Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

Cooking with Food Waste (Fall)

Reducing food waste is a skill, and practicing this skill changes with the seasons. Cooking in our house looks a lot different now than it did a few months ago. Here are some ways I recently used food that would otherwise have been wasted.

Cool weather means more baking in our house. We’ve been making more oat milk to add to our muffin batters, and saving the pulp to add to granola. The granola bakes up wonderfully with the oat pulp added to it, and it seems to clump together more than when we don’t include oat pulp.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch:

I’ve been volunteering with a local nonprofit to harvest food from fruit trees around town. Volunteers are encouraged to take some imperfect fruit home with them, so I’ve taken quite a few bruised and damaged apples home to use. I’ve made a plethora of apple crisps and applesauce, as well as some apple cakes and muffins. While I keep the apple skins on for many baked dishes, I choose to remove them when making sauce. I have used those apple peels along with all of the apple cores to make apple scrap vinegar. The vinegar is still fermenting, but I’m looking forward to using it in future recipes.

Celery leaves from our CSA were used alongside (clean) onion peels, carrot skins, and other saved veggie tops. They were boiled together with plenty of water to make a nourishing vegetable broth.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood:

Stale homemade bread was cubed up, tossed with oil and spices, and baked into crunchy croutons. We will be making them again, even without the excuse of having stale bread.

Photo by Cats Coming:

Last but not least, we used up some bagged soup mix from a friend who was moving. She gave us the soup mix, but my family isn’t typically excited to eat this sort of meal. Instead of using it as is, we opted to add lots of sautéed vegetables, some of the broth I mentioned earlier, and some blackened corn. The soup turned out delicious, and we were happy to eat it rather than uninterested.

Those are a few of the ways we’ve been minimizing food waste. I’m curious, what are some ways you’ve reduced food waste lately?