6 Smart Ways to Reuse Kitchen Scraps

When we think of recycling, we often think of transforming paper, plastic, and aluminum into something new. But what about food? You can reduce your carbon footprint by composting at home. Or there are a lot of handy uses for kitchen scraps before they even reach the compost bin. Check out these 6 smart ways to repurpose food that would otherwise go to waste:

Veggie Broth

I love making my own broth because it’s easy to do, and I avoid using the store’s plastic-lined cartons and the harmful chemicals often found in that material. It’s a simple practice that’s better for our environment and health. To make your own, save the following ingredients:

  • Carrot Peels
  • Carrot and Celery tops
  • Onion and Garlic Skins
  • Water
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Add all ingredients to a pot or slow cooker for an hour. If you want to make chicken broth, you can use the bones from a chicken you recently roasted. And if you don’t have enough scraps to make broth just yet, you can freeze them for another day.

Degrease Dirty Pots and Pans

Before you reach for the dish soap, lemon peels work wonderfully as a primer on greasy pots, pans, and plates. Apply the pulp side to your dishes to degrease your dishes prior to washing with dish soap for a cleaner product.

Bread Crumbs

Many kids opt out of eating the crust on their sandwiches. You can simply store the crusts in a container in the refrigerator. When a recipe calls for bread crumbs, you can whiz the crusts in a food processor to add to your dish.

Home Spa Treatment

Another reason to love coffee is the fact that you can use the leftover coffee grounds as a home skin-firming treatment. The caffeine in the grounds helps to smooth the skin and get ready for summer.

Mix the grounds with warm water to make a paste. Massage your legs and affected areas in a circular motion moving upwards for about 5 minutes and rinse off with cold water. The cold water helps to shrink pores and tighten skin.

Houseplants

You can easily expand your garden and houseplant collection using parts of foods you would usually throw away.

  • Pineapple: When you cut the top off, you can actually use it to grow a whole new pineapple. Here’s how!
  • Onions and Green Onions: When the root portion is cut off, you can simply plant it in a pot or outside in the garden. With a little water and sun, you will have a whole new bunch.

Dog Treats

If you’ve been on a juice kick, Fido can reap the benefits of those nutrients too with this dog treat recipe using the pulp.  You must be careful as dogs can’t consume all of the same fruits and veggies as humans, but here’s a list to know what’s healthy for your dog and, of course, check with your vet!

What innovative ways do you use food scraps to reduce waste?

~ Dr. Thalia Farshchian 

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