Since I started composting about 5 years ago I have always amazed myself just how much good fruit & vegetable material could be saved. I have converted most apartments in my building actually to be ‘composters’ and have seen our green council bin go from being empty to actually having food scraps added. The small things huh?
Food waste in landfill is a huge contributor to greenhouse gasses, composting is great, not wasting them is even better. These zero waste recipes are a great start to making sure we are appreciating completely the wonderful food that we buy, we save money, we nourish our bodies and we are helping the environment.
All it takes is a bit of invention and changing of some habits.
Apple Skin Vinegar
- Collect about 500 grams of apple peels & cores
- 200 grams of caster sugar
Put all of the apple scraps into a bowl and leave to go slightly brown over about 24 hours. Then pop into a glass jar or container, better something with a wider top, and cover with filtered water leaving about 5 cms at the top. Add the sugar, cover with a light napkin or tea towel. I just use a piece of baking string or an elastic band to hold tight.
It then needs to be stored in a warm, dark place and after a few days, you will notice that there is a creamy froth that settles on the top. Start tasting after about a month and when it’s to the taste you like it just strain it into sterilised bottles. The longer you leave it the sharper the taste will be.
Say goodbye to apple scraps and hello to homemade apple vinegar!
Artichoke 'Bit's & Pieces' Soup
Artichokes are so yummy but incredibly fiddly and by the time you peel off all of the outer layers it feels like more goes into the bin than into your mouth! This recipe means that nothing is wasted.
This is a rich, hearty winter soup that uses all of the scraps of the artichokes which are normally thrown away as nobody knows what to do with them! Always buy artichokes in season so they are tender. The harder, larger sized ones can be less tasty. It takes 10 mins to prepare and this quantity will serve 4 people.
- Outer layer leaves and stems from 8 artichokes
- 200g mixed vegetable scraps, such as onion, celery, carrot and parsley (you can freeze as you use these to make broth or soups, make sure they are clean of dirt)
- 200g diced potatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock ( homemade always better!)
- Single cream & EVOO for drizzling
- Sea salt and black pepper
Make sure the artichoke outer leaves are clean. The stems can be cleaned on the outside using a vegetable grater and then chopped up. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the vegetable scraps and stir for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the artichoke leaves and stems and cook for a few minutes before adding the potatoes and two-thirds of the stock. Let cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 mins, if the liquid evaporates too much then add more stock. Once cooked you need to puree in a blender until smooth, strain if necessary & then garnish with some fresh cream, paremesa, salt & pepper & a nice dollop of the best quality EVOO that you can find!!
Happy Cooking and save those scraps!