Friday, June 9, 2023

Reusing and recycling food to reduce waste

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Are your bananas turning black? Do you have a few bruised apples? Think the only option is to compost them or toss them? Think again! The following are some interesting recipes to inspire you to reuse food scraps to help reduce your food waste.

The following recipes are found in this cookbook:

Recycling apple parts

My son loves apples. So at least once a day I find myself in the kitchen slicing up an apple and tossing the stem, seeds, and core into the trash (although occasionally I will throw them outside for the wildlife). Here is a way to use the typically unwanted parts of the apple.

Recycling apple parts

Apple Peel and Core Tea

  • 6 apple peels/apple cores
  • 3-4 C water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick) 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Place apple peels in a saucepan. Cover with water and lemon juice and cinnamon. Bring to a boil for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid is colorful and appley.
  2. Strain out the apple peels using a colander positioned over a large bowl, then, add in the honey. Taste… add additional honey or cinnamon to taste.
New use for black bananas

New use for black bananas

The most obvious use for overly ripe bananas is banana bread. My mom always said that the more ripe the bananas were the better the banana bread would taste. Here is a delicious second option.

Overripe Banana Ice Cream

  • Overripe Bananas
  • Cocoa Powder
  1. Slice the bananas and freeze.
  2. Blend the frozen bananas until they reach ice cream-like consistency.
  3. Add cocoa powder

Never throw out the asparagus ends again

Similarly to the core of the apple, I never thought of the ends of the asparagus as having a purpose. Then I saw this inspiring and resourceful recipe.

Asparagus Ends Soup

Asparagus Ends Soup

  • 25-60 asparagus ends
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium red potatoes (and skins), chopped 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1⁄4 cup cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, place the asparagus ends and cover with water to about an inch over the asparagus.
  2. Bring water to a boil and cook the asparagus ends for about 30-40 minutes until mushy
  3. Blend the asparagus and liquid in small batches and strain to get rid of the hard fibrous pulp
  4. Heat oil in a large pot and add the onion and potatoes and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes until vegetables begin to look brown and cooked
  5. Add the reserved asparagus stock and simmer on medium for about 20-30 minutes until all vegetables are cooked through and soft.
  6. Blend everything together until smooth and creamy
  7. Add lemon juice, cream, salt, and pepper.
Everything but the kitchen sink

”Everything but the kitchen sink” soup

This one takes a crack at recycling pretty much everything from carrot peels to wilted spinach.

Vegetable Scrap Lentil Soup

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 wilted celery stalks, minced
  • Carrot peels and tops
  • Green bean ends
  • 1-2 handfuls wilted spinach or other leafy green
  • 1 Cup Cooked red lentils (or other grain of choice)
  • 5-6 C of vegetable broth
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, with the juice
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 smoked paprika, to taste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1⁄4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic and saute for 5-6 minutes, until translucent
  2. Add wilted celery, carrot scraps, and green beans ends and saute for a few more minutes and then add spices (except salt and pepper), stir to combine, and saute for a couple more minutes
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the broth, and the washed lentils. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium simmer (uncovered) for 2-25 minutes, until lentils are tender 4. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the wilted greens until combined and serve hot.

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