Give scraps a second life
Toss these neglected foods into a bowl, not straight into the bin
WHILE three million Aussies live in poverty and struggle to put food on the table for their families, the Australian Government estimates food waste costs our economy $20 billion each year.
The good news is there are many ways to cook your discarded food scraps and turn them into amazing dishes.
Family Garden Life founder Becky Searles shares her tips on how to put fruit and vegie scraps to good use.
“Sometimes the stem is as big as the head, so I like to use the stem in stir-frys, soups, pesto or make the most delicious broccoli chips,” Searles says.
“I also love adding stems to spaghetti bolognese.”
Onion skins are awesome in soups and slow cookers because they retain the flavour and are still nutritious.
“You can even boil the skins for 20 minutes to make an infused water, which is said to help with leg cramps,” Searles says. “Just remove the skins from the water and drink the liquid before bed.”
Use the core of a pineapple in vegetable, chicken or fish stock to add some sweetness.
“You can also try a flavoursome iced tea or lemonade or even use it up in a jam recipe because pineapple core acts like a natural pectin,” Searles says.
GREEN STRAWBERRY TOPS
If you’re making a smoothie, you can simply throw the whole strawberry in, top and all, Searles says.
You can also infuse straw- berry tops in water to make yummy flavoured water. Just make sure the tops are washed thoroughly and still green.
So often we think the stalks of herbs aren’t edible, but they can be.
Chop up your stalks just like you do the leaves and add them to stocks, soups, spaghetti sauces or stews.
“They are awesome infused in oils and vinegars as well,” Searles says. “You can blend them to make pesto or add them to marinades.”
POTATO, SWEET POTATO AND CARROT PEELINGS
Did you know that potato skins make the most delicious potato crisps? You can also use the peels of all three in stocks and soups.
When juicing carrots, don’t peel them first, just throw the whole thing in.
Citrus skin can be used for so many things: Infuse lemon peel in your tea, add it to a chicken cavity when roasting or pop it in a jug of water to fla- vour it. You can make jam or marmalade from citrus peel and lemon skin can also be made into lemon sugar or herbed lemon butter.
“You can also place dry skin in your wardrobe to scare off moths, use it to freshen up your fridge, sanitise your cutting board or add to white vinegar for a cleaning remedy,” Searles says.
For more expert tips, visit lifestyle.com.au.