I would like to offer some inspiration to stop throwing out perfectly good food. Are you tired of spending lots of money on fruit that goes bad too quickly? Do you throw out your spaghetti squash when you spot a bit of mold on it? Is a soft apple doomed to the landfill instead of your plate?
Raise your forks- you CAN eat veggie scraps, even from less than optimal produce. How, you ask? Let me give you some examples.
(No fruits or vegetables were harmed in the making of this post. I did not purposefully let things mold for photo-taking purposes. We have neighbors who give us their old produce for the chickens- and often, we find that at least half of it is fit for human consumption with a few minutes of prep work. Almost all of the food pictured is from that stash.)
Wilted, pale celery? No problem. Chop it up anyway- you likely won’t notice once it’s cooked. Or use it when you make homemade chicken stock. Don’t throw out your broccoli stems!! Peel the tough, outside skin and chop the inside, like so:Ta-da! You now have perfectly edible broccoli.
Speaking of cauliflower or broccoli, use the leaves too if you have them. They’re a delicious addition to whatever you’re cooking, and it adds some texture too. Got bug spots in the leaves? Just cut around them.
Here are some more specific ideas for places to put your veggie scraps:
- Cook them in stock to add flavor and nutrition.
- Add scraps to soups and stews.
- Throw them in a stir fry.
- Add them to pasta dishes.
- Include them in your morning eggs.
- Chop or grate as an addition to breads, biscuits, or muffins.
- Cut out the spots and eat them raw as a snack or part of a salad. Who says it has to look pretty to be enjoyed?
Here’s the beginnings of a stir fry I made the other night with mostly scraps. Just think how much it added to our meal by doing a little chopping and peeling beforehand!
And what do you do with tired old fruits? You can always cut out a soft or moldy spot and eat it anyway. If the whole thing is getting soft, it might be perfect chopped up and used for cooking or baking.
Cut out the spots and use your fruit scraps in dishes like:
- Crisps or pies
- Breads or muffins
- Homemade juice
- Applesauce (or other fruit sauce.)
- Pancake or waffle toppings
- Pie fillings
There are SO many places for your fruit and veggie scraps to go besides the garbage. If all else fails, there’s always the compost. At least your plants and/or chickens will enjoy the scraps!
How do YOU use your fruit and veggie scraps? I’m always looking for new inspiration to save more food and pinch more pennies. 🙂
(Here are some more ideas to help avoid food waste.)