Americans waste 33 million tons of food each year according to the EPA. Thirty-three million! That’s over 40% of our food!
Families can save lots and lots of money by cutting back on food waste. Not only that, but producing food uses a lot of resources, so reducing food waste is good for the earth. If that’s your thing you can get extra warm fuzzies by using up leftovers.
Fruit and vegetables seem to suffer especially badly in the food waste world. How often do you toss the last spotty bananas or limp celery stalk? Here are five recipes that use produce we might otherwise throw in the trash.
Apple crisp from Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Nothing says home like warm, spicy apple crisp straight out of the oven, and this one is even better because it’s sweetened with honey instead of sugar. It’s the perfect way to use up apples that are past their prime!
Dairy free ice cream with dairy free hot fudge sauce from Stephanie Lynn Stevens
This is a rich and creamy alternative to traditional dairy ice cream. Whether you have a dairy intolerance, want to cut back on animal products, or just want to eat more healthfully, this recipe will fit the bill.
Vegetable soup from The Chefanies
This hearty soup contains celery, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, and rice noodles. With a soup this tempting, you’ll never throw away those last wilted veggies again!
Green smoothie from Glam Hungry Mom
Green smoothies are all the rage for health reasons, but they’re also a great way to use up the last few sad strawberries or blueberries in the bottom of the basket, or those straggling spinach leaves. They’re also a great way to get kids to eat (drink?) their fruits and veggies. This recipe is high on flavor and low on weird ingredients.
If you need more ideas this The Produce Bible: has over 200 recipes for fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts!
Stewed fruit from Highline Magazine
You can stew almost any fruit, and the resulting treat is low in sugar and high in comfort. This recipe has the option of adding healthy fats or just using water. Top it with cream or eat it plain.
Options for Old Produce
Of course, if your produce really is past eating there are a couple of other options. You can compost it for the garden or feed it to backyard chickens who will, in turn, use it to produce delicious, nutritious eggs loaded with omega 3 fatty acids.
It takes time to develop new habits and you may still have to clean out the fridge every now and then, but by utilizing recipes like these you can reduce food waste dramatically. Your budget will thank you!
What do you do with your overripe produce?