6 Great Leftover Food Ideas

I am a repeat offender when it comes to food waste. When I go grocery shopping I go with the best of intentions to use everything that I put in my cart, but come the end of the week I find myself throwing away food that I just never found ways to use before they started to go stale or worse.

leftover broccoli recipe
Wasting food is something that we’re all guilty of, but reducing how much we do this is difficult. It’s a terrible habit that I need to kick, so I’ve taken to the internet to find creative solutions to the everyday food that I always find myself throwing away.

Here are six great leftover food ideas to help you get the most out of your kitchen.

1. Banana skins

Often thought of as completely unusable once peeled from the main body of the fruit, banana skins are actually incredibly effective with a little ingenuity. Turn skins into a paste by blending them together with a little water, and then use the paste on a brush or cloth as a polish for cutlery, jewelry and shoes.

If you’d prefer to still use your banana as food though, a great way to use the fruit if it’s starting to turn is in ice cream! Blend your banana with a tiny bit of milk and with a tablespoon of peanut butter and then freeze the mix. After a few hours you’ll have some delicious banana flavor ice cream, completely natural and with no sugar or additives.

Try: the Kitchn’s banana ice cream recipe.

2. Bread

Urgh, stale bread. I had thought that once bread started to harden then it was no good for anything besides feeding to ducks. However I realized that I was very much wrong once I found out that slightly stale bread is perfect for making croutons with.

Cut your bread into your preference of size and shape, and then drizzle with your choice of butter or oil. Bake on high heat for about five minutes and then store in an airtight container. It couldn’t be more simple.

Try: This crouton recipe.

crouton recipe

3. Orange & Lemons

Where to start? The effectiveness of these fruits goes way beyond that of a mere food. If you have citrus that is starting to turn, you can use the juice to scrub at and sanitize wooden chopping boards.

Oranges and lemons also make fantastic sink cleaners in two ways: One is by cutting the fruit into quarters and dipping in salt, and using this to scrub at the inside of your sink. The salt acts as an abrasive surface, while the citrus is a great cleaning agent. The second way is to unblock the sink by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the sink, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Wash these away after a little time and pour some lemon juice down the sink to cover any unpleasant smells.

Try: This home recipe to unblocking your sink.

4. Yogurt

Often good for some time after its expiry date, yogurt actually makes a fantastic facial cream. Like many beauty products, yogurt contains exfoliating lactic acid. Apply it to your face, and leave it for 10-15 minutes like you would with beauty cream, then wash off. It might seem strange, but is effective and a whole lot cheaper than many products on sales in beauty stores.

Try: Xovain’s yogurt face mask recipe.


5. Nuts

I often find it difficult to clear a bag of nuts before they start to go a bit stale. Thankfully they can be roasted in the oven to revive the flavor, and then thrown into a blender. Add in a little olive oil or maple syrup, and blend together until it turns into a thick paste. Put your mix in a sealed container and store in the fridge. You’ll then have a mixed-nut butter that will last another month. Perfect.

Try: Jillee’s recipe.

6. Broccoli

Almost all of us are guilty of throwing away broccoli stems, which is a shame because they are almost just as nutritious as the rest of the wonder vegetable. Unfortunately there just don’t seem to be too many recipes that make good use of them. Enter homemade pesto.

With the use of a food processor, and with some garlic, walnuts and lemon, you can make an incredible pesto to make the most of this often-wasted vegetable part.]

Try: The full recipe here.

How do you make the most out of leftover ingredients in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!

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