Updated: Feb 20
Tired of constantly throwing away food scraps? You can help yourself while helping the planet by reducing your household's daily waste. Composting leftover food is a good way to divert waste from the landfill, but there are some even better routes you can take when it comes to using these scraps.
Here are 4 ways to make use of food scraps:
Make Vegetable Broth
Cut down on your grocery bill while reducing your food waste by tossing those veggie scraps into a container to make your own vegetable broth. Store the vegetable peelings in the freezer until you're ready to use them. Combine the scraps in a pot and let them simmer in water for about half an hour. Optionally, you can add salt after simmering. Strain the broth in a colander or cheese cloth and voilà.
Some scraps you can use for the broth are celery tops, carrot ends (not the leafy green parts—they add a bitter flavor), the ends of onions, cauliflower cores, garlic cloves that have begun to dry out, the ends of green beans, tomato cores, broccoli, and more.
Make Natural Cleaners
Another great way to cut out expenses is to make your own eco-friendly natural cleaners with citrus peels. Harsh chemicals in store bought cleaners can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing.
Soak the citrus peels in vinegar to make a household cleaner. This method produces a great, effective natural alternative to store bought cleaners.
Regrow vegetables from scraps
Give your vegetable clippings new life by placing your veggie scraps, typically the stem or root end, into a cup of water until they begin to take root. Some vegetables will need to be placed in a pot after a couple of weeks, but there are several ones that only require you to change out the water. Here are some ideas to get you started, cilantro, green onion, leeks, garlic, lettuce, ginger, celery, pineapple, potatoes, and bok choy.
For best results, purchase organic vegetables when you plan to use the trimmings to regrow plants at home. This is a fantastic way to cut down on waste while saving on your grocery bill. What's better than having homegrown veggies just a reach away when you get stuck making a last minute dinner?
Revive your stale bread
Now's your chance to get creative with whatever stale bread you may have on hand. You can turn that stale bread into some delicious bread pudding, French toast, stuffing, bread crumbs, or croutons. If your bread is dried out and hard, you can soften it by wrapping it in a damp paper towel and tossing it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
Your wallet and the planet will thank you for giving these waste-reducing methods a chance. Let us know if you have any other creative uses for food scraps in the comments!