There are so many ways to reuse kitchen scraps to avoid throwing them away! The number one rule in any homestead kitchen should be to use up as much as possible to reduce kitchen waste.
Over the years we have creates quite the system to reusing as much as possible. It is now second nature! Read on to learn how you can start reusing your own kitchen waste in creative ways to save money and reduce your household waste.
1. Make Beef Bone Broth
This is my favorite way to reuse old beef bones and vegetable trimmings such as carrot peels, garlic skins, etc. Each time I have some vegetable peels and old beef bones hanging around I pop them in a ziolock freezer bag until I have enough to make some beef bone broth. It only makes sense to make your own bone broth for pennies from your scraps instead of paying a premium at the grocery store.
2. Make Homemade Chicken Broth
Homemade chicken broth is another way we use up our veggie scraps and chicken bones. No need to separate your leftover scraps in bags. Just put them in one large bag in teh freezer until you are ready to make your own homemade broth. We save vegetable scraps such as onion skins, carrot tops, and even leafy greens such as kale and spinach to make both chicken and homemade vegetable broth.
3. Feed Your Backyard Compost Tumbler
If you aren’t too keen on saving ALL of your kitchen scraps for cooking, you can toss them into your compost bin. This will eventually turn into beautiful, nutrient rich organic matter, providing you with an abundant garden. Be sure to only put clean scraps into your compost pile. Avoid oils such as butter or olive oil. Add organic materials such as potato skins, egg shells, tea bags, broccoli stalks, etc.
4. Use Banana Peels For Your Plants
Create liquid gold for your indoor and outdoor plants by steeping your tossed banana peels in a mason jar full of water. The nutrients in the peels will have your plants very happy.
5. Use Coffee Grounds in Your Garden
Coffee grounds are a great addition to compost because they are rich in nitrogen, which helps to fuel the growth of beneficial microorganisms in your compst pile. You can simply scatter used grounds over your compost or mix them in with other organic materials to encourage decomposition. Coffee grounds help to create a balanced compost by offsetting the carbon-rich materials with their nitrogen content.
6. Use Eggshells as Garden Pest Control
Crushed eggshells can act as a natural pest deterrent in the garden. Scatter them around your plants to create a barrier that snails and slugs avoid due to the sharp edges. Eggshells also add calcium to the soil as they start to decompose, benefiting the plant’s growth and helping to prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes and other like vegetables.
7. Make Apple Scrap Spiced Jelly
Another great way to reuse your leftover food scarps is to save your apple peels and cores to make some apple scrap jelly! I have a super easy and tasty apple scrap spiced jelly which is perfect for gifting over the holidays. Your friends and family will have no clue it came from scraps its so good!
8. Make Apple Scrap Apple Juice
To make apple juice from apple scraps, boil the peels and cores with seeds removed in water, with added sugar if desired, until the scraps release their flavors. After simmering, strain the mixture to separate the liquid from the solids. The leftover liquid is your homemade apple juice, which you can enjoy fresh or preserve by canning or freezing!
9. Regrow Green Onions in Your Windowsill
Regrowing green onions on your windowsill is an excellent way to regrow and have a continuous supply of onions all the time. Just place the white root ends of the onions in a glass of water, ensuring the roots are submerged, and set it on a sunny windowsill. Change the water every few days, and within a week, you’ll notice new green shoots sprouting, ready to be harvested repeatedly.
10. Season Your Cast Iron Skillets With Bacon Grease
Saving bacon grease is an great way season cast iron skillets. After cooking bacon, strain the cooled grease into a container for storing in the fridge. When needed, apply a thin layer to the skillet, creating a durable, non-stick surface that improves the cast iron skillet’s performance and adds additional flavor to your meals.
11. Make Homemade Cleaner
Saving orange and lemon peels to make a homemade cleaner is both eco-friendly and efficient. Steep the orange peels in vinegar for a few weeks in a dark place, allowing the natural oils to infuse, then strain the liquid. This citrus-infused vinegar can be diluted with water and used as a powerful, natural cleaning solution that leaves surfaces fresh and smelling great!