8 Tricks for Using Kitchen Scraps

It isn’t rare to hear comments about the costs associated with eating healthy. But utilizing food scraps (like stale bread and carrot stems), which are inevitable in most kitchens, is one easy way to save money. Here are eight tips.
153577134

153577134

Carrot on wooden background

Photo by: Nadezda Verbenko

Nadezda Verbenko

Carrot on wooden background

1. Vegetable Stock: A simple use for leftover veggie scraps–like herb stems or onion and carrot ends–is a simple stock. Collect mild yet aromatic vegetable scraps (think carrots, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, kale) and herb scraps (skip the cilantro) and add them to a large pot. Fill with water and simmer for several hours. Strain and store in the freezer.

2. Saved Stalks: Broccoli stalks add to the price per pound, so don’t throw half your money in the trash. Utilize the stalks for slaws, vegetable stocks and soups. They taste great and are packed with nutrients!

3. Glorious Greens: We often buy root vegetables like beets and then the first thing we do is remove their beautiful green tops. Dark, leafy greens are practically a multivitamin, so it’s a shame to toss them away. Saute them as you would kale or spinach. If they are bitter, add a little something sweet, like honey or dried cherries, to balance the flavor.

4. Terrific Tops: Feather-like carrot tops are packed with nutrition and flavor. Try subbing carrot tops for parsley in simple sauces. Chopped carrots tops are also great as a garnish to a soup and, roughly chopped, they taste wonderful in a salad.

5. Perfect Pesto: Tired of tossing the ends and stems of the kale or spinach you are cooking up? Give them a quick blanch and shock and toss them into your traditional pesto blend for a vegetable-fortified sauce.

6. Meatloaf Mix: Save the ends of carrots, peppers and onions and puree in a food processor with an egg. This flavorful and nutrient-dense mixture is the perfect addition to meatloaf or meatballs. Use leftover grains like quinoa or rice instead of breadcrumbs to help bind the mixture.

7. Extra Herbs: Toss leftover herbs and stems into your blender with some extra-virgin olive oil and give it a whirl. This simple and flavorful herb oil will add a little extra yum to your next salad dressing, marinade or main dish. Freeze the oil in ice cube trays for easy use.

8. Extra Leaves: Tired of tossing those artichoke leaves to get to the heart? Save them and give them a quick blanch and shock. Toss with oil, salt and pepper and roast them up for a tasty artichoke “chip.”

Keep Reading

Next Up

10 Timesaving Kitchen Hacks

True, time in the kitchen can be relaxing and therapeutic — but that doesn’t mean efficiency is a bad thing. There are lots of shortcuts that make cooking a healthy meal quicker and simpler. Here are ten favorite tricks of the trade.

Smart Appliances in Today's Kitchen: Hot or Not?

Most major kitchen appliances are expected to last an average of 14 years ––will the same remain true of smart appliances? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, with smart tech-enhanced appliances appearing in midrange markets as well as the highest of high end, it’s time for the consumer to understand what smart features are worth it –– and which to avoid.

50 Pasta Dinners

Pick a sauce and try something new for pasta night. 

5 Foods To Always Have In Your Fridge

A fridge filled with health-promoting ingredients is an amazing thing. Next time you stand there scanning the shelves, make sure these foods are within reach.

8 Tricks for Using Kitchen Scraps

Utilizing food scraps (like stale bread and carrot stems), which are inevitable in most kitchens, is one good way to save money. Here are 8 tips.

8 Ways to Use Leftovers

Don't throw out leftover buttermilk, tomato sauce, Greek yogurt, cheese or bread -- turn the leftovers into a whole new dish.

8 Ways to Use Leftover Ham

With so many delicious ways to use the leftovers, you might want to make some extra ham this Easter.

8 Tricks for Lightening Up Holiday Foods

We heart holiday food, but holiday food doesn’t always love our waistlines. Use these simple tricks to lighten up your favorites.

At Your Disposal: How to Use Up Kitchen Waste

Chefs tell Food Network Magazine how they use perfectly good ingredients that the rest of us throw away.

3 Dads Who Made Us Crack Up with Their Kitchen Fails

Take a second to appreciate (and giggle at) these classic dad moments.
More from:

Quick-Fix Meals

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.