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Don’t toss your food scraps into the trash. Join the movement that’s sweeping the globe to reduce waste and upcycle your scraps.
Did you know that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted annually across the world? According to the Upcycling Food Association, upcycling is the practice of transforming by-products, waste materials, and unusable or unwanted products into value-added products. When we use food scraps, not only are we reducing food waste, but we are reducing methane emissions from landfills and lowering our carbon footprint.
Don’t Toss it, Reuse it
There are so many creative ways to reduce waste and turn what many would consider garbage into nutritious and delicious foods. Here are a few to get you started.
- Turn beet greens into pesto or chimichurri
- Transform almond pulp (from homemade almond milk) into grain-free crackers
- Pickle those chard stems and watermelon rinds to add a bright, acidic note to your meal
- Take the pulp from juicing fruits and vegetables and turn it into a fruity granola
- Thinly slice broccoli stems and bake them into chips or slice them lengthwise into “fries”
- Save vegetable skins, stems and shavings and use to make a flavorful soup
- The liquid from a can of chickpeas (known as aquafaba) can transform into a replacement for egg whites in sweet dishes such as meringues. (Drain the liquid, whip it to soft peaks and then use it as a stand in for eggs.)
- Make a nourishing bone broth from a chicken or turkey carcass (and those vegetable scraps)
- Puree wilted herbs and place into ice cube trays and cover with either water or extra-virgin olive oil; freeze and use for a pop of flavor with eggs or to boost the flavor of a homemade sauce or soup
Upcycle Beyond the Kitchen
You can also upcycle food in non-edible ways. Here are three that we love.
- Crush clean eggshells and use as fertilizer in your garden
- Coffee grounds can be used as an effective skin scrub
- Add citrus peels to a spray bottle of white vinegar and water for an effective all-purpose cleaner
Check out Root-to-Stem Cooking for more ideas on reducing waste and reusing scraps in your kitchen. Also, take a look at Want to Be an Eco Hero? for tangible ways to contribute to the fight against climate change.