Before you toss your food scraps, know that according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, between 30% and 40% of food in the United States goes uneaten. This equates to Americans throwing away $165 billion in food each year. But as a home chef, there are ways for you to be part of the solution instead of the problem. Here are some food “scraps” that are usually thrown away, that can actually be useful to hold on to!
Chicken and beef bones
Keep your leftover bones to make hearty broths and stocks. Paleo-friendly bone broth is a nutrient rich food with tons of health benefits like promoting healthy joints and gut health. You can drink it on its own, or use it as a base for soups or noodle dishes. Have a bunch of bones but don’t know what you want to do with them? No worries. Just stick ‘em up in the freezer until you’re ready to cook with them.
Bread scraps and crusts
If you’re a parent who de-crusts a ton of sandwiches, or are just a child at heart, consider saving the crusts instead of tossing them in the trash. You can use the crusts to step up your salad game by making delicious, homemade crispy croutons. You can also start your own crust collection that you can eventually turn into homemade breadcrumbs.
Vegetable greens and leaves
Many people throw out the leafy green tops of veggies like carrots, radishes and celery. But these greens are actually packed with nutrients and make for healthy, delicious ingredients in your favorite meals. Use carrot leaves to make a delicious vegan carrot top pesto. Celery leaves in particular are loaded with healthy vitamins, and are a great addition to a juice or smoothie.
Peels and rinds from produce
Hold on to those peels and rinds! Cinnamon and sugar apple peel chips are a tasty, crunchy snack. Potato peel chips are salty and delicious, and citrus peels can be used for a tasty zest. Cucumber peels can even be used to make your own skin products. And don’t toss those watermelon rinds… You can turn them into candy!
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