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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whichever method you use, making broth is incredibly easy.
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’!
Links In This Post:
- Dehydrating Onions
- Leftover Celery? Dehydrate It!
- Endless Soup For Warm Nutrition
- Preserving Fresh Oregano
- Easily Planting Garlic
- Growing Potatoes In A Raised Bed For Easy Harvest
- FINALLY, A Soft, Fluffy Sandwich Bread Recipe
- Easy Homemade Breadcrumbs
- Leftover Mashed Potatoes Into Potato Cakes
- Solar Cooking: Baking Breaded Pork Chops
- Pineapple-Scrap Vinegar
- 1 Chicken Enjoyed 6 Ways: Eating It ALL!
- Slow-Cooker Homemade Broth
- Instant Pot Homemade Broth
New Meals Remade With Leftovers
- Planned Leftovers: Easy Slow-Cooker Pork Roast
- How To Quickly Shred Leftover Roast
- Fast Food: Remaking Leftover Steak & Veggies
- Leftover Mashed Potatoes Into Potato Cakes
- Leftover Biscuit Dough? Make Cinnamon Rolls!
- Hearty Stew – Quickest Planned Leftover Meal Of All
- Pulled Pork Enchiladas From Leftover Roast
- Planned Leftovers: Carnitas Tacos From Pork Roast
- Leftover Meatloaf Made Into Quesadillas
- Leftover Chicken & Zucchini Noodles with Herb Bombs
- Chicken Tortilla Soup From Leftovers
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Made Easy
- Chicken & Dumplings Using Leftover Chicken
- Using It ALL – The Art Of Eliminating Leftover Food
- Leftover Navy Beans Into Delicious HUMMUS!
- Leftover Turkey & Dressing Into Patties
- Homemade Meals Every Day – The EASY Way!
…and MUCH MORE!
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