6 Slick Ways to Recycle Food Waste
Thanksgiving: everyone's fave genocide-whitewashey time of the year when massive holiday feasts leave your kitchen covered in scraps and food waste.
But there's no reason to throw all that good stuff away just yet!
Fruit peels? Vegetable stems? There are all kinds of cool, ingenious uses for them! In fact, many scraps deliver nutrients and flavor in ways you’d never expect.
Here are a few ideas for you to make the most of your leftovers and cut food waste out of your vocab.
Orange Peel Tea
After savoring the sweetness of an orange, save the peel and cut it into small cube-shaped pieces. Let them dry in a cool area, then dump a teaspoonful of them into boiling water. Lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, then add a stick of cinnamon (or cinnamon powder) and filter.
Not only does orange peel tea fit right into your holiday flavor palate, it also helps with constipation, blood sugar regulation and promotes lung health!
Eggshells are made of calcium carbonate, and plants love that shit. So if you use eggs, hold on to those eggshells! After giving ‘em a good rinse, you can add them to your worm composter or use as a houseplant or garden fertilizer supplement. To prep the eggshells, crush with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle and till them into the soil.
Broccoli Stem Pasta Sauce
You don’t have to hunt down basil and pine nuts to make a delicious pesto. Broccoli stems and leaves do the trick too! Cut the stems into slices and chop into small pieces. Next, add them to a food processor (or blender) and follow with sunflower/pumpkin seeds (or basil and pine nuts) and garlic cloves, pulsing until finely chopped.
Drizzle in olive oil as you pulse the ingredients. Continue pulsing until the chopped ingredients are well-coated in oil, but not completely smooth. Add cheese if you like, spices and lemon juice to taste.
Potato Peel Chips
You know they sell fried potato skins right? Why throw them out when you can make a tasty snack instead?
Preheat your oven to 400°F and place potato peelings into a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning/spices — salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, rosemary, etc. — and use your hands to mix it all together so the peelings are evenly coated. Place peels in an even layer on a baking sheet, then bake until slightly brown and crunchy (about 8-10 minutes).
Regrow Lettuce like a Wizard
Want to try a magic trick? Next time you buy romaine lettuce, hold onto the core or the "heart" after using all the leaves. Place it in a half-inch of water and put it in a sunny area. Change the water daily and get lost in the awe of watching new lettuce grow. Just make sure to harvest it before it does any flowering.
Lemon Peel Cleaner
After using your next lemon, lime or orange, save the peels and add them to a jar of vinegar. Close the jar and let it to sit somewhere dark for two weeks. After, strain your citrus cleaner using a fine mesh sieve placed over a large bowl. Viola! You now have homemade citrus cleaner you can pour into a spray bottle and use like any other all-purpose cleaner.
You Got This!
Food waste is a huge problem now, but with using clever hacks like these, you can take an active role in reducing that problem significantly. Got other awesome food hacks? Share them in the comments!