5 Things You Can Do With Food You'd Normally Throw Away

woman composting food scraps

Would you throw your hard-earned cash into the trash? Most would say, "No way!" Then why, pray tell, would you chuck stale bread into the can? You might as well dump your whole paycheck into the garbage.

That loaf is still valuable. Though you may no longer eat it with your morning coffee, there are ways you can repurpose stale bread and many other trash-bound food items. In fact, there are several recipes (and other useful goodies) that can spring from out-of-date eatables and scraps we commonly dispose.

1. Make Bread Pudding From Stale Bread

Bread seems to go bad when you yeast expect it. One day it's a delicious, fresh baguette, and suddenly, things go a-rye - oops, we mean awry. "Do I knead this anymore?" you wonder. But before you toss stale bread and waste your dough, think about all the delicious recipes you're missing out on, including scalloped summer squash and bread sauce.

But our bread custard pudding recipe rises to the occasion as our favorite stale-bread dish that we absolutely loaf - er - love to eat. It's a total "breadwinner."

2. Salvage Overripe Bananas for Smoothies

overripe bananas

So what can you do with those ghastly bananas that are on their very last legs? Overripe bananas may not be ap-peeling (get it? apealing?), but you can mash 'em up and whip 'em into something scrumptious for that sweet tooth of yours. Banana bread is one delicious option. You can also try the Berry Banana Smoothie. Either way, you won't even notice the main ingredient is a withering fruit hanging on for dear life by the skin of its teeth.

3. Use Old Apples for Apple Butter

overripe apples

Ever bite into a sorry excuse for an apple expecting a delicious, crunchy bite, only to end up with a mouthful of mush? Yuck! Those are the apples we tend to throw away - and with good reason. But let's not be wasteful! You can save those mealy apples to make applesauce or delicious apple butter to spread on your morning toast.

Apple Butter Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of peeled and chopped apples
  • 2 cups of apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar (white sugar will also do)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add the apples, brown sugar, apple cider, and the salt into a large, oven-safe pot.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Remove from the oven and mix in lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  5. Puree the mixture in a blender and pour it back into the same oven-safe pot.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 3 hours or until thickened, and stir every 30 minutes or so.
  7. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and enjoy!

4. Turn Juice Pulp Into Fritters

juicing carrots

If you're a frequent juicer, why throw all that pulpy goodness into the trash? Don't you know what wondrous creations can come from pulp? The possibilities are endless! You can even use the stuff to make face masks. And when you're hungry, you can fry 'em up and turn 'em into fritters. Can you say yum?

Juice Pulp Fritters Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups juice pulp (carrots, kale, chard, zucchini, or other similar veggies - if you like to add fruit to your juices, juice your veggies first and remove the pulp before adding the fruit)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Spices to taste (chili powder or paprika can taste great with these)

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Mold into patties.
  3. Place onto a greased saucepan over medium heat and cook the patties on both sides for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  4. Let cool and enjoy!

5. Citrus Peels for All-Purpose Cleaner

lemon cleaner

A moment of silence for all the innumerable pounds of discarded citrus peels that could have been turned into an all-purpose cleaner.

We kid you not! You can actually use citrus peels to spruce up that grubby little house of yours. But all these years, you've cast 'em into the landfill as though they were useless. But hey, you learn something new every day, right?

How to Make an All-Purpose Cleaner

What You'll Need

  • At least one bottle of white vinegar
  • Enough citrus peels to fill a large jar
  • A large jar
  • A mesh sieve or a cheesecloth
  • A large bowl
  • A spray bottle

Instructions

  1. Place your citrus peels into a large jar.
  2. Pour your vinegar into the jar until it is filled to the brim.
  3. Cover and store in a dark place for two weeks.
  4. Strain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth over a large bowl.
  5. Pour the strained liquid into a spray bottle and you're good to go!

According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a whopping 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten. Let's put that into perspective - Americans are throwing away 165 billion dollars worth of food.

So unless you find enjoyment in flushing money down the toilet, trying out these strategies to impede waste can help you get your money's worth.

5 Things You Can Do With Food You'd Normally Throw Away