One rule you should have in your house is to never have too many leftovers. It is always smarter to make less food than have too much waste to deal with. You can’t avoid leftovers either, so the least you can do is reuse whatever you can or donate to someone who can get better use out of it. Reducing the quantity of waste from your house that ends up in the landfill can be beneficial for you and the planet as a whole. If you can donate your edible leftover food, then please do. If donating is not an option, these 10 methods of recycling will help you get better value from some of your kitchen waste.
Embrace Soups and Broth
Soup and broth are very healthy and most of them can be made using some of the food that some people put in the bin. Soup is one of the widest types of food that you can make with almost any leftover food including tomatoes, green vegetables, meat and fish. The leftover vegetables from your side dish can be added to your soup the next day. Most left-over food including meat and chicken can be used to make soup as long as they were stored safely. You can also use the bones from your meal to make broth instead of going for a fresh set of bones or bone meal from the store.
Donate To Make Animal Feed
This largely depends on where you live. Many animal shelters that can’t afford to buy fresh food for their animals accept food donations from households. If you have an animal feed manufacturer or an animal shelter that accepts donations near you, it is nice to take your leftovers to them as long as they are in a good condition. That way, you get to keep an animal healthy while having less waste to deal with at home.
Freeze Your Greens
Dumping leftover greens in the refrigerator often leads to the veggies being forgotten and ending up in the bin sooner or later. If you have more green vegetables or fruits than you can eat, you can chop and dice them or even blend them if you like juicing and then freeze them. Frozen vegetables and fruits remain safe for consumption as compared to refrigerated ones.
Regrow Vegetables In Water
Did you know that you can use some of the seeds and pits from your vegetables to grow your own little garden? You can convert those pumpkin seeds as well as other seeds into your own little garden. The pits and stems of some vegetables such as cabbage and celery can actually be put into a culture or soil to regrow into a vegetable that you will enjoy another day.
Use Citrus Peels As Air Freshener
If you have trouble getting rid of the foul smell in your refrigerator, pantry, drawers or other parts of your kitchen, then your lemon and orange peels may have a job for you. Just put the peels in the smelly place and it will help you get rid of the bad smell. You can also blend them and mix them with hot water and vinegar and make your own homemade cleaner and air freshener that you can use to clean your kitchen counter.
Reuse Your Food And Grocery Containers
Plastic packaging is a major concern for the health of the planet as most of them end up at the bottom of the ocean even when you put them in the recycle bin. The companies that make your food container will need to make less if you can reuse the one you have. You can repurpose plastic bags, bottles, single-use dishes and other reusable containers to carry food or store spices, oil and other things in your kitchen.
Use Fruit Leftovers For Skincare
Yes, orange and lemon peels make good skincare products. Your leftover cucumber can also be converted into your skin tone. You can turn them into a paste or use them directly if they are large enough such as cucumbers. Citrus fruit peels can also be converted into your spice to give flavour to food and homemade candy. You should avoid using peelings from fruits sprayed with harsh preserving chemicals though.
Make Compost For Your Potted Plants
Most of the waste from your kitchen can actually be composted and used to keep your potted plants healthy. You can use coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit peelings and even left-over food to make your own compost as long as you keep it clean and safe from harmful chemicals and pests that might harm your plants.
Pickle Watermelon Rinds
Yes, with sugar, salt, vinegar and water, you can convert your watermelon rinds into a snack that you can enjoy. You can add as many flavours to your pickled melon rinds as you want. Just make sure you boil them for long enough until they soften before putting them in the refrigerator to age until they are ready.
Convert Vegetable Stems into A Smoothie
You can actually cook whole vegetables instead of removing the stems. The stems contain the same nutrients as the vegetables. Some of the stems from celery, spinach, cabbage and other vegetables can be chopped and blended to enrich your smoothie.
What do you do with your leftover food? Do let us know in the comments below.