Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Waste Not - Use It!!!!

We have all heard to term - waste not - want not.  So very true.  If you raise your own food or buy groceries, why would you want to waste any of the efforts?  Use every bit you can in some new and different way!  There are a lot of uses that most people would never think of.

Did you know that carrot tops, or those of beets, radish, turnips, etc. are all edible?  Yes they are.  They have a lot of vitamins and nutrients as well.  I have cooked radish and turnip greens many times and they are tasty.  Each has a different flavor.
You can also use these greens to make pesto!!!  It doesn't have to be just basil!!!!!  You would need about 2 cups chopped, to blend with your oil mixture and seasonings.

Most people think they are tough and just trash them.  I peel them, cook as normal, and they are my favorite bite!!!!  They are so yummy.
You can also slice very thinly, drizzle with oil and seasoning and bake at 400* for about 30-40 minutes for a veggie chip!

Lightly zest what you can and freeze for future use.  Also use the peels to make a zero waste all-natural all-purpose cleaner.  I have listed the method before.  It works nicely, smells good, and it also helps keep ants at bay!!!!

Many people use them to shine and clean the leaves on their house plants (and shoes).  Rub them over a bug bite to stop the itch.  They can be eaten as well!!!!!!  Chop and add to smoothies.  Bake with sugar or honey.  Caramelize with sugar and water - tasty on ice cream. 
The peels are full of essential nutrients and vitamins!!!!!

Use the cores to make apple cider vinegar.  2 C sugar, 2 C water and many apple cores.  Let it ferment for a few weeks.
Use leftover peel to make apple scrap jelly.  Very tasty.  Also, can bake with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon - what a tasty treat.
You can make jelly with peels from peaches or any cling fruit.
You can also dehydrate peels and scraps and make fruit powders - so good to add to smoothies, Jell-O or pudding or on top of ice cream.

Bake them!!!!!!  Top with cheese or any other goodies and bake until skin is crispy.  These used to be purchased at many restaurants and were a costly appetizer.  Lots of vitamins in the skins.

Pickle them!  It seems to be a midwestern thing - but they sure are tasty.  Mom used to make pickles and can them.

Onion skins, scrapings, butt ends, stems, etc. - keep in a container or baggy until you have enough (in freezer) to make veggie stock.  You can also add this to meat bones and scraps for an extra tasty meat stock.

Oh my - many uses.  Breadcrumbs, croutons, dressing bread.  Use to make bread pudding or French toast.  Many, many uses.

Yes, it is good for the garden - but it is also great for a facial scrub!!!! 1/4 C grounds (used), 1/4 C brown sugar and 1/4 C coconut oil.  Mix together in a small container and use to scrub your face - your face feels so fresh and clean afterwards.  Rinse with cool water.

It may be outdated and not working in baking - but it doesn't mean it is done.
Sprinkle on rugs and carpets - let it set a while and then vacuum.  Removes a lot of stale smells.  Use the open box in the refrigerator or freezer to collect smells.  Use in the bathroom as a dusting powder for underarms as a deodorant.  Use with peroxide and use as a tooth whitener.  (My dentist recommends this once a week).  Use as a cleaner in the kitchen and bath.  Use on a damp rag and scrub the oily stove and counters.

Leftover and stale SODA POP - use as flavoring liquid when baking.  Also use to make Jell-O - it adds a lot of fun flavor.  You can also freeze into cubes to use in flavoring drinks and it doesn't water them down.

MILK that is starting to get just a tad off - make biscuits or waffles or pancakes.  Mom always made biscuits with soured milk.  You can freeze into cubes and use in smoothies.

Place in the oven for a while to freshen up!  They will crisp up and still be tasty.  Now you want to make sure nuts are just stale and not rancid.  I even crips up chips and crackers in the microwave - just start with about 30 seconds and see what happens.

GROW food from scraps.  I have started celery and Romaine lettuce from the intact butt ends.  I start in water until I get roots - then I plant in pot.  It isn't the big plant I bought - but it is something I can use!  Also, people do this with green onions - they use the green part and plant the white bulb.  I have always eaten the entire thing!  Maybe that is a Midwest thing as well.  We never wasted any part.
I have chives I can cut for greens and I also use wild onions from the yard in the spring.

Use up those leftover bones, skin, fat scraps from any kind of meat.  Add water and cook until you get a nice deep colored stock.  So good and good for you.  It tastes nothing like the stuff you buy.

I take the tough ends of asparagus and dehydrate them.  Then I run it through the coffee grinder for asparagus powder.  Adds a lot of flavor to cream of asparagus soup!  I do the same with large and too tough okra pods.  I dehydrate them and turn into powder.  It is a natural thickener for soups and stews and adds vitamins as well.

OK - the list goes on and on!!!!!!  Sure, most of these things can be added to compost or can feed the chickens - but I like using them for human consumption too!
Things cost a lot today and it is necessary to use up all we can.
I find it a challenge to come up with ideas to re-make things.

You have any different and new ideas?
I look forward to learning something new!!!!!!!



  1. All of our scraps, except for meat and dairy, go into the compost. Add in the poop from eight chickens and you've got good fertilizer. We have a couple compost bins in the backyard and the compost is used when planting.

    I am hoping old Jim is wrong on his weather forecast.

    1. I can understand that - I just like using them for the house as well as eating.
      It is going to stay fairly warm - so I don't think roads and pavement will be too bad. That is my story and I am sticking to it!!!!!!! LOL

  2. What is this "stale bread" of which you speak? ;-) Never happens in our home!

    Do people really still peel potatoes? It doesn't matter which cultivare I buy, we eat the whole thing even if I do mashed potatoes (which I rarely do).

    The ends/peels etc, like Donna, go into the compost pile. I will admit that I bought a package of English Cucumbers-and why are they always wrapped in plastic? They spoiled so fast that they went into the garbage. I was too lazy to take the time to take all the plastic off and make a mess getting the mush into the compost. Baaaad girl!

    Happy Tuesday everyone!

    1. It takes me a long time to get through bread being alone. I most often do toast with any bread products - but there are other options.
      I do peel potatoes for mashed (they are my favorites). Otherwise I eat the peel as well.
      I do compost occasionally, but try to use what I can in the house. I manage to accumulate enough critters - racoon, opossum, etc. without adding goodies to the compost pile. (it is enclosed)

    2. Elle, if you ever find out why the English cucumber is in plastic, make sure and post. I've always wanted to know, too....

    3. From Taste of Home's website: "The quickest way to identify an English cucumber at the grocery store is by its shrink wrap. These thin-skinned fruits need the extra protection of plastic so they don't get bruised or dried out in transit."
      From Mental Floss: "Since it seems like those dangers have mostly passed once you get your English cucumbers home from the grocery store, you might think it's fine to unwrap them before sticking them in the fridge. But the plastic can extend their shelf life, so it's probably best to leave it on until you're ready to slice and serve them."

      I've never bought them, so relied on the internet. --Elise

  3. I thought that about the green onions too...Husband always eats the whole thing and he is from the south. I do grind up the orange peels fine then put it in the baking soda. Makes a great smelling cleaner for the kitchen sink and beyond.

    1. Thanks - I am not the only one eating the whole thing!
      Great idea on the peels and baking soda. Thanks.
      Ooooo - I forgot about candied peels!!!!!! YUM

  4. We always eat the whole green onion too. I tried growing my own lettuce and celery last summer, didn't work for me. Maybe I need a different growing medium. I have a compost bin, Hubby doesn't like me to use it though because it attracts rats. I put most stuff in the blender before I put it in there then cover it with dirt.
    I so wish we could have chickens but don't want the mess with the
    rat business.
    Interesting info on the banana peels. I usually put my banana peels around my rose bushes, it's good for them.
    Love this list of use it up!

    1. Good another one who eats the whole green onion!! LOL
      I start with water - then plant in loose soil in a pot. I keep out of the bright light too.
      I accumulate coons and possums - it seems to attreact more. I don't compost as much as I used to - so I want to use the scraps in other ways.
      Yes, those peels are great for roses!

  5. Like LaurieS, I've always "planted" my banana peels at the base of roses or used them in the planting hole of flowering shrubs.

    As for the spring (green) onions, even when you use both green and white parts, it doesn't hurt to bury the trimmed off roots in a garden bed. Sometimes you get more onions!

    When we moved early last year, I brought a large jar of bread crumbs with the non-perishable foods we brought along in the car. I'm going to have to toss them now and start "fresh" from stale bread. LOL! Because I've had IBD/UC since I was 16, I get food poisoning more easily than most folks and have to be very careful. It's landed me in the ER more than once. Hospitalized once. Better safe than miserably sorry. We all do what works best for us.

    Excellent tips here, Cheryl. I'd only add that those of us with plenty of leftover chocolate chips and nuts from holiday baking might consider making Valentine's candies! :-)

    1. P.S. We got 10 inches of snow yesterday. Plenty of snow and ice on the roads today. I'm staying in.

    2. Oh my, never thought about having to be careful because of IBD/UC changing eating. I have been so fortunate.
      I don't blame you - be careful.
      Leftover chips and nuts? LOL - yes, it sure would make some tasty treats.
      We are supposed to get a substantial amount of snow tomorrow - we will see. UGH

    3. STAY SAFE and STAY HOME! I know I will be.

  6. I am another one who puts banana skins on her roses, but I soak them in water first and use that water on my houseplants. I really can't fancy eating banana skins, I 'm not that find of bananas, but eat them because they're good for one.
    Broccoli stems, grated, make a good salad base, my daughter's favourite when she was a child.
    Lemon peels can be made into a jam/jelly/ marmalade type thing, though I have never tried it. My used lemon skins go into my washing up water and then the compost bin.
    My daughter made coffee scrubs for Christmas and I love it, she has been told that she must save all her coffee grounds from now on! I don't drink enough coffee.
    I used to freeze all my veg scraps to make stock, but electricity is now so expensive that it's simply not viable.
    When I tried growing onions ( I think what you call green onions, we call spring onions) it wasn't very successful at all, certainly not worth the effort and celery didn't work at all.

    1. I meant to say, that Jack Monroe has a recipe for a vegetarian bake made using veg scraps that looks delicious and is definitely something I intend trying.

    2. I have always used to banana skins in the garden and on flowers as well. I just find it interesting that they can be eaten. We never know when we may be REAL HUNGRY some day!!!!!
      I buy onion 'sets' in the spring - which is basically the bulb. I get enough to replant several times. I eat the whole thing when grown.
      The coffee scrubs are really nice. I love them. Your daughter may have just started a 'thing' for family and friends!!!!

    3. That meal would be good. I use all the leftover veggies for fried rice, lo mien or soup. Always some way to use up those bits and bobs - and save a little money and food!

  7. The old baking soda can also be use to freshen your sink drains with a little vinegar splashed in with it. Lots of great ideas here, Cheryl.

    1. Yes, great reminder to everyone! I do that now and then. I also like to throw some citrus peels in the garbage disposal - for a great fresh scent!

  8. Timely post! I have a couple of apples that have seen better days and I was poking around this morning on Pinterest to find a tasty dessert for tonight. Dinner will be a little light so the good dessert is ideal!

    Great ideas. I can't even remember the last piece of food that got thrown out. We don't waste a morsel! My depression era grandma said that wasting food is sinful. I always listened.

    Oh, look. It just started to snow. All of those east of me,take heed!!

    1. You can make some good desserts with a couple apples. Hope you come up with something yummy.
      Yep, wasting is just sinful, especially today.
      Snow starts here over night!

    2. On the rare occasion my apples go there, I cut into chunks, put in a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and a tsp of water. Microwave for 3m or simmer in a saucepan on the stove. Eat as a treat or pour over a fresh pancake!

  9. I add essential oil to my older baking soda, stir it up, and use it to clean the kitchen sink and the toilet bowls. Smells great and works well as a cleanser!

    1. Great idea - love making it smell pretty. It does make a great cleanser.

  10. I use baking soda instead of commercial shampoo and apple cider vinegar for a rinse. My hair has never looked better with more body and shine. When baking powder in my neck of the woods went up to $4 a can I found that you can use baking soda and vinegar for leavening. Carrot tops often get made into carrot top soup. There are many recipes for it online. Egg shells get saved and run through the high speed blender to turn them into powder and added to the garden. Cauliflower cores get frozen and when there are enough they become fauxtato soup which is dairy free as I use coconut milk because of dairy allergies. We've always eaten the whole spring onion, which we call scallions.

    1. I use vinegar now and
      then as a rinse. I have not use the soda on my hair - but know people that do. Interesting.
      Soup can't be bad. I like most all soups and it is neat how they can be made from about anything.
      Yes, shells on the garden!!! I like to eat the cores of cauliflower - call me weird. I think they are quite tasty.
      I think this is interesting to see all these different uses!

    2. I do the same thing with the baking soda, and then rinse with vinegar. Been doing it for 8 or 9 years and my hair has never been better! I think it would mess with coloring thought, I've just let my hair go white. It's long and white and I use no hair products and it's never been easier!!! Carol

  11. If you have a woodstove, citrus peels are good to put in the water pot on top... lovely scent! I often keep a bag of the peels frozen, in case I need to use the woodstove before citrus season starts. :)

    Broccoli stems are good - my hubs didn't like them, so that's the part I always ate. I like them a lot.

    Egg shells are great for tomato plants - calcium. Also, I've read that they discourage slugs, those sharp pointy bits irritate the soft slug bodies. So sad, too bad. ;)

    Thanks for all the good ideas. Stay warm, y'all.


    1. Another great idea on using the peels for a fresh scent.
      I think broccoli stems are my favorite part! I always put eggshells in the hole when I plant tomatoes and zucchini. Added calcium is great. I never see slugs so that is a good thing.
      I don't think warm will be a problem - it will just be icky! I will be staying home!

  12. Where I live, carrots with tops are about 3x the price of topless carrots!

    1. Really? That is crazy. I wonder what they keep the tops for?

    2. I think they're just trendy .... Makes it look like you've been shopping at a Paris market

  13. Some very interesting ideas on not wasting. Hubby uses egg shells when he ice fishes...not sure how he does though.

    God bless.

    1. That is a new one to me. I would be curious to know the use.

  14. Tonight I was reminded of one other tip for those on GF diets... leftover mashed potatoes, even in small amounts, makes a GREAT thickener for soups and stews. During the Potato Panic of 2022 (grin), I bought a big box of instant mashed potatoes. We always wind up with just a small amount leftover. Beef stew was on the menu this cold, snowy evening using homemade broth and leftover beef roast, and I added just under a cup of cold mashed potatoes at the end to make the "gravy". Works like a charm! I've also made "cream of" and chowder soups using mashed potatoes. I'm not GF, but when you have it, use it! --Elise

    1. Yes that is a great tip. I always keep some on hand for thickening soups. Workes great and tastes good too.

      ALSO - crushed pork rinds make a great filler for meatloaf or meatballs instead of crackers or bread. Adds some extra flavor as well!

    2. Elise, I am GF, and instant mashed potatoes is my go to for coating chicken or fish before putting it into the air fryer. It makes a delicious crunchy coating. Cookie

    3. Cookie that is good to know - thanks.

  15. Thank you for the suggestions nd tips. There are some here that I have never heard of before.