy treat. All you need to do is peel the banana cut it into large chunks (even just in half works) and stick it in your freezer. Next time your sweet tooth acts up pull out the banana, a blender, and something chocolaty (chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, nutella) and depending on how fancy you feel: milk, a hint of vanilla extract or peanut butter ect, and blend!
The texture is closer to frozen yogurt and its not a perfect match but it is delicious!
For a sample recipe click here.
Beet / Carrot/ Radish Stems -> Use Them like Most Greens!!
You can eat the stems of all these root vegetables. Cut them off from the vegetables before storing and use them fairly soon, to make pesto, salad, or roasted greens. You can be as simple or as fancy as you want
Mushroom Stems -> Stuffing or Filling
Cut of the ends and then use the stem to stuff the mushroom! Then all you need is a bit of 1 or 2 other ingredients for a filling dish! Pesto and mushroom stems work great for a easy dish of stuffed mushroom
Bread Heels–> Bread Crumbs and Croutons
Turn your bread left overs into some useful seasoning by turning them into croutons or bread crumbs.
Slightly Stale Bread-> Vegetable Dish Filling
Bake the bread with tomatoes and other vegetables so that when the tomato (or your choice of water vegetable) starts to loose water the bread soaks it up with some of the flavor. Once the bread is moist and the vegetables are cooked that stale bread is suddenly edible and good tasting, and helps give some oomph and weight to a veggie roast
Or keep the bread hard and make Panzanella, which sounds way more impressive than soggy bread vegetable mix, but seems less savory.
Food Past Its Sell by Date ->EAT IT
Ok don’t eat it if its months past the sell by date, but the sell by date is for selling by not eating by. Obviously if something seems wrong with it don’t eat it. Yogurt should be fine at least a week after its sell by date. Eggs can be used weeks after the sell by date (though if you aren’t certain do the floating egg test). Here is a great guide that tells you an estimation of a foods shelf life past the dates on the package.