- Ends! Bendy carrots! Kale stems! Ginger peels! Maybe a lemon that was left out? All have amazing potential. Below you'll see some of the ways we can use up things that are normally discarded. I keep a bag of "bits and bobs" in the freezer. Anytime I have scrap, or trim, I place it in the labeled bag and find a way to use whatever is in there.
Commonly discarded items and how to use them:
- Parm rinds: use for parmesan broth, enhance a stock, toss in a risotto or soup and remove before serving, infuse olive oil.
- Veggie stems (from say kale, or collards) : Juice them! they're fibrous which is why they're normally removed, still have loads of potential. So reserve them and toss in your next green juice. The pulp can be sautéed and mixed into dog food! Zero waste.
- Ginger peels/trim: Similar to above, JUICE! Then infuse water with the yummy pulp. Suck it whole foods. (they sell dumb water infusions for 5 dollars a bottle, I made a gallon FO FREE)
- Bendy carrots/ sad soft fruits & veggies: Just like stems, the only down side is the texture we're normally accustom to. You can purée into a soup, bake into a muffin/ quick bread or toss in your next swamp juice.
- Leftover citrus: JUICE! Candy the rind, use the juice pulp for... a water infusion! Or bake the lemon pulp in your next lemon poppy loaf.
- Bones from chops/ steaks: Save in a freezer bag, stock pile for...stock.
- Any roasted poultry carcass: See above.
- Any fish bones: See two lines above. See the pattern? Although I usually make fumet right away since its quick, and I never need more then a quart in my freezer.
- Tops: People toss beet greens and radish greens and it makes me feel insane. Both are delicious raw, juiced, or cooked down in soup. Don't toss these. Expand your mind/ palate. If you're weary put them in green juice, or purée in something like potato leek soup.
- Wilted salad greens: SOUP! Oddly delicious.
- Asparagus ends: SOUP!
- Egg shells: COMPOST.
- Mushroom stems: Stock!
- Leek greens: See above...
What I did with the sad carrots, kale stems, lemon, soft apple and ginger scrap:
- I juice the carrots, kale and apple first. Then sautéed the pulp with 1/2 cup of water. I add a few tablespoons to my dogs food every morning and he LOVES it.
- I then juiced the ginger and the lemon for a water infusion.
- These normal "trash" items gave me a solid and tasty swamp juice, dog food, and refreshing infused water.
Leftover pork chop bones, and some goodies from my freezer bag:
- I had the following in my freezer bits and bobs bag: cheese rind, leek greens, some sad thyme, carrots scrap and onion peels. We had mother's day pork chops, and there was a good bit of meat on some, and those bones were not going to be wasted. I started the stock in the morning so that way it would be ready for bits and bobs soup for dinner. Pour 8 cups of water over the mix, and cook on high in the slow cooker for 7 hours.
- For the soup I used the following: asparagus stems, wilted radish greens, a sad potato, ramp greens from a pickle project, leek whites, chinese chives that were on their way out, and 1 cup of white rice. Why rice? When stick blended with the random veggies, the starchy rice gives a silky texture when pureed. No need to add cream, and the texture is great.
- When you're stock is ready. Strain and pour over your veggies and rice. Bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Purée. Season. Garnish.
Strainer tip: Place a fine meshed strainer in a colander in a large bowl. Ideally with square tips, this makes pouring a less messy affair.
- Fish out the carrots for a doggie snack! Also any meat can be shredded and mixed in for healthy homemade food. And he LOVES it. Additionally, the meat between the ribs is the literal best, sprinkle a little salt on it and enjoy the cooks snack.
- I ate my bits and bobs soup with crusty bread, pickled ramps and spiced yogurt. And it was free, and I didn't waste a thing. Now go create! Clean out your fridge and enjoy!