Use your vegetable scraps

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Around one-third of food produced for human consumption gets thrown away every year according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

While we can make efforts to reduce edible food waste, we can also make use of vegetable scraps that would otherwise be thrown away. When we prepare vegetables, we end up throwing away a lot of parts that can be repurposed or even eaten. Using these scraps can help reduce waste, save some money, and benefit the environment. Win-win-win!


Here are a few ideas on how to get the most out of your vegetables and reduce what you throw away. Give it a try, see what you like, and have fun with it!

• When chopping up and peeling vegetables, you can save the skin and end pieces and use them for stock (a liquid broth). As you may not necessarily use them immediately, you can place scraps in a reusable container and store them in the freezer. Once you are ready to make the stock, simply pour the contents into a pot filled with water. Add salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings like bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary for example. Let it simmer for about 1 hour, strain out the vegetable scraps, and you have a stock! It can be used to make soup, stews, and more. Avoid adding cabbage or brussel sprouts as they can add a bitter flavor. Search online to learn more.

• Eat a lot of pumpkin and squash? You can roast the seeds in the oven for a tasty snack. Simply rinse them, dry them, add salt and olive oil, and put them in the oven at 200°C (375°F) for 15 minutes. Feel free to add any other seasoning like cayenne pepper and paprika for extra flavor.

• If you buy vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, you can use the peels as chips instead of throwing them away. Wash and scrub the vegetables thoroughly with water, peel them, and mix the peels with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake them in the oven at 200°C (375°F) for 15 min or until they are crispy. Mix them halfway through for even cooking.

• Do not throw away the broccoli stalks! Peel off the hard outer layer and the very fibrous end. Cut up the rest and cook them with the other pieces of broccoli. Both broccoli and cauliflower leaves can be eaten as well, just toss them in olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven at 200°C (375°F) for about 20-30 minutes.

• Leafy green carrot tops can be made into pesto! Remove the thick stem, blanch and dry the tops, and add to a food processor with garlic, nuts, lemon juice, olive oil salt, and pepper for a basic pesto recipe. You can alter the ingredients in any way. As long as there are nuts, herbs, and oil that makes pesto. Plus you can make any flavored pesto. It is also not just carrot tops. Any other edible leafy greens like radishes and fennel fronds will also do the trick.

• The ends of some vegetables even can be used to grow more, including potatoes, lettuce, basil, and onions. Plus there is the option of growing from seeds with veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers, and strawberries. For more details check out this website or explore online to learn more about the regenerative wonders of our plant friends.

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