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TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Food Scraps

Who wants to waste food? Most of us just need a few tips on how to keep more of it from hitting the trash can.

Before you toss out trimmings or wilted produce, consider these uses for food scraps. Most are from an article by Becky Striepe on Care2.com.
1. BREAD CRUSTS & CRACKER CRUMBS. If you’re making crustless sandwiches or if nobody want the end of the bread, grind them into breadcrumbs. Store them in the freezer until you have enough. The crumbs from the bottom of a box of crackers can be used for breading or to top off a casserole. If there aren’t enough cracker crumbs, mix them with your other breadcrumbs.

2. CITRUS PEEL & ZEST. After you’ve squeezed the juice from the lemon, zest it or remove the peel. Add zest to salad dressing or dough; stir zest or peel into cold drinks or tea (without milk). Use zest as a garnish; infuse it into vinegar, vodka or other spirit.

A small slice of citrus peel keeps brown sugar from hardening. Just store the sugar and peel the fridge to keep the peel fresher, longer. If you have no immediate use for peel or zest, you can freeze them or grind them in the garbage disposal to generate a fresh aroma.

 

When an apple is no longer crisp enough to eat, cook it. Photo by Evan Dempsey | THE NIBBLE.

 

3. COFFEE GROUNDS. Use the grounds to deodorize your hands and cutting board after chopping garlic and onions. Rub them on, then rinse off. Seriously, it works!

4. FRESH FRUIT. Aging apples, pears and other fresh fruits can be baked, sautéed or puréed into a sauce. The peels can be stepped into a cup of black, green or white tea. Apple peels can be steeped in boiling water with cinnamon and other spices to make a tasty “cider tea.”

 

Save those pretty celery leaves for garnish. Photo courtesy Burpee.

  5. PULP. Reuse the pulp left from juicing vegetables to make broth. Strain out the solids before serving. Use fruit pulp to add fiber and vitamins to smoothies.

6. VEGETABLES. Wilted veggies, broccoli and chard and kale stems, peels, tops with leaves: Many people toss them; but they’re just as edible as the rest of the plant. Steam and purée, stir fry or bake these veggie bits with tomato or cheese sauce. Add garlic or chile. Beet tops can be cooked like chard, a close relative.

Or make broth: Celery tops, onion and garlic skins, carrot peels, and other food scraps can be used to flavor vegetable broth. You can save the scraps in a freezer-safe container until you have enough to cook. When the broth is done, strain out the solids. You can always give them to someone with a rabbit, hamster or gerbil.

Instead of throwing out celery leaves, use them as a garnish.

 

Try any or all of these tips, and see how good you feel about not wasting food.

  




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