Cooking with Food Scraps to Avoid Kitchen Waste

by Maddie Vlismas

You've heard the saying : 'don't judge a blog post by its title' right?

When it comes to food waste, current UN figures show that about 1/3 of food produced for human consumption (that's about 1.3 billion tonnes), is wasted around the world each year.

The term 'food scraps' doesn't really leave much to the imagination and it's not exactly appetising. With an open mind and a little effort in the kitchen however, you can save a lot of produce from ending up in the bin, save a bunch of money, and even cook some pretty delicious meals too!

For us, this concept started off pretty small. With veggie stock or broth to be precise!


Homemade veggie stock is a cooking staple in our household, and it's incredibly easy when made it bulk (not to mention free!).

During the week, we simply collect any veggie offcuts we can't use in cooking, and freeze them in one of our Silicone Ziplock Bags. Then when we have the time, we defrost the bag and turn it into veggie stock. If we're feeling extra organised, we'll even separate our veggie scraps by flavour profile. 

When you've got your chef's hat on, it's time to get cooking! We like to sauté our veggie scraps first (this adds flavour!) before adding several cups of water. How much water you add will be determined by the amount of veggies you're turning into stock. Simmer your veg for 30 minutes to an hour and then let cool. Strain the scraps out and portion into jars or containers. To save time, we make ours in bulk and freeze it to use over the next few weeks. Make sure to taste the broth/stock and season it accordingly with salt, pepper and herbs! 

We recommend steering away from using certain veggies in your stock, but it's entirely up to you to decide what you include. For example, we don't usually include broccoli, cauliflower or kale because they often create a bitter taste. Carrot tops give an almost soapy taste, and potato skins turn chewy. There's an insane amount of information and even some amazing recipes out the internet so search away!


Freeze overripe fruit and veg to use at a later date. 

This next one might be seen as 'too obvious' to include but we stand by it! This method is all about the art of monitoring the state of your fresh produce, and popping it in the freezer before it takes a turn for the worse. It's likely your mum has been doing this for years, namely with Bananas for baking! 

The best bit is you can do it for just about anything. Freeze those blueberries or strawberries when they start to go a bit soft - they'll still be great in a smoothie! If your fresh mint is looking a bit soggy, chop some up and make them into ice-cubes to use in smoothies or cocktails!


Homemade Pasta Sauce. 

Perfect for those soft tomatoes and wilted herbs! Like many Aussies, Pasta is a huge staple meal in our household and we even love to make our own spaghetti noodles! You can easily make your own pasta sauce by simmering what you have + storing in old pasta sauce bottles!


Homemade Croutons or Breadcrumbs.

As you might have seen on our Instagram, we are self-proclaimed bread enthusiasts and more often than not cook our own sourdough loaf each week. There's only so much bread you can eat in a week (although we have challenged that) so turning leftover bread into croutons is a great way to give it a second life. Just chop up into chunks or blitz it in a food processor, and bake on a baking tray in the oven to make them crispy!


Infuse your drinks.

We're always striving to drink more water and a way that we've been able to do it has been infusing our water with fresh or dried herbs, fruit and even veggies! You can reuse your dry or limp herbs to make your own herbal tea blends too! Click here for some inspiration!


DIY Household Cleaner!

Using citrus and other acidic fruits to make your own household cleaner is a great way to reuse food you might not eat in time, but it's also super beneficial for your body + the planet too. Most cleaning products are loaded with so many harsh chemicals that are pretty unnecessary for cleaning most surfaces around the home. Click here for a super simple recipe!


There you have it - 6 easy ways to avoid kitchen waste! Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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