Pams Prep Kitchen: Hacks to Reduce Food Waste
There are tons of ways your household can reduce food waste when cooking! Just a few small changes in the kitchen can minimise the amount you bin each week – saving a bit of cash and keeping your loved one's tummies happy! Using up ingredients on their last legs by freezing, roasting and using in smoothies and soups are some classic tips, but one of our fave things to do is find new and creative ways to cook with food scraps that would usually be discarded. Find out how you can utilise your scraps to make delicious goodies by following our hacks!
Use vege scraps & chicken bones to make stock!
Food scraps are part of life. From peeling, chopping, slicing and stripping - most meals mean an abundance of leftover scraps that would usually be binned. Instead, try saving things like onion and potato peel, carrot ends and old herbs to make delicious flavourful stock for soups and casseroles. You can even store this bag of scraps in your freezer and add to it each day for a zero-waste storage hack!
We also love using our broccoli and cauliflower stems that would usually just get put in the compost! The stems of these veggies are full of flavour and have great texture. Dice or chop it up and add it to your pasta, soups and risotto, or keep it whole and simmer it in with your stock!
To make your stock, simply add your veggie scraps to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for at least 3 – 4 hours. For a chicken stock, save the chicken bones from your Sunday roast and add it to the stock with your veggies. Strain and cool and either add to a large sterilised jar or freeze in ice cube trays. Homemade stock can last in a sealed jar in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Make sure to save at least 1 inch of space in your jar for the stock to expand!
For a chicken stock, save the chicken bones from your Sunday roast and add it to the stock with your veggies. For an even simpler way of using up your scraps and bones as well as leftover chicken, try this Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth Soup. It’s great to pop on in the morning and leave to cook throughout the day (or even overnight!) and be ready in time for a wholesome dinner.
Use your potato peels to make chips!
Another way we love to make use of our food scraps is by utilising potato peels to make crispy chips! Potato peels are full of texture and still have that hot chip kind of flavour – so save them when you’re next making mash! Add to a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven at 200°C for around 15 minutes until they’re crispy and golden! These work great in the air fryer too. When serving, sprinkle with salt and pair with your favourite dipping sauce.
Roast your pumpkin seeds for a crispy topping!
We’re all about saving any parts of a vegetable that we can! Pumpkins are a great example – the seeds are actually delicious as their own addition to a meal or simply munched on as a nutritious snack! To make them, simply scrape the seeds out of the pumpkin, removing any fibre, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle over some olive oil, a sprinkle of your favourite spices, salt & pepper and toss to coat. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 12 – 15 minutes, tossing occasionally until golden and crispy. Allow to cool before adding to your favourite meals. We love using them to add texture and flavour as a topping on our Pumpkin Winter Wellness Soup, or for tossing through dishes such as our Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad.
Utilising your scraps in the kitchen is a healthy and eco-friendly way of combating food waste. Always keep an eye out for what you’re about to bin - you never know how useful and delicious it may be!
Quick 'n Easy Hacks
Reduce food waste and save time by freezing the ingredients that are at risk of going bad.