6 Ways to Repurpose Food Scraps

September 09, 2019

We know it’s best not to waste food, including food scraps leftover from cooking, but what do you do with them? You may be surprised by all of the ways you can reuse food scraps and turn them into a delicious culinary creation. Here are six ways you can repurpose your family’s food scraps.

#1 Bake in Color
The bright colors of ripe berries, the brilliant violet hues of beets and the golden yellow color of onion skins can add beautiful color to your next dessert. Simply follow these steps:

Separate your fruit and vegetable scraps then place them in a blender and blend, but be sure to blend fruits and vegetables separately so you don’t mix colors. 

Add water as needed until each mixture turns into a thick liquid.

Strain any remaining seeds.

Heat each individual mixture in a saucepan on low until the colored liquid becomes a paste.Use as you would traditional food coloring.

View a full list of colors and how to make them here.

#2 Create a Sauteé
Use leftover food scraps to create a sauteed side dish for your next dinner with family and friends. Whether you roast radishes and radish greens or make sweet and spicy sauteed kale stems, vegetable scraps can quickly be transformed into a delicious side dish with a little bit of cooking oil and some herbs, seasonings, and spices. 

#3 Freeze Fruit
Elevate your next event with fruit-flavored ice cubes. Simply cut your fruit scraps into small pieces, place in an ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze. That’s it! Some great fruit options that will add a subtly sweet taste to your water include blackberries, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, and raspberries. You can even add fresh mint leaves for an added touch of freshness. You can also repurpose your fruit and vegetable scraps by freezing them for future smoothies. Simply chop them into smaller pieces and place them in freezer-safe glassware. You can even do the same with any smoothie leftovers. Simply scrape any extra smoothie remaining into your blender into ice cube trays and then when you make that same smoothie, add in the extras from your last batch. 

#4 Go Stir Crazy
Elevate your extra food scraps by making a homemade stir fry. Broccoli stalks, cauliflower stalks, coriander roots, and radish leaves can all be incorporated into stir fry dishes. Add a protein source like chicken, fish or chickpeas. Serve over a bed of basmati rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice, then add a drizzle of your favorite stir fry sauce. Top with a light sprinkling of chia seeds, flax seeds or sesame seeds for an added crunch of texture then serve and enjoy.

#5 Sizzle a Sauce
Extra food scraps can easily be repurposed into a homemade sauce perfect for your favorite dinner entree or atop your favorite crackers combinations. Use that extra kale to make a batch of Sprouted Sunflower Seed and Kale Pesto or Carrot Top Chimichurri.

#6 Stock Up on Broth
Every part of the vegetable contains flavor, even the parts you don’t typically use in meal prep. Think broccoli stalks, carrot tops, fennel fronds, garlic skins, herb stems, and onion skins. Simply place any vegetable scraps in a freezer-safe dish and freeze. Once the dish is full, place the vegetables into a large pot of water and simmer on low to create your very own homemade vegetable broth. You can even save these food scraps for Thanksgiving when you repurpose your turkey to make a batch of homemade bone broth.

You don’t have to be a die-hard DIY-er to have fun with food scraps. Next time you find yourself about to throw away unused carrot tops or thick onion skins, think twice and use these six simple steps to repurpose your food scraps.

Tag us @simplemills so we can see how you repurpose your food scraps.

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