How To Eat Your Compost! Becoming A Food Waste Ninja…

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Food waste – we all hate it. We work diligently to make sure none of that food we’ve paid our hard-earned money for is ever wasted. 

But are we doing all we can? Maybe…  But maybe not! 

Have you ever thought about eating your compost?

Stay with me now, I’m not suggesting that you root through the compost heap and snack on its contents. 

Can you actually EAT your compost? Stay with me now, I'm not saying you should eat the contents of your compost bucket. But there's LOTS of food you can make with scraps you'd previously just toss in the composter. Come see my favorite tips. #TexasHomesteader

Today I’m talking about food you’d previously destined for the compost heap – BEFORE it gets there. I’m talking about looking at that food you’re planning on putting into your compost and giving it a second glance.

Why, you ask? Well I’ll tell ya. Surprisingly enough there are often great honest-to-goodness food purposes for those scraps that you may or may not have even thought of.

I’ll share a few of my favorites below.

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

Veggie Trimmings

The tough neck & stem parts of an onion are typically destined for the composter, right? But not for me. I’ve found a way to use it.

Instead I separate the paper skin and the tough onion parts. Then I chop the onion trimmings & dehydrate them.

After the onion pieces are fully dry I use my coffee grinder to grind them into onion powder, And BOOM!

I’ve easily saved those savory onion sections that were previously deemed too tough to eat. And by doing so I also replaced an item I used to have to buy.

Now that’s a two-fer win, y’all!

Onion trimmings dehydrated and ground to powder. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

I do the same thing with bell peppers, seeds & ribs from jalapenos and other savory veggie scraps.

They’re all dehydrated & ground for seasonings. I have a small jar for each of these byproducts. And I use them often in my cooking to season our food on the cheap.

Dehydrating Extra Fresh Produce

How about making sure that fresh produce never reaches compost-worthy status in the first place?  .

For instance, I sometimes buy a single bunch of celery for a specific dish. But although I use celery sparingly in other dishes, RancherMan’s not a fan of just noshing on celery.

So even though I try to keep it from going to waste, I look at the rest of that celery & wonder if I’ll ever use it all.

(spoiler alert – the answer is always NO!)

So after I use the fresh celery for my entrée I’ll often dehydrate the rest, both stalks and leaves. 

Dehydrate celery to to eliminate food waste. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

The leaves are crushed and added to my crushed celery spice jar. The chopped ribs are dehydrated and placed in a glass jar in the pantry.

Now it’s easy to add dehydrated chopped celery to a simmering soup. It’ll rehydrate right there in the stockpot!

Regrowing Celery

What about that base part of the celery? Is there anything you can use that for?

Well don’t toss it in the compost! That base section can be placed in water until it grows a few roots and then transplanted.

More fresh celery growing again for FREE!

Regrow celery to to eliminate food waste. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

Fresh Herbs

D’ya ever get fresh herbs for one reason or the other and then wish there was a way to preserve it for later?

Sometimes I harvest a stem of fresh herb & strip & chop the teaspoon of fresh herb for my recipe. But what about the rest of that stem?

Easy, I’ll strip, dry and crush the remaining leaves. I add them to the seasoning jar I have in my kitchen for each herb. Nothing goes to waste!

Drying herbs to to eliminate food waste. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

NOTE: For those of you wanting to see my setup for drying full bunches of fresh herbs, you can see my Herb-Drying Setup Here.

I love it because it preserves full bunches at a time & it’s in a convenient location for me to use as I’m cooking.

Replanting Sprouted Produce

You know the drill. You bought that head of garlic but things got away from you. The next thing you know it’s gone too far. It’s sprouted.

Wait a minute…  sprouted

Hey, if it wants to live that badly why not PLANT it?

Planting sprouted garlic to to eliminate food waste. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

Yep, separating & planting each clove from that head of garlic will result in each clove growing a whole new head of garlic.

That gives you much more garlic than you started with! This is my favorite food waste tip of all.

I’ve done the same thing with a sprouted red potato, cutting it up into chunks and planting them to grow into much more fresh produce than I started with!

If your potatoes sprout don't chunk them into your compost. You can plant them and harvest more edible potatoes. #TexasHomesteader

 

So if you see your produce sprouting, don’t chunk it into the compost. Think about planting the sprouting pieces to grow more edible food for your family.

Bread Crumbs

RancherMan loves me to make his favorite soft-fluffy sandwich bread. And when I cut that bread into slices it sometimes makes a mess on the counter.

But do I sweep those crumbs into the compost bucket? Nope, they’re my own version of homemade breadcrumbs!

Stale bread used for breadcrumbs to eliminate food waste. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

I keep a small glass jar in the cabinet to hold them until I need them to bread Potato Cakes or pork chops.

If needed I can even season them with those same dried herbs I didn’t toss in the compost earlier. See, it helps to save those small scraps of food.

Fruit Peels/Cores Into Vinegar

Fruit peels & cores are often thought to be useless. But surprise, surprise – they can be saved from the compost pile too.

That’s because they can easily be made into vinegar. I’ve made both apple cider vinegar & pineapple vinegar from discarded core & peels.

Apple or pineapple scraps to make vinegar. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

It’s a simple process and it’s eliminated food waste. Plus once again I’ve made for myself a product I used to have to buy.

Bone Broth

After that delicious chicken is enjoyed for supper and the carcass is picked clean, the bones and trimmings are set aside.

I place them in a slow cooker and turn that waste into the most delicious, healthy broth you ever tasted.

Using bones to make bone broth to eliminate food waste. Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TexasHomesteader

Yet another thing I used to buy that now I’ve provided for myself. I’m seeing a trend here, y’all!

And I found out that you can even make that healthy bone broth even easier than slow-cooking the bones for hours.

Now that I have an Instant Pot, I can make Instant Pot Broth with true push-button convenience! It really doesn’t get any easier than that, folks.

Eliminate food waste by taking the bones from that chicken you enjoyed for supper and making them into healthy homemade broth. #TexasHomesteaderWhichever method you use, making broth is incredibly easy.

And healthy.

And CHEAP!

So if you decide to try any of these food waste tips, try this one first. In my opinion it gives you the most bang for your buck.

So there ya go. The next time you’re headed for your compost bucket with the last scraps of food, take note.  Hummmm…  Can we EAT this??  ‘

Oftentimes the answer is ‘YES’!

~TxH~

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8 thoughts on “How To Eat Your Compost! Becoming A Food Waste Ninja…

  1. Sissy

    This is one of the most useful posts I’ve read in a long time! I “reuse” almost all of my vegetable trimmings (I say almost all because cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower don’t work in this application) by saving them in gallon sized ziploc bags in the freezer. Once I have two bags full, I make vegetable stock to use as the base of quick soups and gravies.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’m a huge fan of homemade broth, Sissy. And I’m with you on the cabbage, broccoli & cauliflower scraps. ~TxH~

      Reply
  2. MeanJean

    Ha! I finally found someone more frugal than myself!
    I have saved onion bits for soup base, but, never saved the onion/pepper bits for a spice mix– what a great idea!
    You do beat all Mrs.TexasHomesteader!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL MeanJean – It all started when I excitedly purchased some jalapeno powder years ago so I could add the spice to my own plate without subjecting others to that kind of heat. Then I wondered (as I often do) “I wonder if I can make that myself??” Several days later as I was de-seeding jalapenos to bring down the heat level for company at a dinner party, the light bulb came on. Yep, I use that jalapeno powder all the time in many different dishes. And I have a spice jar that’s a mixture of many savory dehydrated veggies all powdered together – bell pepper and some of the onion along with various herbs. It’s my all-in-one seasoning & I like to use it with soups & such. Yep, I’ve been eating my compost for years! LOL ~TxH~

      Reply
  3. candace

    A couple of thoughts –
    I’ve never had great luck here in Oregon growing garlic heads from those little teensy annoying garlic cloves or the cloves that have sprouted but I do plant them and often just trim some of the sprouts for whatever I’m cooking and they keep on sprouting, I also toss them into the bag in the freezer that is destined to become vegetable broth.
    I do put bones in the compost, after boiling the daylights out of them they are very soft and quite free of any meat product so in they go. I never see them in the finished compost. I also sometimes toss them into the fireplace and then they still end up on the veg or flower garden. Crab and shrimp shells (I DO live near the Oregon Coast) go right into the compost. If you’ve ever seen a field that has had shrimp shells (Kind of stinky for awhile) spread on it you are missing something,

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love all your tips Candace, thanks for sharing! And you’re right, those bones are often crumbly after their broth-making cooking so I should totally toss them into the composter too. Especially since I have a tumbler so there’s no opportunity for wildlife to come scratching around for it. ~TxH~

      Reply
  4. Patti

    When I first saw the message it said “How to eat your compost” you had me worried. I thought I was going to have to set up a go fund me page, that you guys were starving and resorting to……… 😉 I feel so much better after ready the full article and as usual it’s GREAT! Now I can sit down and enjoy my morning coffee knowing everything is honky dorey.!!!!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Patti! I must admit I was after an eyebrow-raising reaction to the title. But let me assure you (although we’re eating plenty of our pre-compost food these days in the form of onion powder, broth and much more) everything is definitely hunky dorey at the Homestead! XOX ~TxH~

      Reply

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