Happy Earth Day! I love this day as it makes me reflect on how I can make a difference to the health of our planet. From reusing containers to not throwing away food unnecessarily to composting food waste. We can all make a difference in the war against waste. According to a study by ECOlunchbox, the typical family wastes about $450 on throw-aways and creates thousands of pieces of garbage — just a lunchtime – every year! That’s crazy . . .
In conjunction with this month’s Recipe Redux theme: Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste
“In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we’re challenging ReDux members to show how they reduce food waste. Whatever you would normally toss, use it up. Share tips for reducing food waste in meal planning, prep or using up scraps.”
Here are some ways that I try to reduce food waste in my house:
- make bread crumbs or croutons out of old, stale bread (if moldy, cut off areas)
- turn aging fruit in smoothies
- saute shriveling mushrooms with garlic and onions
- puree softening tomatoes into tomato sauce
- put peels of bananas, oranges and kiwi in the ground as a fertilizer
- don’t throw out eggs just because they are past their expiration date; they can last up to 3 – 4 weeks longer. (Try the sink or float test: if an egg sinks it’s still good to eat; floaters are not still good as gases are building up inside the egg).
- infuse water with overripe fruit or aging herbs or spices. From watermelon to cucumbers to lemons to oranges; simply cut them up and squeeze or toss in with rind to flavor your sparkling or still water.
The best part is: you can throw whatever you want in; it doesn’t have to look pretty to taste great. You can eat the fruit and veggies after you enjoy the flavored liquid.
Here’s a simple infusion.
Strawberry Mint Lemon Cucumber Spritzer
1 mini cucumber, unpeeled and sliced
1/2 large lemon, unpeeled
2 – 3 strawberries, quartered
1 – 2 fresh mint leaves
8 ounces sparkling water
Toss all ingredients into a large glass or mason jar. Add water, gently stir, sip and enjoy!