Ask Away...: Waste Not, Want Not: What to Make with Food Waste

Friday, November 11, 2016

Waste Not, Want Not: What to Make with Food Waste

How quick are you to throw away your food waste? Did you know that you could be throwing it out before you've made the most of it? Even when you think you can no longer use something, you can often still get something out of it. For example, vegetable peelings or bones and fat from meat can come in handy. You can use them to make a broth, jelly or similar product to flavor your food. You might think that your bread is too dry to eat, but it could still become breadcrumbs or a topping for a meal. If you think that something is waste, it might not be. In fact, you might be able to make something healthy and nutritious from it.

Uses for Bread

Bread is something that is very easy to throw away. Much modern bread has preservatives to help it last longer. However, we can still find ourselves judging it as too dry and throwing it out. When you buy or make fresh bread, it might only last a day or so before it's past its best. But don't throw out stale bread just because it will no longer make the softest sandwich. There's still plenty you can use it for. Firstly, you could turn it into breadcrumbs. They're excellent to use as a binding ingredient in things like meatballs or burgers. You can also make toast or croutons, or perhaps use it in a bread and butter pudding.


Animal Fat and Bones

If you cook with meat, you can often end up with a variety of off cuts. You might have trimmed the fat from some pork chops or be left with a chicken carcass. Instead of putting these straight into your compost, make sure you've extracted all the flavor. Much of the flavor of meat is in the fat, so make sure you use it when you cook. You can trim it off, but it's a good idea to put it in the pan when you're cooking. You can also use bones to make a healthy broth. It's easy to find out how a healthy broth can benefit you. It's much better to make your own than to buy store-bought ones, which can be full of salt and MSG.

Dairy Products

No one wants to touch a dairy product that's about to turn or already has. The smell alone can sometimes be enough to make you want to banish it to the garbage. But you can still make use of these products. Milk can be useful even after it has gone sour and split. You can use it for baking or cooking without it harming you. If you make something like soda bread or scones, they can actually benefit from the sourness and thickness of the milk. If you have hard cheese that's gone south, you might be able to save it. Cut off any mold, and you're likely to reveal perfectly edible cheese underneath. If it has gone dry, you can still melt it in a grilled cheese sandwich or something similar.

Before you throw away your food waste, think about whether it is actually waste. The planet will thank you!

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