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how to use leftovers

Utilize leftovers - 10 foods you can use peels, stems, leaves and other scraps from.

You want to use food as completely as possible and utilize leftovers? Then you've come to the right place! We live in a throwaway society - and this is particularly evident in the way we treat our food. Worldwide, about one third of all food produced is lost on its way from the field to the plate. Around 1.3 billion tons of globally produced food ends up in the garbage every year.₁ And that, while over 800 million People starve. Respect for people and nature should drive us all to reuse food scraps as much as possible, not to throw anything away and to use the Reduce food waste. Fortunately, this is extremely simple!

In this article, I want to show you how you can use leftovers - and which foods are particularly good to use holistically. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Carrot greens
  2. Banana peels
  3. Pumpkin seeds
  4. Stale bread
  5. Apple peels
  6. Potato peels
  7. Radish leaves
  8. Animal food scraps
  9. Cauliflower leaves
  10. Orange and lemon peels

Notice: More World hunger statistics and Facts and figures on food waste can be found in the linked blog posts. Here, however, the aim is to contribute to the solution of these problems.

What is the basic way to utilize leftover food or food scraps such as peels and leaves?

Process leftovers into smoothies

Think of leftovers as what they are: Ingredients and not waste. This minimum will help you immensely to implement the tips from this post. Before we move on to the tips, I'd like to give you a little inspiration on how leftovers can still be wonderfully reused:

  • Leftover Pan: You have small portions of different vegetables left over from the last pizza evening? Then create a delicious leftover pan!
  • Soup: Just as well you can cook a delicious vegetable soup from leftovers. The amount of food left over also plays a subordinate role.
  • Salad: You can always make a serving or two of salad from leftover fruits and vegetables.
  • Pesto: Especially the otherwise discarded leafy greens of many vegetables are suitable for serving a delicious pesto on them.
  • Smoothies: If you only have smaller amounts left over, processing them into a delicious smoothie or fruit juice is a great option.
  • Spread: Leftover fruit and vegetables can usually still be used to make a (mixed) jam or a tasty spread.
  • Freeze: Freeze your leftovers and leftovers in fresh food cans to use later.
  • Use for the next meal: Consciously cook more so you can make a meal out of it the next day, too.

The list of ways to use leftover food or leftovers is almost endless.

Can you think of other ways to use leftovers? Then I look forward to your comment!

Recycle food and its leftovers with these 10 tips!

Recycle carrots leftovers is simple

But now to the foods that are basically really good for recycling. In the following I present them to you in combination with valuable Zero Waste Tips before.

1. carrot greens

The green leaves and stems of carrots are often torn off in the supermarket or in your own kitchen and thrown in the garbage can. But the carrot green is actually quite nutritious and contains besides Vitamin A, iron, calcium and phosphorus also proteins.

In addition, it also tastes really good and can, for example, chopped and dried as a Spice serve. But it can also be made into a delicious Pesto process and also enriches many a smoothie.

Additional Tip: You have carrots left over? In combination with leftovers from a travel dish you can also make small Vegetable pancakes from your remaining carrots by grating them beforehand. So do not throw away carrots, leaves and stalks, but let your imagination run wild.

2. banana peels

When I first heard about it, you could "Banana Peel Fries" can make, I was a little surprised. After I had then boiled them in salted water, turned in some cornmeal and then fried, I was then but enthusiastic. Since the peels of the tropical fruit are extremely nutrient-rich, you can also just throw them into the smoothie miser.

However, banana peels in general are extremely versatile. For example against skin impurities, as Shoe polish or as Fertilizer in the garden.

3. pumpkin seeds

The Hokkaido pumpkin is only in season in Germany from September to October. All the nicer if you use it as much as possible during this time. For example, I roast its seeds and make myself crunchy pumpkin seeds as a snack for in between. But you can of course also trickle them directly over your pumpkin cream soup.

Tip: Seasonal shopping makes your everyday life even more environmentally friendly. Pay more attention to online offers during this period, such as in Penny brochures for next week. So you can finally also save money through sustainability.

4. stale bread

How to make bread chips from stale bread

If you want to use leftovers, you can also do that wonderfully with old breads, rolls or baguettes. Since you can Do not feed bread to ducks it's a good idea to make some really crunchy bread chips out of it. All you need for this are now hard baked goods, olive oil and a few random pepper, salt and oregano - then off into the oven, ready! At recycle stale bread into bread chips you will find detailed instructions.

5. apple peels

Many people peel their apples - for example, because the peel sometimes gets stuck between their teeth. But just the peels of organic fruits are extremely healthy and nutritious - and can still be used wonderfully.

You can use them for example Jellies, fruit teas or delicious apple chips from it. Last but not least, the peels can also be fermented into apple cider vinegar or used in combination with boiled water as a natural Room fragrance use

Addition: If you have whole apples left over that slowly have to go, you can still make a delicious apple compote on them, for example. For example, in combination with a little vanilla or cinnamon.

6. potato peels

When it comes to making the best use of leftovers, we also have to talk about potatoes. Well cleaned, the peels of organic potatoes can actually be eaten - but not everyone likes that. In this case, for example, you can simply coat them with a little vegetable oil, season them and then bake them up. You will be delighted with the Potato peel chips.

Just as well the remnants of the potato can still be used as Fertilizer, hair conditioner, fireplace lighter and Detergent use

7. radish leaves

Radish leftovers recycle

Even the "greens" of radishes you should not carelessly throw away and instead consider as an ingredient! Clean the leaves and stems of a bunch, add a little olive oil, a few almonds, pine nuts and some seasoning - and puree this combination to a unique Pesto For your next pasta dish.

Tip: As with carrots, radish greens can be chopped and dried to make a tasty condiment.

8. animal food residues

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know that and why i live vegan. But since unfortunately every year so many animals killed in vain to end up as leftovers in the garbage can, it is a personal concern of mine to also address the best possible utilization of animal food leftovers.

When you Eggs leftovers that will soon go bad, then make yourself scrambled eggs or together with other leftovers delicious vegetable frittata. They can also be used as a binder for muffins and other treats.

Fish can serve in the leftover kitchen, for example, as a complement to salads or rice dishes. And when Minced meat is over? Then make a minced meat pan from it in combination with leftover vegetables.

9. cauliflower leaves

The nutrient-rich remains of cauliflower are also very good to use. They are particularly rich in Vitamin Kwhich is very important for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Process stalk and leaves for example to a Cream soup or Broth - or make with a little olive oil and paprika powder delicious Chips out of it.

10. orange and lemon peels

Orange peels can be used very well

If you want to use up leftovers, you can't go past citrus peels! With grated lemon peel, for example, you can make endless refine many dishes - from cakes to salads. Just as well with their help you can also make your own Glass cleaner produce. And dried orange peel tastes wonderful as a Tea.

Food recycling made easy!

All it takes is a quick glance over the edge of your plate to realize that countless leftover foods are actually useful ingredients. Let yourself be inspired by the possibilities for using leftovers mentioned at the beginning - and use the tips for the foods mentioned.

If you ever find yourself unable to eat any of your leftovers, you can always leave them compost and recycle in this way. I hope that I could help you with this article around the "upcycling of food" and that you can recycle and reuse as much as possible holistically in the future.

Do you have questions, suggestions or further tips in the fight against food waste? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Under Stop world hunger you can now find out exactly what else you can do personally to combat global famine.

₁ Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.: Put an end to food waste (as of 08.04.2021), [14.06.2022].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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