Our current situation has given a lot of us a new perspective – and made us take less things for granted. It’s also made me realize just how much food we actually waste and how to make the most of the food I have in the house. The easiest way to do that… using your leftover vegetable scraps when cooking. I’ve been cooking a lot with Zach in the kitchen and he showed me a few easy ways to do this so I asked him to share them with all of you.
One thing I learned working in restaurants was to never let food go to waste. Now that all of us are trying to make less frequent visits to the store, we can take those same lessons into our home. Most of us throw out a lot of little pieces of veggies when we cook. Here are some easy ways to make a lot less food waste!
Keep scrolling to see all our tips, along with shoppable products to help you be more sustainable.
RE-GROW VEGGIES From Scraps
There are a lot of vegetables that can be regrown from the little pieces that you would normally throw away. Some can easily be regrown in a glass of water. Others will eventually need to be transferred to soil. Either way, it’s a great way to use those scraps and avoid another trip to the store!
The easiest and most common is green onions (a.k.a. scallions). If you take the little whitish green nub at the bottom and put it in a glass of water the stalk will start to regrow. Put it somewhere with sunlight and within just a few days you’ll have plenty of new scallions to use!
You can also re-grow celery, lettuce, and plenty more. Here is a list of a few things you can regrow and how!
MAKE A DELICIOUS Vegetable Broth
I use broth all the time when cooking. Making your own is a great way to use up any extra little pieces of vegetables AND avoid having to buy broth at the store. What I usually do is put a big empty pot in the fridge and throughout the week I’ll throw whatever little pieces I have leftover from cooking into it. It can be carrot tips, pieces of onion, the tips of celery, greens, or the stems from herbs. Just make sure they’re clean and you can’t go wrong. Then at the end of the week I fill the pot up with water and simmer it for 4-5 hours to get a broth (or longer if you want). Now I have a big supply of broth for soups, braising, or to boil with rice for extra flavor!
*If you find yourself making more broth than you can use then freeze some until you need it. I also like to make a dog-friendly version (no onion, garlic, or seasoning) to add to Marco’s food. He loves it!
COMPOST Everything Else
Whatever you can’t regrow or use for a broth you can compost. Composting is a process of breaking down your veggie scraps into a treatment to add to your soil when gardening. It takes all of those vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the vegetables and uses them to boost the soil and supply your plants. Even if you don’t have a garden you can donate your compost to a friend or neighborhood garden. This tool from Compost Now can show you if there are pickup services in your area.
The easiest way to compost at home is to get a compost bin. I really like this one, especially because it will look great on your counter while also being functional, but there are plenty of affordable ones you can find. If you want to learn more about composting here is a great resource.
Hopefully this helps you make the most of the food you have at home. These small steps can help us all be more sustainable and create less food waste!