7 Food Waste Hacks

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

I recently shared two posts on 7 meal prep hacks and 7 meal prep hacks Part 2 and thought it would be fun to share 7 fun food waste hacks to help use up leftovers and scraps in your kitchen. We’re all guilty of over chopping our produce and just tossing fruit and veggie scraps, or letting our fruits and vegetables go bad only to see them end up in the compost  bin…RIP! But with a little planning and a few hacks we can all lessen our footprint on this wonderful planet we live on, and feel a little better that we literally used up every scrap of food!

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7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

1. Juice Pulp For Baking

If you love juicing but feel guilty tossing all that pulp you’re left with at the end, then don’t fret cause I got you. Toss that pulp it into your next breakfast muffin or carrot cake recipe. I love adding carrot, apple and ginger pulp to my Carrot Cake Muffins. I did everything the same as the original recipe except I swapped the shredded carrots for 1 ½ cups of juice pulp which consisted of 2 apples, 4 carrots, and 2 inches of ginger. So you can now drink your juice and have your cake too 😉 You can also freeze your leftover pulp and toss it into your smoothie for an extra dose of fiber. If you’re juicing mostly vegetables, then use the pulp to make a veggie broth or add it to your soup to thicken it. The possibilities are endless!!

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

2. Turn Stale Bread Into Croutons

Make your own croutons using fresh, stale, or the end pieces of bread. This is something that Mama HealthNut used to do all the time when I was growing up, and still does to this day, as she loves having homemade croutons to toss into salads and soups. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes or whatever size of cubes you prefer and place in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and toss with your favourite seasonings.

I personally love adding Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and black pepper. Spread the seasoned bread on to a baking pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake at 350 ℉ for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, tossing halfway. Store any leftover croutons in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

3. Store Fresh Herbs In A Covered Jar With Water

I don’t know about you guys, but when I buy fresh herbs and store them in the fridge they only last me a few days before they start wilting and rotting. One of my favourite hacks is to place them directly in a glass jar with fresh water as soon as I get home, then covering them with the produce bag or a large reusable silicone bag, before popping them in the fridge. Change the water every couple of days and your herbs will last for weeks!

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

4. Infused Water With Fruit Ends

I personally love drinking water and always make sure I get my minimum 8 glasses a day which is why you’ll find me constantly running to the bathroom to pee! But hey hydration is so important so I don’t mind the extra steps 😉 I know that some people struggle with this and find drinking plain water boring and unappealing. A fun way to jazz up your water is to add cucumber peels, tops of strawberries, orange and citrus peels. Just toss your ends and peels in your reusable water bottle or a large glass pitcher, place in the fridge overnight and keep refilling it with water throughout the day. This will give your water the perfect hint of citrus and sweetness as well as make it super refreshing without adding sugar or any of those chemicals found in water flavour packets.

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

5. Peanut Butter Jar Overnight Oats

Did someone say peanut butter? Out of all my favourite food waste hacks, this has got to be one of my favourites! Next time you hit the bottom of your peanut butter jar, or any of your favourite nut butters, don’t struggle with getting every little last bit out. Instead, repurpose that jar with left over nut butter and make your overnight oats directly in it to soak it all up.

Just add in ¾ cup rolled oats, 1 cup unsweetened oat or nut milk, 2 tablespoons yogurt, 1 to 2 tablespoons of nut butter should be left in the jar, if not then add a bit more, ½ tablespoon chia seeds, 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt (skip this if your nut butter was salted). Give it a good stir, or cover with the lid and give it a good shake, then place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, top with your favourite fresh fruit and you are ready to go!

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

6. Veggie Scrap Stock

Next time you are cooking or meal prepping, toss all your veggie scraps in a reusable silicone bag or in a container and place them in the freezer. Then later, you can use them to make homemade veggie stock, rather than buying premade stock from the store that can be high in sodium. Once you have about 3 to 4 cups worth you will need the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2  carrots, roughly chopped
1 to 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
3 to 4 cups veggie scrap (fresh or frozen)
8 cups of water, or enough to cover the veggies
Spices (turmeric, paprika, bay leaf, chili flakes, sea salt, black pepper)
Optional: add a handful of fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme

In a large pot, sauté the onions, carrots and celery for a few minutes. Add the water, spices and fresh herbs if using. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for at least 1 hour. You can also add everything into a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. Strain and let cool before transferring to a glass jar to store in the fridge or freezer.

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!
7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

7. Freeze Your Food

Last but not least and certainly the easiest hack is to freeze your ripened fruits, some of your veggies, nuts and even ginger root! This one may seem obvious, but I think a lot of people don’t take advantage of this. I love freezing my ripened bananas which I can toss later in my smoothies or use to make my Banana Bread. When my zucchini or cauliflower is about to go bad, I steam and freeze it, then later I can toss them in my smoothies, or soup. I also love freezing my ginger root to keep it fresh longer and makes it super easy to grate into your stir-fries, soups, ginger tea, or toss a chunk into your smoothie. I also love storing my nuts in the freezer to keep the oils in them fresh longer and prevent them from going rancid.

There you have it, 7 easy food waste hacks to help you save money and the planet! Let me know in the comments below which one was your favourite food waste hack or even better tell me a new one that I should try! If you try any of these hacks, be sure to share a photo on social media and tag me @healthnutnutrition and #healthnuteats so that I can see your creations! 

7 fun food hacks that can help use up leftovers and scraps, and prevent food waste in your kitchen!

 

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