Hey Angels and Alphas,
Making meals at home is an excellent method to eat better and save money when compared to ordering takeout. However, you may not realize how much food you waste while preparing your ingredients. Potato skins, carrot peels, beet greens, and kale stems are all too often discarded, resulting in a loss of vital nutrients.
A range of nutrients can be obtained by eating many fruits and vegetables from top to bottom, including the skin. Peels include a lot of fiber and phytonutrients. Apple peels, for example, contain ursolic acid, which has been proven in tests to have anti-obesity and cancer-protective qualities.
Consuming the whole fruit or vegetable is not only more nutritious, but it is also a more environmentally friendly way to eat. We can help reduce food waste and support a healthier planet by getting more nutrients from the food we already raise and eat.
Here are nine delicious ways to get started on reducing food waste:
1. Don’t throw away the stems of broccoli and cauliflower rice! By slicing them into smaller pieces and sautéing them, they can be converted into rice. This is a terrific alternative to purchasing expensive pre-packaged cauliflower rice and allows you to save money while decreasing waste.
2. Leafy Greens: Don’t throw away the fibrous stems of collard, kale, or Swiss chard. Instead, finely slice them and sauté them to provide a delightful crunch to your food. In this manner, you may make the most of the entire vegetable and reap all of its nutritional benefits.
3. Veggie Greens: Don’t ignore the greens of veggies like beets and radishes. Treat them like spinach and add them to your morning smoothies, or sauté them in olive oil with garlic and onions for a simple and nutritious supper side.
4. Potato Skins: Instead of peeling potatoes, give them a good brush under running water to eliminate any dirt and use them as is. Potato skins include insoluble fiber, which is beneficial to digestive health. Using the skins not only minimizes waste but also adds a delicious and nutritional addition to your dishes.
5. Herb stems: When using delicate herbs like cilantro and parsley, it’s not necessary to remove all of the leaves and discard the stems. Chop the stems and leaves together and use as a delicious garnish for cereal bowls, baked fish, and other foods. The stems contain a lot of flavor and can improve the overall flavor of your food.
6. Winter Vegetable Seeds: Save the seeds from winter vegetables such as pumpkin and squash. After rinsing to remove any pulp, put them on a baking sheet, season with salt, oil, and spices to taste, and roast in the oven. These roasted seeds can be used as a healthy and crispy snack or as a garnish for salads and soups.
7. Don’t toss away onion skins and mushroom stems. Instead, save them in a gallon-sized, freezer-safe bag to make homemade vegetable stock. Once the bag is filled, just empty its contents into a slow cooker, cover with water, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow it to cook all day or overnight, then strain. You will not only have a distinctively flavored vegetable stock, but you will also lower your sodium intake when compared to packaged varieties.
8. Pesto Variations: Extend your pesto repertoire beyond the standard basil kind. To make a tasty pesto, use greens such as sweet carrot tops or anise-flavored fennel fronds. The best aspect is that you may use the entire plant, including the stems, leaves, and fronds. Experiment with several combinations to find your favorite.
9. Ginger Peels for Tea: When peeling ginger, save the peelings. They still have a lot of sweet and spicy ginger flesh, which is ideal for brewing a refreshing tea. Boil 1/4 cup ginger peelings in 2 cups water to make a mild ginger tea that can be served hot or cold.
By incorporating these nine delicious ways to reduce food waste into your cooking routine, you’ll not only make the most of the ingredients you have but also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Embrace the whole fruit or vegetable, get creative with your cooking techniques, and enjoy the nutritional and environmental benefits that come with minimizing food waste. Let’s make a positive impact on our health and the planet one meal at a time.