Sustainability in the Kitchen
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Here are some creative ways I try to reuse items that I would normally bin in the past.
Over-ripened bananas - are disgusting to eat. I would peel it, cut off browned bits, cut into small pieces, freeze, throw into blender with 1 cup of another type of fruit, put the mixture into a container into the freezer. Voila, banana "ice-cream". I would thaw it for a few minutes before consuming.
Banana mango dark choco chip.
2 frozen bananas with 1 cup of other frozen fruit can make sorbet in a blender.
Made scoby candy by turning extra scoby from kombucha brews into gummy candy by boiling it and adding brown sugar. I used wax paper as wrappers. You can also blend scoby into smoo for added nutrition and you won't really taste the scoby.
To make berries last longer in the fridge, after I wash them, I douse them in vinegar and pat dry with paper towels. Return to the fridge and you can eat them slower, normally right after you wash them they have to be consumed fairly quickly.
Stale bread can be diced up, tossed with oil and baked at 375F for 15-20 minutes to be made into croutons. Add s&p, herbs or parmesan before it goes in the oven to flavour them. It can last about two weeks, so you've essentially extended the life of that carb!
Clumpy sugar can be used in recipes where you need to melt down the sugar in a pan, like in custard or candied anything.
Ketchup packets can be mixed with worcestershire sauce, sweet chili sauce and minced garlic to make seafood sauce.
Leftover sour cream can be made into sour cream garlic sauce. Add 3 tbsp butter, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp flour (slowly add it in to avoid lumps), 1 3/4 cup broth, 1/3 cup green onion and simmer in pan, remove from heat to stir in 1/4 cup sour cream. The sauce works great as a gravy on meats and on top of yaki udon.
Sour cream can also be used in baking to moisten the batter of baked goods, in place of using more butter.
Leftover mayo can be made into Cajun mayo when you combine 3 tbsp mayo with 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning.
Peanut butter can be made into peanut butter cups. I line a muffin tin, melt 1 cup of chocolate, spread the 1-2 tbsp chocolate on the bottom of the cup, add 1-2 tbsp of peanut butter. You can cover the peanut butter with more chocolate or leave as is. Smooth the top with a spoon.
Hint: you can sub other nut butters in if you prefer.
Peanut butter energy balls is another great use of peanut butter. Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup oats, 1/3 cup dried fruits (currants or cranberries), 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Refrigerate 30 min and roll into balls about 2 tbsp each.
Yogourt tub lids are a great replacement for plastic wrap for the various bowls in the fridge I use for mise en place. Some fit perfectly in fact.
Glass jars and glass bottles where I can remove the label. If it's tricky, use nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to help. I don't bother with plastic ones. Small jars are good for holding spices, larger jars (2L-4L) are good for fermenting kimchi and kombucha, meanwhile bottles are for holding kombucha brews.