It is not too good to be true, I promise! My family loves soup, in fact, I could probably eat soup everyday, so this hack has really helped me in many ways… Saves me money, I have broth made from fresh organic ingredients with no preservatives and helps food waste and reduces trash.
All you need is a gallon sized freezer bag, preferably reusable. I got mine from Blue Avocado or a Tupperware you are willing to keep in your freezer to reuse will work just fine as well. Next, your vegetable scraps, stems and ends! Yup, that is it. Every time you are in the kitchen prepping your dinner take out your freezer bag and add your carrot peels, celery ends, onion and garlic skins, and herb stems to it then, put your bag back in the freezer until it is full. When you’re all full it is time to add soup to your weekly meal plan. Add the contents of your bag to a stock pot with about 10 cups of water with some salt & pepper maybe a bay leaf and a sprinkle of turmeric. Simmer for about an hour and let cool, strain out you vegetable scraps and you will have enough broth for a big pot of soup and then some! Leftover broth is good in the fridge for about a week, or you can choose to freeze your broth as well for future recipes, if you do this remember to leave room in your container for the broth to expand when it reaches its freezing point. Also, I may have only listed a couple vegetables to add to your freezer bag, those were just examples, don’t limit yourself! You can also add things like mushroom stems/ends or even insides of peppers, fennel tops. Really anything you think will maximize the flavor of your broth.
Side note: This life saver hack is not my own. This is a tip I got from my Thug Kitchen cookbook years back, and I feel it needs to be shared. If you are looking to introduce more plant based recipes into your diet this cook book is awesome and hilarious. The amount of money I saved on not having to purchase broth paid for the book in about 2 months (like I said we like soup)
Reusable gallon sized freezer bag
A teaspoon of Salt and Pepper
A bay leaf, a sprinkle turmeric and/or garlic powder if you have it
Collect enough vegetable ends, peels, stems to fill a gallon bag
Back in April, my son and I were enjoying the Oakland Earth festival when we were approached by the sweetest young lady. She began to tell me all about Imperfect Produce, who they are and what they do. I was immediately hooked and ready to sign up!
Imperfect Produce is on a mission to find a home for the 1 in 5 fruits and vegetables that are deemed too ugly to be sold in grocery stores. This helps the consumer because they are able to sell the produce at a discounted cost because these fruits and veggies have been shunned from grocery store shelves due to size or discoloration. This also helps the local farmers sell their products and helps with food waste. The best part, you do not even have to step foot in a store for your food. Imperfect Produce delivers the food to you!
Here’s how it works. After signing up, they email you at the beginning of each week with a link to customize your box/order. Log into your account and you can begin choosing your product, it’s that simple! The offerings that week will be detailed with where it is from, if it’s organic or conventional, why it is imperfect, and how much it costs. You have complete control over what will be delivered to you. Now, If you are the adventurous type, you are more than welcome to let them chose what will be in your box so you are surprised when your delivery comes! Also, you can sign up for weekly or bi weekly deliveries and it’s easy to skip a delivery if needed. Lastly, in your first box, along with your fresh food you also receive some storing tips. Knowing that the average sized family of four throws out nearly $1,600 worth of produce annually, I think we can all use some storing tips! All boxes after that come with a fun recipe.
No, I do not work for Imperfect Produce, I just love their mission! Americans are leading the world in food waste and we need more businesses out there looking to make a change!! Unfortunately, this particular company only covers the LA and Bay Area but I am sure if you search hard enough in your area you can find something like this. A lot of times we just don’t think to look for, it but green businesses are out there! If you are in the Los Angeles or Bay Area and this is something you might want click on the referral link to get a $10 credit
I am always looking for new ways to be environmentally friendly, produce less waste, and save money, In doing so, I am always making new discovieries but my most recent, bulk spices! Why has it taken me so long to discover this? This is such a simple money saver! The average cost of organic spices is around $3.99 a jar. Just the past two weeks when my spices ran out I have been washing, and saving my jars for grocery day. The first thing I did when I got to Whole Foods was go to customer service where they are always so kind. I had all my spice and mason jars weighed right there and it only took a minute. They just add a little piece of tape to your jar and write how much it weighs on it so when you check out, the cashier knows how much weight to deduct and you’re only paying for the weight of the contents your jar. Here is a list of spices I have purchased bulk lately with their weight and prices.
Pink Himalayan salt – 9.6oz – $1.19
Organic fine ground pepper – 3.8oz – $5.04
Organic Cumin – 1.45oz – $1.53
Organic Garlic Powder – 2.72oz – $2.55
Organic Paprika – 1.92oz – $1.80
Crushed Red Chili Flakes – 1.28oz – $0.76
Although these weights vary, so do the pre-filled spice jars in the grocery store. I found most of my pre-filled jars state that they contain about 1.2-1.9 oz of product. It’s hard to visualize weight but they all filled up a typical 3 oz capacity spice jar with the exception of salt and pepper which filled up smaller mason jars that hold about 12oz. I have since used some of these spices so some are fuller than others.
I am so excited I no longer have to toss out my spice jars! No more plastic tops and sea salt containers rotting in the landfill, No more wasted labeling, and I get to save a few bucks and you do too!
My entire life I had been limiting myself to the florets of the broccoli, until one day about three years ago I was walking through Trader Joe’s and saw a bag of broccoli slaw. I stood there for a moment and just stared with a big, bright lightbulb floating over my head…I was thinking, “wow, I can make that myself!” I felt enlighten and foolish all at the same time. I realized how much food I had been wasting all these years.
Both the Florets and the stalks have equal amounts of vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, calcium and iron. The stalks actually being a little bit higher in fiber, stated on the University of Berkeley’s wellness site. But both having a tad bit different consistencies. Towards the end of the stalk, it seems to get a little bit tougher and stringier, so I always just cut a little bit off the bottom before hand.
I have two favorite ways to prepare the stalks. One way is to throw it in my food processor and pulse into smaller pieces to make broccoli rice. You can even toss some cauliflower in there and make a rice blend. The other is to shred the stalks to throw in a salad or slaw.
(left) Broccoli rice (right) Broccoli slaw
Check my next blog post for a this fresh and delicious broccoli slaw recipe!
Because who doesn’t love a good buy one get one deal? There are tons of cool ways to use your kitchen scraps. One of those ways is by regrowth. Green onions is probably one of the easiest scraps that you can regrow considering all you need is a jar, water, and some sunlight. When you have used your onions, leaving about an inch and a half at the bottom just toss them in a bowl or jar with about an inch of water and put them outside or in a sunny window.
I recommend giving your onions fresh water every few days. In my experience if you let the onions grow in murky water they tend to have a slightly murky flavor rather than the fresh crisp flavor you are looking for in a green onion. Give your onions about 2 weeks and voila`
Although these onions will keep regrowing over and over I suggest only regrowing them once. Each time you regrow your onions they get slightly thinner with less flavor and less nutrients, so in my opinion they are only good for one regrow. But hey, you still got 2 bunches of green onions for the price of one, enjoy!