Oh, food waste.
You are prevalent across Canada in too many kitchens.
Did you know that approximately 58% of food produced in Canada is lost or wasted annually? Food waste, in turn, creates a whopping 56.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions into our atmosphere.
Food waste statistics can be shocking, but we can start to make changes within our own homes.
Now, there is an abundance of ways to reduce food waste in your home and every step counts! You can donate non-perishables; you can plan before you shop, repurpose shells, rinds, and more into everyday cleaners or plant fertilizers.
But how about in the kitchen?
This week, we wanted to focus on zero-waste recipes that you can incorporate into your kitchen and utilize those typically tossed aside pieces.
From saving veggie scraps to using the entire vegetable or fruit, we wanted to dive into five zero-waste recipes that you will love.
I promise, these ‘second thought’ scraps will turn into something delicious:
I’m always wondering what to do with all those greens attached to the tops of my carrots. I knew they were full of lots of vitamins and nutrients that I couldn’t simply toss into the compost. Well, cue this delicious pesto recipe that will blow your mind!
Prep time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10–15 mins
- 3 cups of carrot top + greens, tough stems removed
- 1/2 cup basil
- 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup (118ml) EVOO
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (vegan: nutritional yeast)
- Remove tough stems and rinse leaves to get rid of dirt. Discard any inedible, dry or yellowing leaves.
- Pulse greens, garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper, basil in a food processor.
- Scrape the sides with a spatula to ensure that it is evenly processed.
- Add in grated parmesan or nutritional yeast.
- While the food processor is running, slowly pouring in the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) until the pulse runs smoothly.
Use as a pasta sauce, dip, or spread over roasted carrots!
Completely edible but oh so often tossed aside.
Prep: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
- 1 cup of strawberry tops (or other fruit scraps)
- Vinegar of your choice: apple cider, white, red wine etc.
- Additional tip: add a few leaves of basil for a twist on the flavour!
- Fill a mason jar with strawberry tops.
- Add in vinegar of choice to cover the strawberry tops.
- Let them steep in the fridge between 2-6 days.
- Strain strawberry tops.
- The vinegar will keep for up to 1 month in the fridge.
Use as a salad dressing as a delicious vinaigrette, marinades for chicken, use a splash when sautéing your greens.
Potato Skin Crisps (Air fry or baked)
A yummy solution for that pile of leftover skins you have after peeling potatoes! Do not skip out on these nutritious pieces that are full of Vitamin C and potassium.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
- 1 cup potato peels (100 grams/6 potatoes)
- 1 tbsp EVOO, avocado or vegetable oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp spices
- Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F)
- Wash and dry potatoes well before you peel
- wash and scrub potatoes, cut blemishes out
- Don’t use green skin/flesh potatoes!
- sprinkle with oil (toss around to evenly coat)
- Spread peels in a single layer on a baking sheet
- Cook in an oven at 200 C for 15 minutes until crispy and golden (turn peels over after 10 mins to help them fully crisp up). You can also use an air fryer.
- Remove from the oven once they reach a crisp to your liking.
- Put in a large bowl, sprinkle salt + spices to coat them.
These potato skin crisps are the perfect tasty snack, salad topper, soup garnish, or side dish! If you don’t fancy potatoes, use other veggie skins such as yams, parsnips and more.
Those hard, ‘inedible’ rinds that we toss away can be used to make a rich, versatile broth to increase the depth of the flavour.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 2 Hours
- 2 tablespoons of EVOO
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped in quarters
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- Thyme, 1 bay leaf, parsley sprigs
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 pound of parmesan rinds
- 8 cups of water
- Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, herbs and black peppercorns.
- Stir until garlic becomes a deep brown, gradually add in the wine and bring to a simmer.
- Stir and scrape any brown bits of garlic, onions and herbs.
- When the liquid has been reduced by half, add in parmesan rinds.
- Add 8 cups of water, bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer
- Stir occasionally to ensure no cheese is stuck to the bottom of the saucepan.
- When broth is flavourful and reduced by half (about 2 hours), strain into a large bowl or airtight container to use later.
- Cover and let broth chill.
- Available to use up to four days after.
Great for soup bases, pasta, braising veggies or chicken, and risotto.
Prep Time: 5-10 mins
Total Time: 45 mins or longer if needed to simmer.
- Save all your ends and scraps from your meals (onion ends/skins/bottoms, carrot skins/bottoms/ tops, tomato/potato/celery tops, herb stems, mushroom stems etc.)
- Water as needed
- Optional additions: chillies, miso paste, a ton of spices!
- Avoid broccoli/cauliflower/brussels sprouts/citrus scraps as these can add bitterness.
- Collect scraps over a period of up to 6 months (freezer).
- Dump scraps into a pot and fill ¾ of the pot (until scraps start to float).
- Bring water to a boil and then let it simmer for at least 30 mins (stronger flavour if simmered for longer).
- Strain water out of stock.
- Refrigerate up to four days or freeze up to three months.
Veggie scrap broth is fantastic for soups, grains (risotto, couscous or rice), and so much more.
- - -