Home cooking is always an enriching and satisfying experience - I am certain a lot of people can attest to that. However, one issue I have when cooking my own meals is food scraps and leftovers. While the old me used to just throw my food scraps into food waste bins, I have discovered many other uses for food scraps that we can explore!
So, what are food scraps?
Food scraps can be categorised into two groups:
1. parts of food that are not usually eaten – such as peels, eggshells, seeds, bones, cores etc.
2. food that has expired, including forgotten leftovers.
Why is it important to repurpose food scraps?
As mentioned in our previous blog post on composting, the UK produces approximately 7 million tonnes of food waste annually. In addition to damaging our environment, allowing food scraps to go to waste not only wastes the food itself but also exhausts the resources spent producing the food.
Besides caring for the environment, using food scraps wisely can also make cooking - and your life - greener, cheaper and more fun!
By being smart about it, we can actually give food scraps a new purpose, and I bet you will be surprised to discover some of the following tips!
What to do with food scraps?
1. Be a creative chef
Making delicious food out of food scraps was never a new concept but it is yet to become a habit for everyone. A few ideas you might find useful include:
- Potato peel crisps from potato peels
- Mixed veggie broth from vegetable scraps
- Soups from broccoli stalks or kale stems
In short, you can always look up for the recipes that suit your taste with the scraps you have.
2. Or be an artist
Fruits and vegetables can be used as natural dyes for your clothes: beet ends for reds and purples, tea or coffee for browns, lemon peels or turmeric for yellow, and so on. Be as bold as you’re being green: check this website out to see how you can dye your own shirts and spice up your fashion!
3. Make some jams
Besides being natural dyes, fruit scraps can also be used to make jams. Making jams from fruit scraps allows you to preserve tastes of some fruits using parts that may not or cannot be eaten. Ranging from apples to apricots, most fruit scraps can be used as ingredients for jams. You can find the instructions for some fruit jams here.
4. Make your home fresher and cleaner
Homemade air fresheners and vinegars have got to be on your to-make list. You can boil your leftover fruit scraps in a little water and simmer for a bit to make your home smell lovely and fresh (feel free to experiment with scents). Alternatively, you can use scraps like lemon or orange peels to make some vinegar cleaning solution. Citrus peels can also be used to neutralise bad odours in several contexts.
5. Banana peels to the rescue
Bananas are delicious and extremely healthy as they contain high amounts of nutrients. But what you may not realise is that banana peels have antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for a variety of purposes: skin care, hair health and household cleaning to name a few. One thing you can do with banana peels is use them to brighten your skin and reduce wrinkles. Check this site out for more uses of banana peels.
There are still so many other things you can do with food scraps ranging from making a sweet and fruity tea to composting. So next time you come across another tip to deal with food scraps, jot it down, and make the most of your food!