Reducing food waste not only helps the environment, but it's also an excellent way to save some extra money and time.
Sadly, a recent eye-opening study found that we are wasting more food in the kitchen than ever before. Research published in the journal, Plos One, discovered that, for every person in the world, about 500 calories of food is wasted every day.
In order to help us reduce food waste in the kitchen, the experts at Oddbox have researched smart ways to put kitchen scraps to good use. Will you try any of them? Or perhaps you do some of them already?
1. Roast cauliflower leaves
We'll often throw these on the compost heap, but cauliflower leaves make a very tasty treat when roasted. Place in the oven with some of your favourite spices and add them as a healthy side to your meal.
2. Make your own vinaigrette
Get creative by mixing some oil, vinegar and seasoning to make your own salad dressing. This way, you can make only the amount you need.
3. Fruit-infused water
Not sure how to put old fruits to use? Why not add strawberries, oranges, lemon peel or ginger to water and place it in the fridge overnight. It's a great way to add some additional flavour.
4. Bake banana skins
Baking banana bread is a clever way to use over-ripe bananas, but did you know you can also bake its yellow skin? Take a look online for some recipes that use the entire banana.
5. Preserve your herbs
The next time you discover wilting herbs at the back of your fridge, why not let them dry out or place them in the freezer instead? You'll find they last a lot longer this way.
6. Save your scraps for stock
A great way to minimise kitchen waste is to cleverly turn your scraps into stock. Whether it's vegetable peelings, carrot tops, potato skins, onion skins, mushroom stalks or herb stems, simply pop them in a blender to make your own delicious stock.
Empty everything into a heavy-bottomed pan, season with salt and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for a couple of hours.
7. Make a tasty casserole
A delicious casserole is a fuss-free way to use up any vegetables in the fridge at the end of the week. Simply toss everything into a heavy-bottomed pan (we love this new one from Le Creuset), add some tinned tomatoes and beans, and leave to cook.
8. Zero-waste jams
Make delicious jams from leftover strawberries, raspberries or blackberries. Read our fuss-free blackberry and apple jam recipe for an idea on where to start. Top tip: make plenty of jam in the lead-up to Christmas and then gift them to friends over the festive season.
9. Reuse your coffee grounds
After you've made your morning coffee, take your ground coffee and place them in a sealed reusable bag in the fridge. Then, at the end of the week use them to make espresso brownies.
10. Blend leftover fruits into a smoothie
Instead of throwing away old fruits and vegetables, place them all into a blender and whip up something tasty instead. Add milk and oats for a mouth-wateringly good breakfast shake.
11. Make ginger tea
Put any leftover ginger roots to use by making them into a tasty tea. Add the peelings and ends into a mug of hot water and leave to brew for five minutes. The result? A steaming cup of goodness that will help your digestive system after a long day.
12. Regrow what you can
Did you know that you can cleverly grow new vegetables using old kitchen scraps? Whether it's potatoes, cherry pips, pepper seeds or ginger root, grow something new by using what you already have. To see how it can be easily done, read our article on how to grow your own vegetables using kitchen scraps. Best of all, it's a brilliant way to cut costs on your next shopping trip.
13. Be clever with storing your vegetables
Vegetables such as celery and asparagus last longer when they are stored in a glass of water in the fridge. If you know you won't be using them for a while, why not pop them in water to keep them fresh.
14. Use stale bread to make croutons
Not sure how to put stale bread to use? A clever way to avoid throwing away old loaves is to cut your bread into cubes, spread on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Then, season with salt and pepper and add any herbs. Bake them for about ten minutes and then enjoy your very own homemade croutons.
15. Make your own pickles
Having a go at making your own pickle is a great way to use up any wilting vegetables at the back of the fridge.
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