Clean your plate, don’t take more than you’re going to eat, save leftovers. These are all things you hear when discussing how to cut down on food waste.
But what about when you stray away from the obvious? It turns out there are more ways to eliminate waste than you may think. For starters, you can use up the stuff that you may have deemed inedible, like stalks, stems, and seeds.
Not only will you be keeping them from filling a landfill- you’ll also open your eyes to a variety of new products that can be made right at home.
Here are a few ideas to get you started!
1. Date pits
Dates are addictive- especially those of the medjool variety. I go through these caramelly gems lightning fast, meaning I am left with plenty of pits. It just so happens that not only are they edible, but they can be used for coffee of all things! Well a coffee substitute- the caffeine content of the pits are negligible.
To prepare: Bake the seeds on your oven’s lowest setting for one hour. Then grind into a powder and brew like you would regular coffee.
2. Papaya Seeds
Papaya seeds are a spicy counterpart to its sweet, juicy flesh. I will eat them plain, sprinkled over salads, but I recently tried them a new way that I like even better. I made a powder that can be used in place of pepper in just about any dish.
To prepare: Dehydrate or bake seeds on low temperature until dry. Then grind in a high-speed blender or food processor and store in the fridge.
3. Apricot Seed Kernels
I would’t have thought to eat apricot seed kernels until I came across the ingredient in raw truffles I had bought. It turns out they are quite the treat, tasting like almonds and bursting with healthy fats.
To prepare: Crack open apricot pits to reveal their inner kernel. Then you can them plain, or grind them into butter.
4. Corn Silk
The blonde, stringy bits at the end of your corn aren’t just for looks. They have many healing properties when used the right way. Brew up some corn silk tea to reap its benefits, which include keeping the heart and urinary system healthy.
To prepare: Steep silk in boiling water, then strain (or don’t) and drink. Yep, that’s it!
5. Sweet Potato Greens
I just tried these neutral greens for the first time. I had no idea that they could be eaten, let alone that they taste so good. They are similar to spinach, with a firmer texture- so they hold up better when cooked.
To prepare: Sauté in apple cider vinegar and dress with squeezed orange for a refreshing side dish.
How else do you utilize food scraps?
Related: How to Regrow Your Groceries
8 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget
Is Freeganism the Next Step Toward Sustainability?
Photo: Unknown via Wikimedia Commons; Farmanac, Janine, Dricker94, Market Manager, Jamonation, all via Flickr