How to make the most of your food scraps

4 years ago
2 minutes

Did you know one in five shopping bags-worth of food per week end up in the bin? That’s around $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year. If you’re constantly forgetting about the spinach in your vegetable drawer or don’t remember to take leftovers to work, don’t worry! We have some tips on how you can reduce the amount of food you waste.

Buy organic

Yes, it can be expensive but it’s worth it because you can eat some organic vegetables without peeling them. Purchase organic carrots, sweet potatoes and potatoes — even pumpkin, which can be eaten with the skin on when roasted. Due to chemical sprays, the peels and skins of these veggies can taste bitter when not organic certified, rendering them inedible even if you wash them thoroughly.

Make a broth

If you really don’t like vegetable peels or don’t want to buy organic, you’re going to accumulate a lot of vegetable scraps. You can use these, as well as stems and tops and tails of produce, to make a vegetable broth.

You’ll need about a one-litre jug full of vegetables to make a good broth. Once you have enough scraps, place them in a large pot and fill with water. Don’t quite cover the vegetables, as they’ll shrink down as they cook.

Add salt and pepper, and any other herbs you prefer (such as rosemary, thyme or ground cumin) and simmer for about half an hour. Strain the scraps and pour the broth into jars to use as a soup base.


Dehydrate your veggies

If you have produce sitting in the fridge and you know they’re about to go off before you have the chance to use them, dehydrate them! 

Slice sweet potatoes into thin layers and dehydrate them to eat as yummy snacks later, or turn carrots into chewy treats for your pets. Each vegetable requires a different method for dehydration so head to this handy website to check it out.

Pickle it

If you don’t like eating limp carrots or soggy cucumbers, you’re not alone. But don’t throw them away! These items are still edible, if unappetising in their current state but become delicious additions to cheese platters when pickled. 

There are two ways to pickle food — one involves vinegar and salt, and the other is more of a fermentation process. For easy pickling, check out this recipe

Cook creatively

Before you throw away carrot and cucumber tops, do a quick google search. You’ll find there’s a whole range of recipes out there for using every bit of your vegetables when cooking. We love these recipes for carrot top pesto and sauteed kale stems.

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