Stop Wasting Food – Part 1

Hey everybody!

Hope your week has started off well. Mine has been going pretty good so far. I got in a little walk this evening and caught up with an old friend. I took Chester along with me and the poor guy had to be packed part of the way. Looks like he needs to be getting into shape, too!

I have been putting together a little “tip-sheet” post for a little while now, and I thought I would share today. I absolutely hate wasting and throwing away food in the kitchen, so I have become creative in trying to use up food before it goes bad or stretch food to the very end. This is a list of some ideas I have put together, so far. If you have other ideas, please feel free to share!

Stale Bread – Use stale bread to make homemade croutons. Simply tear the bread into small, crouton-sized pieces. Spread the pieces evenly onto a baking sheet. Spray the pieces with olive oil cooking spray and then sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. Garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, etc. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Pieces will stay fresh in an enclosed container for several weeks.

Spinach – If it’s the end of the week and you have too much spinach or spinach that’s starting to “turn”, you can use the spinach in multiple other ways. Blend the spinach in smoothies for a “green” smoothie. These also freeze well. You can also chop the spinach into a frittata or quiche. This is a great way to also use up other old vegetables. Simply chop and mix the vegetables in a egg mixture (about 4-5 eggs with milk), add cheese, seasonings, and then pour the mixture into a pie pan for baking.

Celery Leaves – It is much more cheaper to buy celery in whole stalk form. This also makes for more work because you have to prepare the celery, chopping it and removing the leaves and inner stalks that are not quite ripe. Don’t throw these parts away! These parts of the celery have the most intense flavor. They can be used in soups, salads, or dips. My favorite way to use them is to mix them up in my tuna cakes.

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Mixed Vegetables – Is it the end of the week and you have several, random wilted veggies in the fridge? Toss them in with some chicken stock, pasta noodles, and your favorite seasonings for a quick and nutritious soup. The possibilities are endless for this.

Bananas – Use brown, spotted bananas in smoothies to add sweetness and thick consistency. You can also mash these up and add them to the batter for pancakes, waffles, or muffins. Add them to you Greek Yogurt with a little vanilla extract and granola for a “banana pudding” treat. Freeze several and then mix in the blender for banana “ice cream” froyo. Add your favorite toppings or other flavorings such as cocoa powder or peanut butter.

“Crumbies” – AKA the bottom of the bag for things like crackers, cookies, nachos or cereal. I use these to top my salads, soups or yogurt for some extra texture and flavor. The Hubby despises that I keep these packages when they’re pretty much empty. But nothing goes wasted if it can be used!

Herbs – Herbs are quite expensive when purchasing them from the store, and most of the time you don’t actually need as many herbs as you have to buy for a single recipe. For leftover herbs, simply chop them up and freeze them in water in an ice cube tray. When you’re ready to add them to cooking or smoothies, all you have to do is drop in a few ice cubes.

I hope you all enjoyed these tips. Some of them you may already be familiar with, but hopefully you got some new ideas, as well.

Do you have any creative ways or tips to not waste food?

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