Did you know each Canadian throws out a pound of food every single day? That’s a lot of careless waste, not to mention hard-earned money! These tasty ideas for using up odds and ends found in almost every family kitchen will stretch your groceries further, save you money and make you feel good about using up every last bit.
1. Jam: Make a fruity vinaigrette from that hard-to-reach morsel of jam. Just add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Seal the jar and shake until combined.
2. Plain yogourt or sour cream: Always throwing out that last tablespoon from the tub? Make herbed soup cubes—frozen little bundles of fresh herbs and dairy that add creaminess and a punch of flavour to your favourite soups. Whirl a handful of fresh herbs in a food processor until finely chopped. Add about 1 cup (250 mL) of yogourt or sour cream (or both) and process until smooth. Spoon into an ice cube tray and freeze. Drop the cubes into any soup you’d add a dollop of yogurt to: borscht, curried sweet potato, mushroom or cream of tomato.
3. Cheese: Grate up the ends of cheeses and place in a freezer-safe bag – it’s okay to mix up all different kinds together. Sprinkle cheese blend right from the freezer onto casseroles, pastas or rice.
4. Cereals and crackers: Crush up broken crackers or unsweetened cereal bits, such as corn flakes. Use them to make a crispy crust for pan-fried fish or homemade chicken fingers.
5. Bread: In a food processor, blend the unwanted ends of bread into crumbs, place in a zip-top bag and store in the freezer. Use crumbs to thicken soups and sauces, or mix them with butter for a quick casserole topping. You can also make your own burgers with onions, spices, eggs and breadcrumbs for an easy weeknight dinner.
6. Limp lettuce: Plunge lettuce into ice water with a little apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes.
7. Wilting broccoli: Place the stem in a jar or glass of water in the fridge. The water will travel up the stem and perk up the crown.
8. Wrinkly mushrooms: Fry them up for pizza toppings, or slice and freeze to use up later in stews, sauces and casseroles. Even woody shiitake stems can be saved for soup stock.