Zero waste cooking begins with a simple rule: utilize all parts of your ingredients, embracing nose-to-tail and root-to-stem approaches.
-Plan your meals -Think twice when eating out -Repurpose what you can -Compost what you can’t reuse
Rather than discarding stems from veggies like Swiss chard and kale, chop and sauté them for added flavor, include in soups or blend into smoothies. Similarly, fennel stalks and broccoli stems can be roasted, grilled, or sautéed, while broccoli stems work well for coleslaw.
Utilize attached greens from root veggies like radishes, beets, and turnips: add raw to salads, sauté, make kimchi, or substitute in spinach recipes. Extend life of slightly wilted salad greens with pesto, juicing, or stir-frying to reduce waste.
For zero waste cooking, if peeling is necessary, make the most of peels from carrots, potatoes, apples, and more by turning them into chips, dehydrated snacks, or adding them to sauces after a thorough scrub.
Collect kitchen scraps like onion peels, herb stems, and carrot tops in the freezer; once full, turn them into stock after washing and straining.
Transform overripe fruits like bananas and berries into puree; freeze or make fruit leather for later use.
If you dislike woody mushroom stems or prefer peeled apples, utilize them for infusions like teas or extracts. Aromatically flavorful parts like herbs, fruits, or vegetables, including strawberry and citrus tops, can be repurposed for infusions or tinctures; later, compost them after flavor extraction.
- Banana peels soothe bug bites. - Eggshells scrub pots and enrich soil. - Dried corn cobs scrub pots and replace wood chips for grilling. - Leek green tops wrap foods or steam like banana leaves. - Citrus seeds yield pectin. - Avocado pits sprout house plants and enhance enchilada sauces.