Leftovers? Hand ’em over!

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It’s time for thrifty consumers to start saving! According to the National Resources Defense council, each American loses between $28 to $43 a month by throwing out usable leftovers.

Here are nine foods you should be saving:

cookieStale cookies and crackers

I know, it sounds unappetizing. But these stale sweets can be used as the base for a delicious pie crust! Just throw them in a food processor with some flour, Crisco and flavoring and you can make your own pie crust.

Broccoli and asparagus stalks

These stalks can both be grilled with pepper and seasoning. Not only are they slightly crunchy and extra delicious, the stalk is the most nutritious part of the plant! Take advantage of their awesome health benefits.

baconMeat scraps

Saved oil or juices can be used to flavor your next meal instead of spices or oils.

“The next time you roast or sauté meat, save the leftover juices and oil,” says Jess Goldman Fuong, proprietor of SodiumGirl.com and author of Waste Not column atTheKitchn.com. “Depending on what else you are cooking, add the savory leftovers to a pot of beans, cooked grains, or even sautéed greens.”

Canned liquids

Pickles always seem to come with too much liquid in the jar. This “pickle juice” can actually be used to flavor other recipes, like potato or egg salad.carrot top

Vegetable leaves

Yes, it seems odd to munch on carrot greens. But these are the most vitamin-rich part of the plant! You can save celery leaves, beet greens, cauliflower leaves, and more. While saving food, you’ll get extra nutrients.

Fruit and veggie rinds, peels and skin

“This is a food scrap game changer,” says Fuong. “The next time you peel a potato, carrot, apples, or any other root vegetable, save the peels. Toss them with olive oil and some spices. And then bake them in a single layer in a 400 degree F oven, until browned and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes (checking on them often so that they do not burn). They taste like chips and are even easier.”

Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, tomato seeds, squash seeds– you name it! Many vegetable and fruit seeds can be baked and eaten as a crunchy snack (sunflower seeds, anyone?) Plus, peppers and tomatoes can be regrown from their seeds.

seedsPulp

Here are some great ideas for using pulp from the Huffington Post:
-Simply eat the pulp. There’s really no need to throw it away.
-Keep the pulp, and add it to smoothies and shakes later.
-Make quickbreads, pancakes, and muffins. (Think of it like zucchini bread, where the pulp adds moisture and texture.)
-DIY some fruit leather.
-Add it to veggie burgers to moisten them.

 

Cheese rinds

Leftover cheese rinds pack a ton of flavor! Keep yours and add them to pasta sauce for that extra dose of awesome. Parmesan is particularly good for flavoring your homemade marinara sauce.

“We’re used to perfect-looking produce and food in pretty packages in the supermarket, and we also take abundance and cheap food for granted,” says Kristen Miglore, Executive Editor of Food52.com. “But that can’t last. There’s been a movement in the past couple years to start embracing ugly but still perfectly good food, and educating cooks about the food scraps they shouldn’t be tossing.”

So get to saving!