Much controversy over what to do with your veggie scraps has occurred over the past couple of years. The truth is, there are many ways to make great use of old food and veggie scraps, and aside from simply throwing them away, there really isn’t a wrong answer! Listed below are some of the best ways to make use of old food scraps and how to do it!
First, let’s start with broth. A lot of old food scraps can be repurposed to create a yummy broth, but some of the best and most utilized options are carrots, onions, and mushrooms, but truly, most vegetables will do. BUT, when creating broth be careful to avoid using broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower as it will most likely make the broth bitter. This process of repurposing your veggie scraps may sound useless and time consuming but is actually super fast and efficient. All you have to do is take your frozen veggie scraps, add to a large pot with water, and simmer for 30 minutes before straining, and you have a homemade batch of veggie broth! This simple process is a great way to produce an easy broth, but also minimize food waste within your home.
Okay, now you may be wondering how you can create pesto from old veggies, but once again this is yet another simple process to help you repurpose your food scraps. If you have any wilted green scraps after letting your big bag of greens sit in the fridge for a minute too long, this is the perfect recipe for you. Veggies such as spinach, arugula, collards, carrots, beats, turnips, and kale are all viable scraps in this process. Simply take your dry or frozen veggie scraps in addition to garlic cloves, basil, nuts, and parmesan cheese and blend until all is mixed. Following this, with the blender still going, add in olive oil and blend until smooth. Then taste your pesto, add in any finishing touches and you are done!
Once again, you are probably wondering how your food scraps can turn into food dye, but here we go. Take your desired color scrap and place in a saucepan. Fill the pan with twice as much water as scraps, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for an hour or until the desired color is reached. You won’t be able to create every color in existence but this is a great way to save money, repurpose your scraps, and rule out using artificial colors. These dyes can then be used in anything from cake mix and icing to even coloring and dying easter eggs!
You may not know this, but many vegetable scraps can be planted to create full grown vegetables. This process can either be done by planting the scrap in soil or placing the scrap in a glass of water and placing it on the windowsill in order to grow. Now, not all scraps can grow completely new plants but listed below are vegetables that you can replant to create more veggies:
Take any one of these vegetables and plant or place it in water to create a brand new set of fresh veggies for your cooking endeavors!
If none of these options are calling your name, then there’s forever and always the compost option. This simple and easy process allows for your old food and vegetable scraps to give back to the soil that gave life to the food we eat today. When composting whether if it's just a pile or some sort of enclosure, make sure to include twice the amount of brown matter than green matter, meaning always include an abundance of dry leaves, wood chips, saw dust, or hay in addition to your food scraps in order to have the best compost turn out. If this option seems the most feasible and interesting to you, you can look around your local neighborhoods and communities to see if there's community compost to give to, or better yet, you could have one right in your own backyard.
These options listed are just a few of many ways to easily repurpose your food scraps and turn it into something for consumption or to benefit the world around us. No matter if you choose to use one of these methods, find another, or even give the food scraps to your house pet, you will help the world become another step closer to having a more sustainable future, in addition to reducing your personal footprint in food waste.