A little while ago I made a Post about what I’m still currently throwing away, one of them being food scraps. Compost just isn’t working out in this sweaty hot climate and living on the 9th floor of a building. I’m working up a plan on how I can present a compost plan to our building but I have yet to think of a solution.
I’ve actually been kind of thankful for having the compost mishap because it’s making me rethink what I toss and causing me to become creative in what I do with parts our culture has deemed “inedible.” When we did have our worm bin a huge problem was having way too scraps to feed them. I think next time around I will be much more prepared.
A lot of these solutions still involve the scraps eventually finding their way into the trash. But using a second time is better than not at all.
1) Just Eat Em
One day I was washing spinach and cutting the stems off and becoming sad because all the waste. It occured to be that I could just eat the darn things! So that’s what we’ve been doing. They are a little more bitter than the leaves but edible all the less.
Broccoli stems, on the other hand, taste EXACTLY like the tree part and I think I actually prefer the stems in stir fry more (Raw broccoli is bleh so I’m not sure what it’s like raw).
I have yet to try it, but I’ve heard kale stalks are similar to asparagus when roasted. Sounds good to me!
2) Just Eat it Peels and All
Why do we peel stuff? For a lazy person like me, I gladly embrace not peeling. Just wash the dirt off carrrots. Don’t peel that potato! Chop up the garlic skins too! Isn’t the skin full of nutrients anyways?
Canned tomatoes with the skin on–no problem. I read that tomatoes are peeled because the skins are chewy when boiled. Well, I made a soup with skins and all and it was just fine.
Making applesauce with the skins makes you look rustic and cool and adds a nice texture. I’m a huge fan of non-mush after getting my wisdom teeth removed.
3) Freeze Stuff
I realize this sounds pretty self explanatory but I was always worried to freeze stuff because I thought I wouldn’t be able to get it out of the container. But I’ve found everything can be easily thawed in a hot water bath and it doesn’t make the cooking process longer.
I’m pretty good at not letting stuff go bad in the fridge and I’ve stopped making leftovers unless I have a certain plan to eat it the next day. But I do freeze stuff like dried beans after soaking, kale for soups, jalapeños that have been diced, and other random vegetable and fruits I don’t plan on eating that week.
We also just started “canning” our own diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, but it’s not actually canning because we just put it in the freezer and keep a small amount in the fridge. They taste WAY better than the canned stuff and now I’m not worried about BPA. Plus, it’s just one more thing that doesn’t go in the recycle bin.
4) Research Second Uses
What the heck can you do with egg shells? After typing into Google, “Reusing eggshells” I found some ideas. Apparently it’s the same thing as calcium carbonate, practically, that DIYers use in homemade toothpaste. I’m not entirely convinced, but why not try it? I’ve been adding eggshells to the freezer and when I have a large amount I will boil, bake, and crush em into powder. Or you can use them as little planters which my husband has been doing to grow seedlings. And many other things that didn’t apply to us. Look it up!
Picture and recipe fromzerowastechef.com
I was fretting over apple cores and after some research found I good make apple cider vinegar out of it SUPER EASSSSYYYYY which is what I’m all about.
I’m also collecting grapefruit and orange peels to make a citrus infused vinegar AND candied peels for flavoring food, tea, and making a sugar scrub thing (thanks internet!)!
5) Veggie Stock
Picture and recipe from goingzerowaste.com
I made veggie stock once and I hated how wasteful it was to boil all these vegetables and then throw them out. But then I discovered you can use scraps! Onion peels and skin, Carrot tops, Pepper tops, Celery tops and bottoms, garlic skins. Just not cruciferous vegetables that make it bitter.
6) Avocado Seed Shampoo
Picture and recipe from therogueginger.com
I’m still not sure what to do with avocado skins, but the seed makes a bright orange moisturizing shampoo. I don’t use it, but my husband has been diluting his anti dandruff shampoo with this stuff.
I seriously can’t wait to have compost again!