8 Ways to Reuse Kitchen Leftovers and Food Scraps

On a daily basis, we produce a lot of waste in the kitchen. The list of items thrown away is very long! Usually, we tend to get rid of vegetable peels, tea bags, and hard bread without even knowing possible alternative uses. In fact, not all of our kitchen scrap needs to end up in the bin. Instead, just benefit from the leftovers yourself!

Here you can find a few ideas on how to reuse your kitchen scraps in a smart and sustainable way...

1. Used Coffee Grounds as Fertiliser

After you have prepared your coffee, there is no need to throw away the coffee grounds: You probably have at least one potted plant in your house that would love some fertiliser.  And if you have plants but no leftover coffee grounds you can check out your local Starbucks coffee shop and sometimes they have prepared bags with leftover grounds.

The leftover grounds contain a good amount of essential nutrient nitrogen as well as some potassium, phosphorus and other micronutrients. This additional organic material in the form of coffee grounds improves drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil.

Next time, after you have brewed your coffee, spread some of the coffee leftovers on the soil of your plants in order to help them thrive.

2. Old Bread? - Fresh Croutons!

You found a forgotten loaf of bread somewhere in your kitchen and its consistency tells you it has been laying there a little too long? As long as you're still able to cut it, it's not too late to make some delicious croutons. You can use them to spice up your soup or salad!

Just cut them in small cubes, roast them with olive oil in a frying pan, add some salt, herbs or even garlic and there you go!

Make sure you roast them sufficiently to get them nice and crunchy.

3. Potato Peel Crisps

Quick snack:

Next time you cook a meal with potatoes, scrub them thoroughly with a brush and then proceed to peel them. The peel actually has more nutrients than the inside of the potato.

This is how it goes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°.

  2. Spread the peel on an oven tray.

  3. Scatter salt and some olive oil over the peel. You might also want to add paprika powder, garlic powder or other herbs for a different flavour.

  4. Use your hands to spread the salt and oil all over the peels. Then make sure that the peels do not overlap so that all of them can get crunchy.

  5. Bake the peel for around 15 minutes until it gets crispy.

  6. Enjoy!

4. Turn Cake Leftover into Cake Pops!

Once a cake is already a few days old and is becoming dry, it is not too enjoyable anymore. However, you can easily turn the cake into tasty cake pops by following a few simple steps.

  1. Prepare a frosting by mixing margarine (75g), icing sugar (100g), cream cheese (200g) and vanilla sugar (2 pckg).

  2. Add the crumbled cake and knead the ingredients until you have a creamy dough.

  3. Now form little balls with the dough and put them in the fridge for around an hour.

  4. Afterwards, you can put the balls on sticks (tooth picks or wooden barbecue sticks) and decorate them with melted chocolate and sprinkles.

5. Banana Peel as Shoe Polish

Would you have thought that a banana peel can be of any use? In fact, you can use it to polish leather shoes with it. This trick only applies to smooth leather, not suede. Simply use the inside of the peel and rub it all over your shoes. You will see - the banana peel will make them shine again.

6. Use Carrot Greens to Make Pesto

Sometimes, carrots still come with their greens on top, especially when you buy them fresh from the market. You can use these as an ingredient to make your own pesto.

What you need for your homemade pesto:

  1. carrot greens

  2. 100 g olive oil

  3. 2 garlic cloves

  4. 30 g pine nuts or other nuts

  5. the juice of half a lemon

  6. some parmesan or other salty cheese

  7. salt and pepper

Blend everything together and enjoy your pesto. Make sure to finish it within a couple of days. You can also use the stem of broccoli to make your own pesto, similar recipes can be found online.

7. Infuse Liquor with Citrus Peels

Why buy flavoured liquor when you can add fruity flavours yourself really easily?

There are different ways to do this, but if you want to keep it easy, then you can try this:

  1. Take an unwaxed orange (or lemon/ lime - depending on the flavour you want) and wash it.

  2. Take a potato peeler and cut off the rinds of the fruit. Make sure though to only take the orange part and not the withe pith - this would turn your liquor bitter.

  3. Place the orange zest in an empty bottle, pour a plain liquor of your choice (e.g. Vodka) over it and add 3 teaspoons of vanilla sugar.

  4. Leave it like this for at least 4 days - the longer you wait - the stronger the fruity taste gets.