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Smart and Useful Ways to Use Food Scraps

15 June, 2022
How to use food scraps

What can we do to avoid wasting food scraps?

Everyone can try to change and improve things in their own small way, by buying local produce and opting to source food from small producers. In the immediate future, it's certainly useful to reduce food waste to a minimum. There are many smart, useful and above all tasty ways to use food scraps. It may seem like a small and irrelevant gesture, but it's actually the starting point for a more sustainable and also healthier table.

We've gathered a lot of useful tips in this infographic to keep as a favourite:

how to use food scraps Infographic Fine Dining Lovers

Let's see all our tips for using food waste in a smart way.

How to use fruit scraps

Fruits

Seeds

Watermelon, apple, pear, cherry and melon seeds can be planted to grow ornamental seedlings. Cherry pits are perfect for preparing liqueurs and roast watermelon seeds are excellent for adding interest to salads.

Zest and peel

You can create delicious pickles and candied fruit with fruit zest and peels. You can also boil them in water to create fragrant and delicious drinks, like herbal teas, or dehydrate them to create interesting decorative powders for your dishes. You can also make fruit juices, centrifuges and extracts, aromatic essences and, by frying them, you can make interesting chips to decorate your desserts, and more.

Leaves

Lemon, orange and tangerine leaves are excellent for making herbal teas and infusions. Perfect even dehydrated and powdered to obtain aromatic teas. Finally, add to the water when steam cooking and you will get delicately aromatic foods in return.

Stalks

Don't throw away apple, pear, orange, lemon and cherry stalks, they'll be useful for preparing herbal teas and make perfect natural shavings to burn for smoking meat and fish. 

How to use vegetable waste

Vegetables

Stems

With the stems of many vegetables (asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms and cauliflower, for example), you can make decorative powders, centrifuges and extracts, crunchy chips, pickles, jams and stock cubes. Stems are also excellent for enriching steamed ingredients when placed in the cooking water.

Skin and peel

Peels and pods of carrots, broad beans, peas, tomatoes and pumpkin can all become delicious chips, enrich juices and extracts, make delicious decorative powders or can be transformed into very sweet candied fruit. Also try using them to make pickles and jams, soups or stock cubes. They're also excellent for giving flavor to steamed ingredients when added to the water.

Roots

It may seem impossible, but the roots of leeks and spring onions, if washed very carefully, can be fried until crunchy, serving as the perfect decoration for your dishes. Also use roots to make cooking stocks and broths for a truly amplified vegetable flavour.

Leaves

The leaves of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery and artichokes are perfect for extracts and centrifuges, to prepare healthy concotions and to flavor water for steam cooking. Also prepare soups and veloutes, or, in the case of broccoli and cauliflower, they can become excellent fillings for tortelli and ravioli.

Chef Karime Lopez gave us other tips on how to use vegetable scraps in the video series Why Waste? with Massimo Bottura..

How to use fish scraps

Fish

Fish skin

With salmon, sea bream and sea bass skin you can make interesting chips and powders to decorate and add flavour to your dishes. 

Fish bones

Salmon, sea bass and sea bream bones, can become excellent chips or powders to decorate dishes, as if they were sea spices. Also perfect for adding flavor to broths and concentrated stocks or for enriching water used for steam cooking.

Fish heads

Sea bass, sea bream, gurnard, amberjack and redfish heads are perfect for boiling into tasty broths and concentrated stocks, as well as making stock cubes to freeze and use as needed.

Shells

Scampi, prawn and sea cicadas shells are perfect for broths and stocks.

How to use meat scraps

Meat

Jessica Rosval reveals a fantastic way to use meat scraps, especially fat, in Why Waste? using fat for simply delicious recipes.

Skin

Chicken and pork skin are perfect for making soups or for frying to make decorative chips for your dishes.

Bones

Lamb, chicken, beef and pork bones are very useful for making stocks and stock cubes.

How to use scraps in the kitchen

There is also other just as useful precious food waste, like:

Aged cheese rind: which you can use to add flavour to stocks, broths, soups and make incredible chips, as in the recipe shared by Chef Taka for the video series Why Waste?

Pasta cooking water: useful for washing dishes, as a base for broths and stocks, for steam cooking and for making pizza, bread and focaccia.

Coffee grounds: perfect for helping to scrub pans clean.

An illustration of salad leaves.

Infographic: Discover 12 Types of Salad Leaf

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