Don't Throw That Out!

We all know food waste is bad, but how do we prevent it? Before food lands in the trash, consider these 10 ways to put peels, trimmings and other still-flavorful nubbins to use.
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Waste Not, Want Not

The average American family puts about a quarter of the food it buys into the garbage. But that doesn't have to be the case. From smarter shopping to using up more of what we buy, we can cut down on food waste one household at a time. Hey, they say one person's trash is another person's treasure, and we'd argue that the same goes for food scraps.

Build a Base for Bread Pudding

If you can't finish a supermarket loaf or baker's dozen before it goes stale, fear not. Day-old croissants, muffins, cornbread or bread make great bread pudding. For every 2 cups of these cubes, add 1 cup of milk or half-and-half, an egg, and some sugar and raisins to a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F until quivery when jiggled.

Save Scraps for Homemade Stock

Bones, carrot trimmings, leek and scallion greens, little onion nubbins, garlic ends, celery leaves and parsley stems are the building blocks of a hearty stock. Keep one bag for bones and another for fresh (not rotten) veggie parings in your freezer. When the bags are full, make a stock.

Throw Snippets Into Smoothies

Apple core trimmings, leftover oatmeal, parsley stems, elderly bananas, wrinkly (not moldy) berries, crinkly mangoes, the good part of a peach with a bruise — these all make good smoothie components.

Boost Plain Rice

Give your side a boost by adding parsley leaves, thinly cross-sliced leek greens or dried-out herbs to the cooking water. Leftover soup works here too.

Blend Herbs and Greens Into Pesto

Toss cilantro stems, wilted arugula or mint into the food processor along with the basil.

Repurpose as Steaming Liquid

You can steam mussels, clams or fish fillets in most kinds of leftover soup.

Use as Booze Infusers

Soak citrus rinds in vodka for a few days or up to a month.

Make Additional Pickles

Stuff trimmed broccoli and cauliflower stems, chile peppers, wrinkled carrots, wilted celery or beet stems into leftover pickle brine.

Add In to Frittatas

Cheese and sausage ends make for good flavor bursts in a frittata or strata (savory bread pudding).

Amp Up the Crunch Factor

We were going to suggest using leftover potato chips by crunching them up over baked casseroles, but we really don’t have an abundance of leftover chips. Stale crackers or tortilla chips are more realistic.

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