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zero waste

Everyone is looking at ways to make thei food last a little longer these days.

Whether you’re trying to cut back on food waste or stretch your dollar a little further on groceries, finding creative ways to use leftover food is a good place to start. And thanks to the internet, crowdsourced tips and tricks are only a click away.

A Redditor who goes by DAGuardian shared how they had recently shared how a quick Google search led them to discover how to make a soup paste from pea pods, followed by a recipe for a “Cinnamon Sugar Treats” using leftover breadcrumbs. This led them to asking the community:

“What are some of your ‘leftover’ ingredients that other people throw away but you use?”

Below are some truly ingenious answers. And the best part is: you don’t have to be a culinary whiz in order to incorporate some of these into your meal-making routine.

1. “Broccoli stalks , I either roast them and serve them like any other roast veg or chop them up finely and add to stews, they are delicious.” -Guilty_Nebula5446
food, recipes, leftovers, ideas for leftovers

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2. “I’m obsessed with using everything that’s edible. One thing that comes to mind that’s probably rare for home cooks: carrot tops. They literally taste like a carrot if it was an herb, and can used as such. One thing I love to do is eat it with the carrots by turning it into a chimichurri with other herbs and olive oil. It’s also a tasty garnish on its own.” -Hot-Celebration-8815

3. "Pineapple peel tea. When you cut a pineapple, save the core and peel. Boil that with two sticks of cinnamon, an inch of ginger, and a tsp of turmeric for maybe 20-30 min, let it sit for a hour, strain and yum!" -Rachilllii

4. "Berries that are juuust past the point where you want to eat them as-is make great jams or sauces, that's an old school thing to do." -CaptainLollygag

food, recipes, leftovers, ideas for leftovers

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5. "Lots of cheese rinds are edible. They can be used to add funk to soups and braises, blended into powders that can be added to bread doughs, crackers, all sorts of stuff."Hot-Celebration-8815

6. "The stems from shiitake, oyster, and other of the more flavorful mushrooms. I dry them and then throw them into broth, which I make with all the left over chicken bones I save!" -AccidentalNarwhal

7. "I see a lot of people throw away the stems for cilantro and just use the leaves. I use every last inch of the cilantro! Heck, the stems have even more flavor in my opinion." -DisneyAddict2021
food, recipes, leftovers, ideas for leftovers

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8. "When my kids were little their favorite treat was when the jam jar was empty except for the last little bit, we would put some ice in it and fill with milk, seal it up and they would take turns shaking it then each had a little glass of flavored milk as a treat. Clean jar, no waste probably less sugar than commercial flavored milk and they thought it was the greatest thing ever.😁" -nomiesmommy

9. "I never dispose of pickle juice. It's so good for you. It has a lot of electrolytes so it's great for dehydration. It releives muscle cramps. It's great for your digestive tract. It can even help relieve menstral cramps. I usually drink about 2 to 4 oz and follow it up with at least 8 oz of water. I also sometimes use it in place of lemon juice in recipes. It has that great acidity and tang like lemon but it's different enough so it makes people go hmm what is that. It's my secret tuna salad weapon." -BeautifulHindsight

10. "I collect the heels. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer. With 8 heels, I can make a large, killer bread pudding that disappears within hours…" -Haughty_n_Disdainful

food, recipes, leftovers, ideas for leftovers

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11. "I freeze vegetable scraps to make vegetable stock. It couldn't be easier; it contains nothing processed, has no salt, and is delicious. Whenever I chop vegetables, I drop whatever is left into a Ziploc, like onion and carrot tops, fennel tops, zucchini tops, anything. When I have a gallon-sized Ziploc full, I dump it into a pot, cover it with about two inches of water, bring it to a boil, and then simmer it for about an hour. Strain and freeze."u/nerdzen

12. "Potato peels! After you peel potatoes, wash and dry the peels. You can fry them later like chips, and they make a delicious snack; just need some salt." u/No-Access-1761

food, recipes, leftovers, ideas for leftovers

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And there you have it, some delicious ways to cut down on food waste and get a little more taste bud bang for your buck. Bon appétit!