“Waste Not, Want Not” Series: Leftover Veggies
In last week’s blog, I showcased a way to reuse shrivelled up oranges as an ingredient in muffins in order to avoid throwing them in the trash. It’s an ingrained trait in my family to be able to find alternative ways to use items rather than simply tossing them out. I was chatting with my Mom about this yesterday and she says it comes from our Mennonite background to try to avoid wasting anything. She was telling me how my Grandmother would save something as small as a piece of string because you never knew when you might need a piece of string later on. Some might say this could be a sign of hoarding but, when done in moderation, I think it’s a good lesson to learn that there are always ways to recycle or upcycle almost anything.
My challenge in this series is to be able to come up with ways to reuse veggies and fruit for consumption, even if it doesn’t look all that aesthetically desirable. This week’s topic is a couple of tips from my Mom on reusing leftover veggies that you’re tempted to just throw away.
Veggie Leftover: Potato Water
For most people, potatoes are a regular side dish and preparation usually involves boiling them first. Once the potatoes are cooked, it’s customary to simply poor the leftover water down the sink. But did you know that that murky water actually contains wonderful nutrients that have leeched out of the potatoes? Once boiled, potatoes lose a large percentage of their vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium and calcium.
So here’s what you can do with this vitamin rich water…don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to drink it! Simply pour it into a container, put it in the freezer and then take it out next time you are planning to make homemade chicken or turkey soup. You can use it in place of regular water to pump up the health value in your yummy soup.
Veggie Leftover: Steamed Veggies
How many times have you prepared a lovely home cooked meal of chicken, potatoes and steamed veggies only to find that by the end of the meal, the only leftovers that weren’t completely scarfed down were the steamed veggies? You could put them in the fridge and pray that someone in the house gets a hankering for some steamed broccoli as a midnight snack or…you can prep them to be used in your morning omelets!
Just chop up the leftover asparagus or broccoli into small pieces and place small handfuls of them into individual Ziploc bags. If you don’t think you’ll be having omelets in the next couple of days, put them in the freezer and just pull them out when you need to add some healthy ingredients to your omelet. You don’t even need to defrost them beforehand as they’ll thaw out quickly in the frying pan.
If you have any tips on how you like to reuse your leftover veggies, I’d love to hear them! Next time, I’ll have some magical tricks to bring your produce back to life. Shazam!