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  • Writer's pictureKatherine

Reducing Waste in the Kitchen Part 1

Perhaps your New Year's goal was to be less wasteful, or perhaps you are striving to save money everywhere you can in this inflated economy. With the price of eggs going through the roof, it can be extremely important to utilize those resources to their fullest ability. Or perhaps that spring mix is going bad in the fridge... Again.

Reducing waste in the kitchen can be an easy task when you have a plan to utilize every part of the food purchased! When I started on my journey, it was not an all-at-once change. There were a few intentional habits and changes added over time that now add up to a big impact! It really started from a money saving necessity when I was in college. The easiest and most cost efficient way to buy organic chicken was to purchase a whole chicken and utilize the entire bird. I would slow cook the whole chicken and divide the meat for different meals, then once the carcass was cleaned I would make chicken broth.

Broths from Food Scraps

Now, as I have evolved in the kitchen I still do the same process but make a rich bone broth instead of stock! If you have never tried making a bone broth from bone scraps, it is one of the eaisest processes you could imagine! Load everything up in the slow cooker and add a splash of apple cider vinegar to help draw out the nutrients and marrow from the bones. Cook for 12-24 hours on low. It really is that easy! Then I use it for everything from soups to flavoring my grits! Once you get accustomed to having a free source of rich broth, the store bought versions will taste like water in comparisons.

The key to making a good broth is in the ingredients. Vegetable scraps like carrot peels, onion skins/tops, celery trimmings and garlic skin can be easily stored in a freezer bag in the freezer. As you cook and gather these items, simply add them to the bag until you are ready to make a broth. Then throw them in the slow cooker with your bones and wait for the magic to happen!

There are many different versions of broth that you can make with vegetable scraps:

  • Use shrimp peels and crab shells to create a tasty seafood broth. Use to make She Crab soup, lobster mac and cheese and clam chowder.

  • Mushoom bottoms and vegetable scraps can make a great vegan alternative to bone broth and has a wonderful flavor!

  • Pork bones can be saved for a rich bone broth to add to flavor homemade ramen. They are also create a gelatinous broth for thick sauces.

  • Save trimmings from lemongrass and tumeric and ginger to add a little different flavor and variety to your bone broths.

  • Chicken, turkey and beef bones are perfect for slow cooker bone broth.

  • Aviod using cruciferous scraps (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), potato peels and peppers as these can give the broth an off flavor


All the work that those little chickens put into creating this nutrient dense nugget

should be celebrated! Eggs are so great and their shell is no egg-ception! Whether you buy your eggs from the store or have your own backyard laying hens, there are quite a few uses for those hard shells left behind:

  • Make plant food for your indoor plants or garden by rinsing the shells then baking them in a 350 oven for a few minutes. Crush the baked shells and combine with water in a mason jar. Let it sit for a few weeks and watch your plants thrive!

  • Give your compost pile a little boost with eggshells. Throw them in whole or crush up for easier use.

  • Use the 1/2 shells as a seed starter for your tomato plants. Fill with seed starter mix and plant your seed. When the seedling is ready to plant in the garden, simply plant the eggshell with it and it will serve as a natural source of calcium for the tomato plant!

  • Give chickens extra calcium to ensure good egg formation. Follow the same steps for making plant food the crush or blend the shells to tiny pieces. Sprinkle on top of the chicken feed for natural nutrients!

  • Make adorable toadstool mushrooms to decorate with! Check out how to here .

Making broths and utilizing every scrap is a great way to kick start a journey to a more sustainable kitchen! Try some of these ideas out and let me know what you think below!

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