Simple Ways to Reuse Your Scraps

Wednesday March 02, 2016

Vegetable scraps

Food waste has been a popular topic over the last year or so – and rightfully so.  47% of all food waste comes from residential kitchens.  While Community Natural Foods works towards reducing our food waste by providing scraps to The Alice Sanctuary, composting with HOP, and donating almost expired foods to Community Kitchen, we want to help you reduce your food waste in your home!

Below are a few simple tricks to reducing food waste, and will help you save a few bucks along the way.  Many of these tips are composted after they are repurposed – if you are looking for more information on composting, be sure to pick up the March issue of Alive magazine which has a great article on composting!  Find Alive and other free magazines in all three of our store location lobbies.

Veggie Scraps
Your veggies taste just as good in a broth as they do fresh.  Save your almost expired vegetables and scraps in a freezer bag.  Once the bag is full, dump the frozen vegetables in a large pot and fill with water (until the vegetables are completely covered).  Bring the water to boil.  Once it’s reached a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it sit for 1-2 hours.  Strain the vegetables out and ladle your new vegetable broth into mason jars.  Freeze the broth you don’t need right away, or share it with your friends!  Compost the vegetables.

Apple Peels & Cores
Whether you are making applesauce, or apple crisp, you are always left with a pile of peels and cores!  Fear not, we have a solution that will warm your bellies! Add the peels and cores from 5 apples to a large pot and fill with 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar, 1 inch of fresh ginger.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour.  After the hour, turn heat off and add 2 full cloves, and 2 sticks of cinnamon.  Let it sit for another hour.  Strain tea into glass containers and compost the peels and core.  Store the tea in the fridge.  Drink cold or reheat when ready to drink.

Banana Peels
Before composting your banana peels, use it to boost your beauty!  As odd as it may sounds, bananas have a huge benefit to your skin because of their high potassium.  Rub the inside of the peel all over your face and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing the residue off.  Your skin will feel smoother immediately!  Compost your peel after use.

Coffee Grounds
Use your coffee grounds to wake you up at any time of the day!  Use your grounds to make a Cocoa Coffee Face Mask, or add them to a bowl and put in your fridge to neutralize any stinky smells.  Wake your plants up too with coffee grounds – it make for great, natural fertilizer.

Stale Bread
As long as your bread hasn’t gone moldy, it can be reused - the staler, the better!  Break up the stale slice, throw them in your food processor and pulse until broken down to make bread crumbs.  Or save a slice and add it to a bag of brown sugar to keep the sugar fresh.

Bacon Fat
Cooking bacon can often leave a mess with all the melted fat.  Save the fat by adding it to glass containers and store in the fridge (be sure to wait until the oil has cooled).  When you are ready to use it, scoop the desired amount to a pot over medium-high to return to liquid form.  This is great for making french fries, or popcorn to get that extra punch of flavour.