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5 Tasty Ideas with Food Scraps – Waste Not, Want Not

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.

woman with 1940s clothing and hairsyle stands over bench preparing an austerity meal

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.

white dish of roasted pumpkin seeds made from pumpkin food scraps
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Need ideas about how to use up your pumpkin? How about Pumpkin & Pear Muffins or Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnocchi?

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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.

Jars of apple scrap jelly made from food scraps with a scoop of the jelly in a spoon
Apple Scrap 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!

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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.

green broccoli stalk food scraps slice thinly, piled in a dark blue dish
Pickled Broccoli Stalks

If pickles aren’t your thing, you can turn your excess broccoli stalks into a deliciously thick and creamy soup. Recipe here.

A bowl of chunky broccoli soup with toast

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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.

sourdough toasts made from old sourdough food scraps on a plate
Sourdough Crackers

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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.

turn cream into homemade butter
Homemade Butter

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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.

6 comments… add one
  • Dr Lyn Riddett June 19, 2019, 11:25 am

    WOW! Love this post, thank you
    I have been marinading/pickling broccoli etc stalks for a while now.I tend to make a salad of them after brining for 24 hours, then washing thoroughly, then finely sliced garlic and fresh vinaigrette – family favourite here.
    Not a lot of waste in my householld, but I have seen horrors elsewhere.
    I’ll have to think about the apple scrap jelly, it sounds good – the possums and currawongs might not approve.

    • Fiona Ryan June 30, 2019, 12:26 pm

      AS long as someone is enjoying those apple cores, it’s not wasted!

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 21, 2019, 4:31 pm

    We have so many friends who do not eat left overs. And watching them throw food away irks me. I make butter when I have cream that is past its sell by date, and soup from all the stems etc. Anything we cannot use goes to feed the chooks.

    • Fiona Ryan June 30, 2019, 12:31 pm

      It is amazing how many people will not, under any circumstances, eat leftovers. I can’t understand why. You and I both know that some dishes are even better the next day. The amount of waste at work morning teas is terrible – Mr Tiffin and I are always bringing home cheese, dips and cake that would have otherwise been put into the bin.

  • sherry June 22, 2019, 10:30 pm

    yes i like to freeze broccoli stems and use them in soups and stews later. years ago i accidentally made butter! a happy accident. good on you for giving us all these handy tips. we all need to do our best. i have found that i am much more careful these days, and try to re-use things and freeze leftovers and scraps. ah i feel such virtue:-)

    • Fiona Ryan June 30, 2019, 12:32 pm

      I actually don’t like broccoli very much but will tolerate the stems in this soup. Sour cream makes it better (as dour cream does with most things!)

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