Growing Food From Scraps

Love this! Fantastic read on how to turn your food scraps into fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables.

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Grow Food From Scraps

Did you know that 1/3 of all the food globally is wasted? Yes, it is! 1.3 billion tons gets lost or wasted or not consumed. And only a small percentage of that waste can be diverted for composting. Compost will help lessen these waste but did you know that there is a better way to save food? Read on to learn how to grow food from scraps!

Save food and money by planting food scraps. Yes, there are foods that can be regrown from scraps – without starting from seeds. Take a look at what you are throwing away. You’ll be surprised what you can grow. We love teaching our kids about recycled and reducing waste.

First things first. Aside from the common soil where plants grow, there are plants that grow in water and also dozens of windowsill plants from that can be from from vegetable leftovers. Ever grow a potato…

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Recipe Hacks That Will Change the Way You Make Soup

Soup is great meal to have and make. It’s easy, fun, usually healthy and allows you to use the minimum amount of supplies in your kitchen. Furthermore, storing and serving soup is easy and stress-free. Here are some tips and hacks that will revolutionize the way you make and prepare soup.

1) Store your soup in the freezer:

Are you busy during the week? Do you not have time to make a dinner every night? Well luckily, you can store soup in containers, Ziploc, glass etc., and put them all in the freezer. This will keep the soup fresh for a longer period of time and allows you to have soup all week long in advance.

2) Make Creamy Soup without Cream:

We all love those creamy. comforting, delicatessen soups. However, they can be generally unhealthy because they are stuffed with cream and other fattening ingredients. However, you can substitute this by using a blender and adding ingredients like butternut squash and pumpkin. They taste wonderful, give your soup a fulfilling flavor and texture and additionally are extremely nutritional. You will not have to use heavy cream again. If you cannot avoid dairy at any cost, feel free to try unsweetened nondairy milk such as pea milk, which has a lot of protein, as well as almond, coconut or oat milk.

3) Reduce the sodium and substitute for other flavors:

If you want to reduce the amount of sodium in your soup but not lose previous flavor, use lots of spices instead. You can get away with using low-sodium chicken or vegetable broths so long as you always load your soup up with spices like paprika, cumin, pepper etc. They will give your soup a hearty taste and you might not even remember its lacking salt. Also, herbs and spices tend to have better health benefits than excess sodium does.

4) Make a satisfying vegan soup:

Yes, you might want to eat super healthy. But yes, you understand that some vegan stuff might not be that satiating. When making sure your vegan soup is satisfying, you must make sure that it has lots of protein in it. Use high protein vegetables like pea protein and other high-protein plant-based foods. For more information about all these great soup hacks, check out this article

How to Use “Root to Stem” Cooking to Cut Down On Food Waste

Nearly a third of all food produced in the world is thrown in the trash on a yearly basis. More people are looking to cut down on food waste by turning to root to stem cooking. Restaurants have been doing this for years and now it is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Learn how to make the most of food scraps with the tips below.

Save Peels and Stems

When thinking of using fruit or vegetable peels, citrus zest is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, almost all produce scraps can be utilized in other ways. Peels from root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and parsnips can be used immediately or frozen in a storage bag for later use in a vegetable broth.

Broccoli stems are often thrown away because they are very fibrous, but they can also be steamed or pan fried if the stalks are peeled away. The same thing can be done with cauliflower and asparagus.

Make a Salad

The leafy tops of vegetables like celery and carrots are often thrown in the trash, but they are actually very tasty when used in a salad. Beet greens, radish tops, and broccoli leaves are equally delicious when tossed with a bright vinaigrette.

Turn Them into Chips

A crunchy snack is just minutes away when you use fruit and vegetable scraps to make homemade chips. The peels of regular and sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, even broccoli and cauliflower stems, can be used to make this tasty snack.

Fruit peels are equally delicious when baked or candied. Make delectable apple chips in the oven, or candy citrus peels to enjoy on their own or in different recipes.

Meat Scraps and Trimmings

While vegetable and fruit scraps are very useful in the kitchen, meat trimmings are equally valuable. Bone broth is delicious and healthy and a great use of chicken, beef, and any other leftover bones. Other unused meat scraps can be ground down for burgers, fried as a topping for salads, or used in a stew.

Root to stem cooking is a great way to save money at the grocery store and cut down on waste. It’s a healthier way of cooking that’s benefits will far outreach your kitchen.

How To Cook With Different Trendy Salts

When learning to cook as a child, one of the most important things that we learn is that our food needs salt. Most likely you weren’t allowed to add the salt right away due to fear of over or under-salting (which if you haven’t learned by now, both can completely ruin a meal). However, now as a full-grown adult, there is so much more to salt than you even know. Besides the simple white salts, there is a colorful array of delicious, gourmet salts that can take your dish to the next level.

As everyday cooks and chef get more creative in the kitchen, it is time to learn how to ‘spice up’ your cooking with these specialty salts. Let’s take a look at the five different types of salt and how to use them.

Table Salt

Sodium Chloride, or table salt, is harvested from salt deposits found underground. Even though this is the most used type of salt, it is the most unnatural and refined form there is. It contains iodine to prevent iodine deficiency and anti-caking agents to prevent the salt from clumping. It is artificially sprayed and processed to remove any impurities or trace minerals.

Kosher Salt

This salt got its name from the Jewish religion. This particular type of salt works well to cure meats, which is a part of the process to make a food “kosher” according to the religion. Kosher salt is flakier and coarser than regular table salt. It dissolves quickly and works well as an all-purpose cooking salt. Although, it is important to remember that this type of salt does not contain iodine, and a lack of this element can cause hypothyroidism and other maladies.

Pickling Salt

Containing no additives, such as iodine or anti-caking agents, or trace minerals from natural salt, this salt is perfect for pickling or brining vegetables, like sauerkraut or cucumbers. Since the minerals and elements that typically cause ugly discoloration of pickled or brined food is left out, this salt is the obvious choice for preserving food. The flavor is exceptionally concentrated, so it is important to remember that when seasoning with this salt, less is more.

Sea Salt

The natural minerals found in rock salt that are stripped away when processing table salt is kept intact with sea salt. These minerals, such as zinc and potassium, help balance your body. This type of salt is pure, giving it an exceptionally salty taste. It is usually not processed, comes in a variety of flavors and colors, and can be eaten with practically anything. Sea salt can also be used as an all-purpose ingredient, as well as a finishing highlight to a dish.

Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan Salt is the oldest and one of the purest salts on earth, is harvest by hand, and is chock full of minerals and health benefits. It is an air purifier, a sleep inducer, it prevents respiratory problems and contains more than 84 minerals. Slabs of the salt are used for serving food as it retains temperature for hours. It can be used as a cooking or finishing salt, as it comes with a bolder flavor than many other salts. And it’s pink color? It comes from remnants of iron oxide (a type of rust) that makes any prepared meal look fancier.

Useful Tips For Those Trying To Cook More In 2018

It is 2018, and if there is one thing that memes have taught society, it is that it is time for us all to learn how to cook better. Along with our need for paved streets, honest politicians, and forward progress, as a society, we need to feed ourselves better. Let fast food live in the past and embrace a new way of health: cooking more nutritional meals this year. Practicing healthy living is a gradual process, but we’ve got to begin somewhere. Leave the stress and start here with four useful tips for cooking more in 2018.

Cutting Boards

Out of all the useful tips on this list, this one matters most when it comes to your health. If you do not have two cutting boards, or even two knives (and don’t want to wash it in between cuts), prioritize your chopping. Choose to dice up any fruits or veggies before moving on to the meats. This will prevent any bacteria from your raw meat from contaminating your fruit or vegetables. If you forget to prioritize cutting, wash both your knife and cutting board before continuing to cut and cook.

Refrigerated Food

One of the first things we should learn when it comes to cooking is how to handle stored food. We know that before we can cook something, it should be defrosted first. For example, if you take a pork chop out of the freezer and throw it on a flame, the outside will be seared and browned, but once you cut it open, the inside will be far undercooked. But did you know that even if you have defrosted that frozen pork chop in the fridge, you should still take it out and let it reach room temperature before cooking? The reason being is the same as with frozen: the outside will overcook by the time the internal temperature rises.

The same goes for frozen vegetables. Let them defrost before placing them in a greased and hot pan. If not, the steam that is created from the “frost” could very well burn you as you cook it.

Pasta Water

The #1 rule of pasta making: salt the water when boiling. This gives your food flavor before any sauce is added to the noodles. And if it helps, most of the salt goes down the drain with the water, so no reason to be wary of consuming too much.

The #2 rule of pasta making: DO NOT RINSE the pasta. The water that boiled the pasta contained starches that make the pasta more flavorful and helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

The #3 rule of pasta making: DO NOT ADD oil to the boiling water. This will make your pasta slick which leads to the sauce not sticking. The only time to consider adding oil to pasta is after cooking. Adding a small amount of oil to sitting pasta allows it to cool without sticking together.

Let It Sit

There is a common tendency to move to food around while it is cooking. We think that this keeps the food from burning, so we continually move it, even though it actually can take away from the finished product. Instead, allow the food to sit until it is golden brown. This helps the juices to stay within the food and keeps the cook time to a minimum.

Christmas Dishes Around the World

The beauty of Christmas is that every home celebrates it a little differently. One constant though is celebrating with delicious food. From Italy to South Africa, Philippines to Poland, here is just a taste of some famous Christmas dishes around the world.

Italy- The Feast of Seven Fishes

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which typically consists of seven seafood dishes, symbolic of the number seven, which is the most repeated number in the bible. As the name suggests, seven different types of seafood dishes cover the table, from clams, cod, and calamari to shrimp, smelt, and scallops; oysters, octopus, and snails also make appearances.

South Africa- Grilled Turkey or Duck

The Daily Meal reminds us that  Christmas falls in the middle of summer south of the equator, so in South Africa it’s not uncommon to find people preparing their Christmas dinner on the grill. For many, however, Christmas involves turkey or duck, roast beef, mince pies, or suckling pig with yellow rice and vegetables. A sweet and spongy cake called malva pudding is also popular.

Philippines- Lechon

Lechon, or whole roast suckling pig, is a common centerpiece of a Filipino Christmas table, along with ham, queso de bola (edam cheese), pancit (a noodle dish with meat and vegetables), a type of chorizo called morcon, a stew-like beef dish called machado, and a goat stew called kaldereta.

Poland- Wigilia

Poland’s Christmas Eve dinner is a huge meatless feast where families break their fasts by sharing a Christmas wafer at the first sight of a star in the evening’s night sky. Then, they dig into dishes such as herring, carp, root vegetables, fruit compote, sauerkraut, and of course, potato pierogies! Desserts often include makowiec, a poppyseed cake, and honey ginger cookies.

Whether you are feasting on the seven fishes in Italy, or cutting into a whole roast pig in the Philippines, everyone around the world agrees on one thing: Christmas is for tradition, and a large part of that tradition involves feasting on our favorite dishes!

 

How to Bake the Perfect Cookie

As a child you probably believed that baking cookies was an easy task. As an adult, you now realize that baking the perfect cookie is no easy feat. Here are some tips to help you realize your dream of baking the perfect cookie this holiday season!

 

Choose Quality Ingredients

Like anything else, cookies are only as good as their worst ingredient. If you truly want to bake the perfect batch of cookie, you need to start with the best ingredients. Use real butter instead margarine, real vanilla instead of artificial vanillin. Make sure your ingredients are fresh by buying them from a local farmer’s market. Replace your baking powder to ensure that it’s fresh. Use fresh organic spices, and keep them in the fridge to prolong their shelf life. Using quality ingredients will be sure to yield quality cookies!

 

Chill your Dough

Joybilee Farms recommends you chill the cookie dough before you bake it to give your batter more body and let your cookies rise a bit higher in the oven. You can even roll the cookies into small balls and freeze them for a few days. Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies, then as the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread. This will be extremely helpful in producing a uniform batch of delicious cookies!

Bake One Batch at a Time

For the best cookie results, bake one batch at a time, on the middle rack. You will get the best possible results when the oven only concentrates on one batch. If you absolutely need to bake more than one batch at a time, rotate the baking sheets from the top rack to bottom rack a couple times through the baking process to encourage even browning. And turn the sheets around as well. Ovens have hot spots, so you need to work around this.

Bake and Cool

The Food Network suggests baking for the shortest time suggested in the recipe, then checking one cookie from the middle of the baking sheet and one from the edge for doneness. Remember, the cookies will keep cooking once removed from the oven. Let them cool completely on a rack before decorating, and store them in an airtight container.

Every baker sets out to bake the perfect cookies. But unless you start with quality ingredients, chill your dough, bake your cookies one batch at a time and cool them, you will most likely not achieve this. Be sure to follow these helpful hints and you will wow party guests with your perfect cookies!

6 Healthy Recipes You Can Make Using Food Scraps

Jason Sheasby, Irell, originally published this post on his website

Using food scraps is an ideal way to get creative with your weekly meal planning and to save money on your grocery bill. Look at these fun and easy-to-make recipes that center around food scraps, and you can be sure that little to none of your food will go to waste.

1) Strawberry Stems for Smoothies

Strawberries are low in calories, they’re packed with antioxidants, and they’re loaded with flavor. The next time you slice strawberries to go over yogurt, place the sliced strawberry stems into a small plastic freezer bag and store them until the next time you make a smoothie. For a simple smoothie recipe using strawberry stems, add your freezer stems, one cup of whole strawberries, one teaspoon of honey, a small banana, a quarter of a cup of water, and two tablespoons of Greek yogurt to a blender.

2) Kiwi Skins for Smoothies

The skin on a kiwi is edible, but it often ends up in the trash. Using the same process as strawberry stems, the next time you peel a kiwi, freeze the stems and then pull them out when you want to make a smoothie on the go.

3) Potato Skins

When you peel potatoes, store them in a container or baggie and freeze them. You can pull the frozen peelings out and bake them to create rustic potato skins – a sure winner with nearly every guest.

4) Save the Bread Ends

Many people don’t care for the bread ends that come with a loaf of bread. Instead of tossing these ends out, you can chop them into cubes, drizzle butter and seasonings on them to make your own homemade croutons.

5) Burnt Brownie Ends

When you bake, if you’re not someone who likes the burnt brownie ends, don’t throw them away – simply serve these bits mixed with ice cream and a chocolate syrup for an original brownie sundae. The ice cream softens the hardened ends and the brownies add a great texture to any sundae.

6) Make the Most of Leftover Turkey

Many people often have leftover turkey after holidays. Instead of getting rid of the meat you don’t use, dice the turkey into fine cubes and freeze it so you can later make a rustic and delicious turkey pot pie. With a turkey pot pie, you can also use any leftover vegetables you have in your fridge that need to be used.