Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Don't Throw That Out!

Carrots, Potato Peeler, Cook, KitchenI finally got everything unpacked and put away.  I got a box of wonderfully fresh organic fruits and vegetables to cook but I've had to throw some of the peels, tops, etc out because I haven't been in a position to use them.

Many people throw bones or peels, or pods, or other parts of vegetables because they see them as waste.  There are still lots of things you can do with them before disposing of them but you don't have to throw them out.

1.  My mother always saved left over bones and carcasses from anytime we had a turkey, chicken, pork or steak to form the basis of soup.  She'd throw the bones into a pot of water and simmer until the meat fell off all the bones and it had reduced.  Then she'd add vegetables and noodles and cook till done.  She wouldn't keep fish bones but gave them to my father to bury in the garden.

2.  My grandmother always just boiled the bones in a pot of water with onions, salt, and garlic until the meat till the meat fell off the bones.  She'd let the broth cool before freezing it in ice cube trays or plastic containers to use when the recipe called for broth.

3.  I keep all the trimmings from vegetables such as peels, onion skins, pea shells, leek greens, beet skins, the hard center of the chard or kale leaf, and throw them in a bag to freeze until I get enough to throw in a pot of water to cook until I have a vegetable broth.  When I've strained all the odds and ends out, I bury those in the garden and use the broth in all sorts of things.  I've read you can cook the corn cob in with vegetable scraps for the broth.

4. When I was growing up, there was usually watermelon rind pickles made from the rind of watermelons.  They were a particular favorite with meat due to the spiciness of the finished product.  In addition, someone in the house always dried pumpkin seeds, spiced them, and enjoyed them as snacks.  By the way, you can throw the gummy stuff from pumpkins in the soup pot for the broth.

5. Grate the skins of the lemon, lime, grapefruit, or other citrus to make zests for later use.  I'm discovering more and more recipes calling for lemon or lime zest so I grate it and freeze it in my ice cube tray for later use or dry them.  One can also make candied citrus peel or a marmalade from citrus skins.

6.  Remainders from juicing vegetables and certain fruits.  I take the pulp that is left and add it to cakes, breads, and other baked goods instead of the grated vegetables or diced fruit.  I really don't notice much difference when using the left over carrots, apples, and ginger in a carrot or apple cake.  Its great.

7.  You can take the peel from apples, pears, pineapples or other fruits, throw them in a jar with a tsp of sugar, cover with water, top with a cloth, and stir once a day until it ferments into vinegar, strain, and use.

8.  I don't throw the green part of the leek out.  I use it in place of onions or throw it in soup.  I also take the stem of broccoli, or cauliflower, peel (peels go in soup pot), add to soup or cook separately, blend and use for "cream" in a cream soup.

9.  My father used to take the pickle juice once everyone finished eating the pickles, add cucumbers, olives, or vegetables to pickle them.  He'd get a few batches out of the juice this way.

10.  As certain vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, or potatoes wilt, my mother either cooked them up into a mush before adding them to pancakes or soup, or she shredded them for use in cookies, cakes, or breads.

If you have a way you use vegetable or meat scraps, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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