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Food Waste Grocery Hacks

10 Foods You Shouldn’t Throw Away Just Yet

Photo: So Delicious

Do you usually get rid of leftover bread, cheese, and chicken bones? Don’t do that anymore! There are some foods you shouldn’t throw away, because you can still use them to make tasty things in the kitchen!

Unfortunately, I’m used to throwing food. Not only what remains on the plate, but also the cheese that starts to smell tangy, bones, stalk and roots I don’t use when I cook vegetables. I’m used to getting rid quickly of all the things I don’t eat; I don’t like to see and keep them all around because, sooner or later, they still end up in the trash. But, since one of my New Year’s resolutions is to reduce my expenses, I did some quick research and I figured out how wrong I was. Because there are many foods you shouldn’t throw away, but you totally should use for your future recipes. I thought you may want to know which are the most common foods you shouldn’t throw in the trash, so I’m sharing this with you.

10 foods you shouldn’t throw away

1. Chicken bones

If you happen to buy bone-in chicken pieces – breast and thighs – but you want to cook only the meat, don’t throw away the bones! Save them to make stock. Chicken stock can also be made with chicken meat, but why not cook the meat in a different way and just use the bones?

If you have enough bones, you can boil them right away and keep the stock for later use. If you don’t have enough bones, pack them and keep them into the freezer until you accumulate enough to make a batch and have the time to make the stock.

2. Cheese rinds and leftover cheese

Fromage fort is the solution for your leftover cheese. Fromage fort is the French term for ‘strong cheese’, and it’s a cheese spread made by blending in the food processor together pieces of different leftover cheeses (hard and soft) with white wine, garlic, and various herbs. It helps you get rid of those scraps of cheese you have in the fridge. You can also add your cheese leftovers on pizza or, if you have parmesan rinds, you can add them to boiling soup or pasta sauce.

3. Bacon grease

My grandparents used to cook with lard. I’m not sure when and why I gave up on using grease in cooking. After frying some bacon, I’m in a hurry to throw away all that grease, instead of storing it. What a pity! Saving the grease left from cooking a batch of bacon is a great way to add flavor to future dishes. It seems some of our ancestors’ habits are good to keep even now, in the ‘healthy eating era’.

Use bacon grease when you make pasta, or you roast vegetables, instead of butter when scrambling eggs or frying potatoes, rub it on chicken breasts before roasting or use it when you make caramelized onion.

For storing the grease, we suggest you let your pan sit on the stovetop for a while until the grease cools and solidifies into a layer of fat. Then scoop up the fat with a spatula and add it to a jar. If you don’t want any waste, then you should pour off the fat while it’s hot.

4. Stale bread

There are so many different ways you can use your leftover bread! For example, you can turn dry bread into croutons for soups and salads. Or for homemade breadcrumbs which can be used over casseroles, pasta and baked chicken, or bread pudding, or French toast – which is a great idea you can use to make sure you don’t throw away a bit stale bread.

5. Black bananas

We’ve said it once, and we say it again. Overripe bananas are actually pretty great for making goodies. You can use them right away or place them in the freezer and thaw later for banana bread, muffins, or cake. You can also use them straight from the freezer (without thawing them) in a smoothie or blend them up into a banana ice cream!

6. Vegetable tops

For many years I’ve thought the only part I can eat from the celery is the root. I’ve known for a while that the stalks are also delicious in foods. But I didn’t know I can also use the carrot tops, fennel fronds, and beet greens until recently. They’re edible and tasty too if you know how to use them! You can sauté them with olive oil, garlic, and some of your other favorite greens, or add them into soups. Beet greens are also good in smoothies.

7. Pumpkin and squash seeds

If you decide to make a pumpkin pie or a butternut squash soup, keep in mind that the seeds are foods you shouldn’t throw away. Scrap the seeds and clean them up, let them dry, and then you have the chance to roast them into amazing snacks. You can make them using just some oil or butter and a pinch of salt, but you can also sprinkle some of your favorite spice blends over them before starting the roasting process.

8. Pickle juice

It doesn’t matter if your pickles are bought or homemade. When you finish the pickles, you’re left with the brine and you probably pour it in the sink. Bad idea! Why do that if you can use the pickle brine to pickle other things? Don’t you want to save some time?

Also, pickle brine can be added to salads or salad dressings. Plus, pickle juice is apparently a great hangover cure.

9. Sour milk

I always have cheese and milk in the fridge. I sometimes buy more milk than I anticipate I’ll use, so it may turn sour from time to time. What do I do then? Obviously, I throw it away. But I’ll totally reconsider this because I found out I can make cottage cheese from it!

Seems like all you need is to add vinegar to the heated soured milk and homogenize the liquid as you normally would make cheese. Once the curds are separated, rinse through a colander. And… you’re done!

10. Leftover coffee

You shouldn’t throw your leftover coffee unless you’ve added milk or whipped cream to it. But if you have to leave from home before finishing your morning cup of the amazing dark and bitter liquid, don’t let it go to waste! Leftover coffee can be used into many other things! Not only your afternoon ice coffee but also in marinades! Not to speak about the fabulous tiramisu dessert!

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Article by Raluca Cristian from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Celebrity Grub Culture Hacks Health Science

Our Dinner With Ayesha Curry Showcased Her Ambitions To Tackle Food Waste

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The fight against food waste has a powerful voice and ally in celebrity chef Ayesha Curry. The Food Network star is not down with the amount of food we toss out across the country, and is currently campaigning with food storage and trash bag manufacturer GLAD to help promote food safety and storage awareness in an effort to reduce food waste. That campaign brought her to Los Angeles for an eye-opening dinner with Salvage Supperclub that highlighted repurposed food waste in a tasty seven course meal.

At the Salvage Supperclub event, the real Chef Curry shared some of her top tips to better store food at home.

“With things like kale and lettuce and greens, when you bring them home from the grocery store, something as simple as wrapping them in a piece of paper towel and storing them in a GLAD container and sealing that airtight, it keeps it fresh for a week and then some. […] A cucumber and a tomato actually don’t belong in a fridge, they belong on your countertop. They will last far longer than they would being put in your fridge.”

Curry believes that through her spreading the word on food storage, it can help contribute to a decrease in food waste as we understand more about our food. With food literacy being a major issue in this country and 40% of what we eat being lost — partially due to this lack of knowledge — having a public face like Ayesha Curry in the conversation helps generate more attention around this dire issue. Especially when we’re wasting up to $2,200 of food per household per year.

Curry also has been drawn into the world of converting food waste into tasty meals. At the aforementioned Salvage Supperclub dinner, chef Jessica Oost curated a beautiful seven-course offering that brought out the best in waste products from multiple sources. Below are some of the incredible dishes served at the dinner, each utilizing different ingredients that either ourselves, food banks, restaurants, or even supermarkets may throw away.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

We were drawn in right off the bat with a soup made from bruised and misshapen strawberries that would otherwise be thrown out by markets and farms since they don’t meet consumers’ desires for shape and color. They may look ugly, but the strawberries still tasted fresh and blissfully sweet, especially when paired with fennel fronds that we normally toss since we have no idea what to do with them. That, plus the excess bread from food banks, which have an overabundance of it (since literally everybody donates bread), made for a great first course.

This eggplant mole tasted like spicy, nutty heaven despite being made with “expired” peanut butter (most foods are still wholesome and useable after the expiration date, we just throw them out cause we freak out over the labels) and “imperfect” eggplants and cabbages. Again, just because it looks bad doesn’t mean it’s not delicious or nutritious.

My personal favorite dish of the night were these savory kelp noodles made with a frothy leek puree that utilized leek tops. I’ve been guilty of discarding these since outside of making stock, I have no idea what to do with them. Definitely going to try this at home now.

For dessert, we had a Pain Perdu made with a bright and flavorful guava puree. The guavas were excess from a local whose guava tree produced way too much fruit due to the rain in California this year. Turns out she wasn’t a fan of guava, and after giving away a ton to friends, still had plenty to donate to our delicious meal. The bread was donated from food banks again because of excess donations and they can’t use it all. Maybe bring in some protein sources instead, they could definitely use those.

All attendees of the innovative dinner walked away stunned at how you could transform literal pieces of trash into culinary treasures.

Curry mentioned before the event that it was her first time attending such a dinner, and based on her delighted reactions to each course, you could tell that she was enlightened to the possibilities with food waste in the kitchen as the night progressed.

Maybe Curry will begin featuring recipes using discarded ingredients like carrot tops on her shows to help spread the message of saving food waste to even more people. If so, that would be a huge plus on top of the campaign she’s doing with GLAD to combat food waste around the country.

Hopefully, Ayesha Curry’s efforts will inspire thousands of others to reduce waste in the kitchen as well.

Categories
Hacks Hit-Or-Miss

5 Food Items That Should NEVER Be Thrown In The Garbage Disposal

With the holiday season fully upon us, many people are prepping appetizers, side dishes, and tons of other food for the holidays. With that comes a large amount of food waste, including vegetable peels, egg shells, trimmed fat, and several other things. We tend to usually put them through the garbage disposal without thinking of the consequences. However, especially this time of year, that can spell doom for our drain and usually will result in a visit from the plumber – one that can cost hundreds of dollars.

Instead of having to worry about that money lost, take those food waste items and do something else with them instead. Here’s our guide on what to do with a few of those items.

Egg Shells

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Photo: Jerde

Egg shells are brittle and break up easily, but they will not do that while in your drain pipe. Throw them out in the trash if they’re completely broken up, or save them to make little decorations for the house instead. Painted eggshells can make for a great, cheap home decor item – just make sure to thoroughly clean them first.

Vegetable and Fruit Peels

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Photo: Stocksnap

These peels definitely won’t break up easily, and are some of the most common reasons your sink will get clogged if you just toss them down the drain. You can dehydrate the peels instead and grind them into usable flours (a great source of fiber and easy way to trick your kids into eating vegetables), turn them into chips, or compost them to keep your home garden nutrient-rich.

Citrus Rinds

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Photo: Mimi’s Kitchen

This is different from above because while citrus rinds will also easily clog up a sink, they have some more creative uses than just flour or compost. Chop them up into thin slices and make candied rinds instead for a sweet, waste-free holiday snack! Boiling them in a simple syrup, then tossing them in flavored sugar before cooling is the simplest way to make this cheap garnish/treat.

Animal Grease/Fat

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Photo: What Great Grandma Ate

This is one of the WORST things you can put down a sink, so please do not do it! When fat cools and solidifies, it’s almost impossible to get anything past it and will be a huge problem for your drain. Either put into a disposable container and let it cool before dumping it, or save the fat in your fridge to use as an alternative to oil, or to flavor everything from roasted potatoes to eggs.

Excess Flour/Starchy Items

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Photo: StockSnap

Starchy items like pasta and bread will do the same to your sink as the peels will, making it a pain to clean and a sticky mess in the end. Make sure to put these down the trash or compost them as well, or dehydrate them into flours just like the peels above.

Take a major load off of your holiday stress by keeping the above items out of the sink. Your sink (and wallet) will both be thanking you when the holiday season is over.