Many of us cook at home and throw away perfectly good food scraps, trimmings, and peels, which could be otherwise used in lots of delicious recipes! Not only is it economical to make the most of the food in your pantry and fridge, it’s also eco-friendly to use up everything and keep it out of the landfill. Here are some delicious recipes that use odds and ends which often get overlooked and discarded – not only do they reduce food waste, but include ingredients that add a lot of creativity and delicious, unexpected flavors to your cooking!
Apple Core Syrup
18 – 20 APPLE CORES – DESEEDED
2 CINNAMON STICKS (OPTIONAL)
1/4 CUP HONEY
Add apple cores to a large pot with 4 cups water and cinnamon sticks, if using.
Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring and pressing down on cores with a wooden spoon occasionally.
Strain out cores using a fine-mesh strainer, and return the liquid to the pot.
Reduce by half over low heat, 15 – 20 minutes, and add honey. Stir to dissolve, and cook for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
Store in the fridge in airtight jars for up to 2 weeks.
Broccoli Stem Salad
1/2 TSP. SALT
1 CLOVE GARLIC, MINCED (OPTIONAL)
1/4 TSP CANE SUGAR
1 TSP SESAME OIL
Cut off the broccoli stem from the florets Ingredients and reserve the florets for another dish
Trim off the outer layer of the broccoli skin from the stem using a knife and/or a vegetable peeler.
Rinse the stems before cutting them into small bite-sized pieces.
Place the broccoli stems in a small bowl and add the salt and garlic.
Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, drain any excess liquid and give the broccoli a quick rinse and drain to remove any excess salt
Add the cane sugar and sesame oil (to taste) and refrigerate to serve cold.
Easiest Ever Carrot Chips
4 MEDIUM CARROTS
1 – 3 TEASPOONS OLIVE OIL
1/8 TEASPOON SALT
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel carrots, then slice into strips using the vegetable peeler. Avoid rotating the carrot for as long as possible to make wider sections; the thicker the pieces, the better they will turn out!
Add the carrot strips to a bowl, and toss with olive oil. Start with a smaller amount— you don’t need much! If they seem dry at the full 3 teaspoons, add another teaspoon.
Place carrot peelings in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 10 – 20 minutes until crispy, tossing once or twice during cooking. (Exact cook time will depend on the thickness of the slices).
Serve and enjoy!
Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers
3 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1 TEASPOON SUGAR
1 TEASPOON SALT (SET ASIDE TWO PINCHES)
1 CUP WATER
1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL
1 TABLESPOON DRIED ROSEMARY
Set oven racks to the lower half of the oven and then preheat to 450 degrees.
In a bowl, mix 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt (minus two pinches, set aside), and 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup oil. Stir until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Adjust with additional water or flour as needed
Put half the dough on one large baking pan.
Roll out to 1/8 inch or less, directly on the pan. Cut into pieces using a rotary cutter (such as a pizza cutter) – rectangles, squares, triangles, whatever shape is desired– just keep them all uniform in shape and size.
Brush with water and evenly sprinkle on a pinch of salt over dough. Prick with a sharp tool (fork, skewer, knife, etc.) so the crackers bake flat without puffing up too much.
Repeat with the second half of the dough then bake for about 15 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through.
Remove crackers from the pans as they turn brown and let under-baked ones continue baking. Cool on a cooling rack until they are crunchy.
Store in a jar for up to 5 days.
Egg Shell Powder
DOZEN EGGSHELLS, RINSED
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the eggshells and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the shells from the water and transfer them to a baking sheet.
Bake the shells for 45-50 minutes, until they are completely dried out.
Transfer the dried shells to a spice grinder or high-powered food processor.
Blend until the shells are completely broken down into a fine powder.
The eggshell powder will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months. Add to smoothies for a calcium boost.
Kale Stem Hummus
1 CUP DRIED CHICKPEAS
1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
STEMS FROM 1 BUNCH KALE (SEE NOTE)
3 GARLIC CLOVES
2/3 CUP TAHINI
1 TEASPOON FINE-GRAIN SEA SALT
2/3 CUP FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, FOR SERVING
The night before:
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl, cover them with at least 2x their volume of water, and soak overnight.
The next day:
Drain and rinse chickpeas.
Add chickpeas and baking soda to a medium-size pot over high heat, and stir constantly for 3 minutes.
Add 6 – 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot and simmer for 45-60 minutes until the chickpeas are very tender. Check on them occasionally to skim off any foam or chickpea skins on the surface.
Fill another medium-size pot with water and bring to a boil. Add kale stems and cook 30-45 minutes until they are very tender, then drain.
Blend kale stems, garlic, and tahini in a food processor.
Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain & add to the kale stem mixture along with salt and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and blend for 5 minutes until the hummus is creamy. Continue adding ice water gradually, blending as needed.
To serve, spoon into a shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Carrot Top Pesto
1 CLOVE GARLIC CHOPPED
2 TBSP FRESHLY-SQUEEZED LEMON
JUICE (ABOUT 1/2 OF A LEMON)
1 TSP FRESH LEMON ZEST
(ABOUT 1/2 OF A LEMON)
CARROT TOPS FROM 1 LARGE OR
2 SMALLER BUNCHES OF CARROTS
(YIELDS 1 CUP BLANCHED)
1/4 CUP FRESH MINT LEAVES
4 GREEN ONIONS FRESH GREEN PARTS ONLY
1/2 CUP RAW WALNUTS (OPTIONAL)
3 TBSP OLIVE OIL
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
First, blanch the carrot tops:
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water in it.
Remove thick stem pieces, then add the carrot tops to the boiling pot, stirring occasionally.
Once the carrot tops are bright green and tender, remove them from the pot, drain, and dunk in ice water.
Drain, wring out excess liquid and spread on a plate to dry.
Add all of the ingredients except olive oil to the food processor and blend into a chunky paste.
Add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time until combined.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.
Once cooled to room temperature, store in the fridge in an airtight container for several days. The bright green color may fade to a darker green – this is normal.
To use as a pasta sauce, cook your pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Add the reserved cooking water and carrot top pesto, stir to combine, and cook over low heat until warmed. Serve immediately.