Give scraps a sec­ond life

Toss th­ese ne­glected foods into a bowl, not straight into the bin

Stanthorpe Border Post - - TASTE - EMILY DUFTON

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.

BROC­COLI STEMS

“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

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.”

PINEAP­PLE CORE

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.

HERB STALKS

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

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.

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