Here’s How to Repurpose Food Scraps into Mouth-watering Dishes

Many of us just throw away the bones, peels, and scraps when cooking at home because they won't be used in the dish. After eating, we scrape everything off our plate and throw it in the trash or down the garbage disposal.

The majority of the food you're throwing away is edible or reusable, so even though it may seem like the simplest way to clean up, doing so results in a significant amount of food waste and financial waste.

And while you might not find the phrase "food waste" to be particularly enticing, your opinion may change once you discover the delicious, nutrient-dense foods that creative cooks have developed. Here are a few of our preferred repurposed snacks.

Turn Citrus Peels into Candy

Citrus peels, including those of grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges, are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Make sure to thoroughly wash them before making the candied peels for a healthier sweet treat.

Use the zest to add flavor to savory dishes and baked goods. You could also make your own limoncello to use in cocktails using the peels.

Pickle Watermelon Rinds

Although watermelon is a well-liked summertime treat, the rinds are usually neglected in favor of the fruit's delicious insides. Watermelon rinds can, however, be preserved and pickled to make a salty, crunchy snack. 

The rinds are simmered in a solution of vinegar, water, sugar, and salt, just like other fruits and vegetables, until they are soft, and then you store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat them. Spices and seasonings like ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cloves can be added to the mixture if you're feeling particularly inventive.

Enjoy Stale Bread as a Decadent Dessert

You should try using your old bread for French toast or bread pudding if you haven't already. The custard and liquid bases for these recipes absorb perfectly into dry bread, giving them their incredible flavor.

Making bread crumbs or freezing it for later use are options if you don't think you'll use them before it goes bad. In addition, stale bread works well as a thickener for soups, whether it is crumbled or used in large, dense chunks, as in ribollita.

Fried Rice Balls

If you've ever wondered what to do with leftover rice from takeout, try this simple recipe. There are few dishes that can be made with leftover ingredients, but fried rice is almost always the best when made using day-old rice. 

This dish makes a great appetizer before dinner and allows you to be creative. The rice balls can also be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as diced avocado, cooked shrimp, or even a spicy tuna mixture. These modifications will give the dish a distinctive twist and increase its appeal.

Potato Skin Chips

Once you try this delectable meal, you'll never discard leftover potato scraps again. Potato skins are thin and fragile, making them ideal for making chips. Since they're prepared from potato skins, these homemade chips are high in fiber and nutrients, and they're a wonderful, crispy snack for the whole family. 

Making your own potato skin chips is also a better option to store-bought chips, which are usually rich in salt and bad fats. You may even personalize the seasoning for a unique and delectable snack.

Over-ripe Bananas

You may bake banana bread with overripe bananas. For banana bread, a banana that's rather too soft and mushy for your breakfast is ideal since the darker the banana, the sweeter and more flavorful it will be. 

Freezing overripe bananas and using them later in smoothies or as a natural sweetener in oatmeal or yogurt is another fantastic use for them. In addition, overripe bananas are a great source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. Don't discard them; instead, make the most of them in your recipes.

Bacon Fat

The crisp slices may be the real star, but the bacon fat is nothing to just discard. Plus, tossing it down the drain or in the trash can't be good for your home's plumbing or the environment. 

It adds a subtle smokiness to maple bacon kettle corn, tamales, and more. Instead of throwing away the bacon grease, you can use it to add flavor to your favorite dishes and reduce waste. Additionally, using bacon grease as a cooking oil can also be a more cost-effective option compared to buying other oils.

Broccoli Stalks

Although broccoli stems are sometimes disregarded, they are flavorful and full of nutrients. Use them instead of throwing them away by making this delectable meal for a nutritious and filling snack. Use the florets in your next stir fry and make these wonderful baked fries with the stalks. 

The best snack is chimichurri tahini dipped in them. They can also be spiralized into noodles, blended into soups, thrown into broths, roasted into fries, and made into pesto.

Bone Broth

Short ribs, bone-in steaks, and rib roasts all provide excellent sources of beef bones, which may be used to make nutrient-rich bone broth. This incredibly healthy stock works well as a foundation for soups, sauces, gravies, or as a filling beverage on its own. 

The cooking time is significantly reduced by the Instant Pot, enabling you to prepare it in the afternoon. Also, it helps in drawing the most nutrients possible from the bones, making them a fantastic source of collagen, amino acids, and minerals that promote gastrointestinal health and strengthen the immune system.

Apple Jelly

Save the cores and peels from your next batch of apple pie or applesauce to make delectable apple jelly. This delicious stovetop apple jelly can be made with just four ingredients and several canning jars, and it will fill your home with a delightful cooking scent. 

It may be added to a cheese platter at a party or spread on toast or a peanut butter sandwich. This recipe for apple jelly is a fantastic way to use up any apples that might be softening or becoming damaged. Also, it makes a lovely handcrafted present for loved ones.