I have been writing for a while about reducing waste and re-purposing food scraps and left overs into other meals and snacks. The amount of food waste in the world is really staggering. There is plenty of research and column inches written about it yet it seems to continue unabated. Whether it’s people buying too much and letting it spoil in their fridge, refusing to eat leftovers or businesses throwing out food that is near or past its expiry date, it is a huge issue in the 21st century. It is made even worse with the knowledge that in parts of the world, people are starving.
I’m doing my bit by reducing my own household food waste and I hope that some of these Ideas with Food Scraps will inspire you too.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Who doesn’t love a snack with their pre-dinner drink? Oven roasted pumpkin seeds are perfect. When you’re preparing pumpkin for a meal, make sure you scoop out the seeds and set them aside. Baked with a spray of oil and a generous crunch of salt, you’ll be adding pumpkin to your menu on a regular basis, just so you can collect the seeds! Recipe here.
2. Apple Cores & Peelings
One of my big successes a few years ago was a batch of Apple Scrap Jelly, using the cores, peels, stalks and seeds from the apple. The whole lot! Great with savoury dishes such as roast pork or to enjoy on scones or pancakes. So, don’t toss those cores into the food scraps for the worms. Get cracking on a batch of jelly.
If you want to ‘make’ some scraps to try this recipe, then have a go at my simple 5 Ingredient Apple Crumble – ready in 30 minutes!
3. Broccoli & Cauliflower Stalks
Looking for something savoury rather than sweet? How about some quick Pickled Broccoli Stalks? After you’ve used all the florets, here’s a way to use the leftover stalks. Salty and tangy – these are perfect on a meze plate or as a crunchy addition to a salad bowl. Cauliflower stalks work just as well. Anyone eating these would never know they’re made from food scraps.
If pickles aren’t your thing, you can turn your excess broccoli stalks into a deliciously thick and creamy soup. Recipe here.
4. Stale Sourdough Bread
Fresh, oven baked bread is really only best on the day it is made or the next day in a pinch. After you’ve worked your way through half a loaf of crusty fresh bread, it starts to go a little stale. Suddenly a slice of it with butter isn’t as appealing. The quickest thing to do is to slice the bread thinly, spray with a bit of oil and a sprinkle of salt or herbs and simply dry them out in a low oven (140c) for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and store them in an airtight container. You can do this with home made or artisan loaves you have bought but it doesn’t work with sliced sandwich bread. You’ll have a ready supply of these homemade crackers but they go quickly. Fantastic with soft cheeses.
5. Homemade Butter
Do you have some leftover cream knocking around in your fridge? If you have a food processor or a mixer, you can make butter! It tastes fantastic and you can include herbs or flavoured salt to really show off. Recipe here.
So there you have it. Five ideas with food scraps to get you started with re-purposing your food waste. I hope they will inspire you to reduce your footprint and prevent food being wasted in your kitchen.