Today we want to talk about food once again - more specifically food waste. We have touched on this topic in a previous blog post and a lot of you seemed to find it really helpful so today we wanted to take it one step further and talk about how you can turn leftover food scraps, that you might normally throw out, into delicious meals and snacks. Not only will these creative tips help you reduce food waste but they will also help you save money!
1. Broccoli & cauliflower stems
This one may seem obvious to some but the reality is, that a lot of people throw out the broccoli and cauliflower stems. Here we are to tell you, that there is absolutely no reason to do so! The stem is delicious once you cut the outer layer off and it can be added to salads and stir-fries as a nice crunch (same goes for the cauliflower leaves!) or blended into a vegetable soup for a creamy base.
2. Nut milk pulp
Just made a big batch of your favorite nut milk with your trusty nut milk bag and now left with the leftover pulp that you don't know what to do with? We sure know the feeling but one place you will never find our leftover pulp is in the garbage! The pulp still has a nice flavor and it's jam-packed with good fiber. Add it to oatmeal, energy balls, granola or cookies like in this recipe.
3. Citrus peel
We love citrus fruits! Not only are the fruits juicy and delicious, but the peels can also be used for a variety of different things - including candied citrus peels! When the peels are candied, they lose the bitter taste citrus peels originally have and turn into a sweet treat that can be eaten by itself or used in baked goods and even cocktails.
....Oh, and did we mention that the homemade version tastes *far* better than the store-bought ones! Find the recipe for candied citrus peels here.
4. Vanilla bean pods
Once you've scraped out the seeds from your vanilla bean pod, you don't have to toss the pod - there is so still so much vanilla flavor left!
Put it in a small jar with sugar and seal with an airtight lid. The pod will slowly infuse the sugar with a lovely vanilla flavor and after a few weeks, you have made your own vanilla sugar! You can shake the jar every few days to help distribute the vanilla flavor evenly.
Use it in baking, coffee or whatever you like!
5. Banana peel
Yes - banana peels are edible and they taste lovely when prepared the right way. One way to use banana peels in cooking is by putting them in a banana cake or banana bread. It may sound really weird if you haven't tried or heard of it before, but using the peels will actually leave you with a lighter and fluffier cake/bread than when following a regular recipe. Sounds crazy? Maybe. Tastes delicious? ABSOLUTELY!
Find a recipe for vegan chocolate and banana peel muffins here.
6. Potato skins
If you usually peel your potatoes, you can make crispy chips from the leftover potato skins instead of throwing them out! Simply toss them in olive oil and salt/desired seasoning and bake them at 400°F / 200°C for about 15-20 minutes. We assure you that this quick recipe will make you never want to throw out your potato skins again!
7. Leek tops
You may be guilty of throwing out or composting the flavorful top part of leeks and it can be confusing whether to eat the green tops or not as some recipes tell you to cut them off and throw them away. Truth is, that the leek tops are just as good as the rest of the leek and prepared well, they’re utterly spectacular! The secret is simply to cook the green part a bit longer than the white part to make them nice and soft.
8. Pineapple core
Pineapple core might not seem like the most appetizing thing due to its tough texture but it is perfectly edible and loaded with good stuff like the anti-inflammatory enzyme 'bromelain', fiber and vitamin C. Use the pineapple core in smoothies or simply cut the pineapple in thin slices without removing the core - the thinner the slices, the easier to chew.
We recommend washing the fruits and vegetables thoroughly and buying organic when it comes to eating the peel. While organic fruit is an overall better choice for your body, it is especially important when eating the peel due to pesticide use in non-organic farming.
Let us know if you have any other tips on how to make delicious meals or snacks using food scraps in the comments below!