Household food waste in Canada is a major issue. Canadians throw away or compost 63% of food that could have been eaten costing approximately $1,100 a year. The good news is 24% are wasting less food than usual by meal planning a week ahead and by checking what food they have in their home before going grocery shopping. As a population, we are motivated to reduce our household’s avoidable food waste.
Using the entire ingredient can be a great start to cooking with zero waste!
Use every part of the ingredient.
Use the stems – The stems from vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower can be chopped up and roasted or sauté with the head of the vegetable to be served with pasta, quinoa or in a salad. Making a pesto with your broccoli stalks is another delicious way to use them. All you need are 3 ingredients: broccoli stalks, parsley, and garlic. Once the broccoli stalks are boiled and soft, add all ingredients in a bowl with some spices and use a blender to mix them all together. You can check out our Instagram page under “Cook with us” for the video.
Use the greens – The leaves attached onto root vegetables can have so many uses by mixing them into salads or swapping them for other greens such as spinach or kale in recipes. They can be used in a stir fry, in a green smoothie or in a salad bowl.
Use the seeds – While cooking pumpkin or squash make sure to save all the seeds. By roasting the seeds, it will save you from throwing them away by turning them into a tasty snack.
Use the peel – Removing the peel is not necessary for a lot of fruits and vegetables as it contains so many nutrients. For example, Apple peels are a rich source of fiber. If you do have left over apple peels instead of tossing them in the compost you can make the following:
Drop them into a smoothie for those extra nutrients
Make a tisane by dropping the apple peels in the boiled water to absorbs the taste. Add some cinnamon and honey to enhance flavor.
Chop up thinly and add them in a batch of pancakes and muffins with some cinnamon.
Lemon and orange peels can be used to make a fresh zesty seasoning. Use the remaining lemon or orange juice in any recipe to add flavor, to make a honey lemon or orange tea, or for fresh lemonade. Find out more about what to do with lemons here.
For vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchinis, you will get all the benefits if you keep the colorful peel. And this calls for less waste! Whether you're making homemade tzatziki sauce or any recipe keep the peel on the cucumber for the full flavor when grating it.
For dry items – If you catch yourself throwing out bread, tortillas and pitas because they become stale and dried up, turn them around into breadcrumbs and tortilla/pita chips.
Breadcrumbs - Start off by crumbling the bread into pieces, crush in a mixer and place into a bowl with some fresh parsley and garlic. Cook on a stovetop over medium heat and once its ready it can be topped over your favorite food. Check our Instagram page story “Cook with us” to see how we make it and top it over pasta!
Tortilla or pita chips – Cut them up into triangle pieces, brush some olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper over them. Place in the oven at 400°F for 7 minutes, broil for 2 minutes and watch carefully. Remove once they are lightly golden brown and crispy. Now, they are ready to eat!
We hope you enjoyed these simple tricks and that they will help you reduce waste in the kitchen. Let us know which tricks you use!