Have you been diligently collecting your compostable waste this winter and are starting to question whether or not you will be able to break it all down during this summer season? Or how you could cut down on the amount collected for composting and what else you could be using these scraps for? We will cover some of those options to see what other things these wonderfully helpful scraps can be used for to get the most out of them. We will often start with a grand plan of how to utilize all the food waste we create and go straight to composting as the catch-all for it all. That works until we realize we create more than we can make or use in our gardening space.
Make some broth – For nearly all parts of any veggies you might use in a meal, the chopped, peeled, or leftover pieces from preparing your meal can be saved and used later. When wanting to make broth from your scraps, an easy method to prep for this so that you can have enough leftovers and a diversity of veggies is to place the scraps in a baggie and freeze them until you are ready to make the broth.
Once you are ready to make your broth, place them into a pot and cover them with water (add any herbs you would like for it to be more aromatic). Cook for 10 minutes ONLY. Strain through a sieve and store. It is worth noting that homemade broth will not thicken like store-bought. For extended storage, either can or freeze.
Make more food from the scraps – This is just a reminder to think about what to use those different parts of fruit and veggies for. This could be making croutons from stale bread, using apple peels and cores to make jellies, creating veggie chips from peels, or adding those greens to salads.
Make infusions – The steams and trimmings of many herbs can be added to oils and butter to make wonderful infusions that can spruce up those standard options to high-dollar fairs. Citrus peels are another great option for oils or just wanting some twist to your water. Low-boiling a pot of some of these scraps in water can also be a great way to scent your home.
Natural exfoliants – Making an exfoliant that can help brighten and clear your skin is a simple process of mixing and cutting out much other stuff you will find in store-bought. For coffee grounds and sugar, you can add vitamin E oil or another type that is good for your skin and use it weekly to brighten and exfoliant. Citrus juice can be added to your nails to illuminate them; rinse them with warm water after letting it sit for a little bit.
Use peels to moisturize – Cucumber peels are an excellent moisturizer that you can use from your kitchen scraps. Use them just as you would with slices, and even consider adding it to your bath water.
Make natural dyes – This is a bit more of a fun science adventure option to use your kitchen scraps, but it can be used in more ways than just fabric, such as colored pasta and hardboiled eggs.
This option will be one of the more time-consuming as you will need to ensure that what you have left will be able to grow roots from, as well as know what kind of growing period you will be looking at. Avacado pits are an excellent example of yes, you can grow but will be looking at years to get any real food back out of it. So, make sure if you choose to regrow things; it makes sense for your needs and timeframe or growth area.