For those of you who spend a lot of time and energy in the kitchen, being efficient and resourceful is key. Now more than ever it’s important to be more sustainable and health-conscious, especially when it comes to our food! These days, many of us find ourselves spending a lot more time at home so the excuse of not having enough time to cook for ourselves no longer applies.
There are lots of benefits to making a home-cooked meal as opposed to dining out. Besides the obvious need for social distancing, cooking at home is a great way to cultivate a healthy relationship with food and your diet. For those used to ordering in or eating at restaurants, it can be intimidating at first. But the more you do it, the better you get, and eventually, you’ll become more creative and confident. So whether you’ve been cooking up a storm since before the 21st century or you just learned how to make banana bread during quarantine, there’s always food scraps left behind that are full of potential. Here are a few easy, simple, and sometimes delicious ways to give those scraps a new purpose and be less wasteful in the kitchen.
Replanting the Roots
Let’s start with vegetable scraps and hopefully, you have plenty as a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Besides coffee grounds, vegetable scraps are some of the most versatile “wastes” that can be transformed into other useful products. If you bought your veggies at the market and they still have their base with the roots attached, always try to replant them! Better to get multiple yields from one purchase than throw them away! Vegetables like spring onions, carrots, leafy greens, celery, and even garlic and onions are good for this method. If the base is dry just submerge it in a bit of water and wait a few days for the roots to develop before planting it in the soil. Spring onions, however, can usually be planted in the soil right away and grow quite fast.
Save your Peels
Next are the peels which can be used to make a homemade vegetable broth, great for soups and curries. Simply throw all the scraps into a big pot of water, maybe add some of your favorite spices and let it simmer for about an hour, and voila! This is also a great way to salvage any vegetables that may be going bad. You can also make delicious and healthy infused water with your vegetable peels, especially ginger and turmeric. Cucumber and any citrus peels also pair well with these.
DIY Cleaning Supplies
Speaking of citrus peels, they can do so much more than flavor your recommended daily water intake. You can also use them to make an all-natural cleaner. Put as many citrus peels as you can inside a jar full of white vinegar, place it in a dry dark place and forget about it for a week. Once it’s had time to soak and ferment, mix it with equal parts water, put it in a spray bottle, and voila! You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you fancy. Citrus peels can also be used as a deodorizer, fire starter, breath freshener, air freshener, body scrub, and more!
When in Doubt, Throw it Out…side in the dirt!
Those trying to be less wasteful but honestly don’t see themselves taking the time to make a whole new product can always throw all the scraps into the compost pile! And if you don’t have one, fret not, as they are super easy to start and do not require much upkeep!