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Sat 10 02 2024
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List sustainable cooking practices and recipe ideas that support a zero-waste kitchen

by bernt & torsten

1. Purchase Locally Grown or Produced Food: Locally sourced produce often has less environmental impact because it requires less energy for transportation. It also supports local agriculture and can be fresher and more nutritious.

2. Use Every Part of The Ingredient: This can be as simple as using the stems of herbs in a stock or the peels of vegetables to make a puree or chop and add to soups. Carrot tops, beet greens, and radish greens are all edible. Cooking “nose to tail” or “root to leaf” reduces food waste.

3. Compost: If you can't use all of your vegetable scraps or produce goes bad before you can use it, composting is an equally sustainable practice. Compost can be used as nutrient-rich soil for growing your herbs or vegetables.

4. Buy in Bulk: This not only helps save food packaging but also reduces food waste because you can measure out exactly how much of an ingredient you need.

5. Meal Planning: Planning your meals ahead of time can help prevent food waste. You'll know exactly what you need from the store, reducing the risk of impulse purchases or extras.

6. Use Reusable Containers: Instead of using plastic wrap or foil, store your leftovers or prepare your meals in reusable containers.

7. Cook From Scratch: Cooking from scratch is not only better for your health but for the environment. Packaged foods often have a lot of waste associated with their packaging.

8. Repurpose Leftovers: Try to come up with new meals using your leftovers. This can save energy as well as reduce waste.

Recipe ideas:

1. Veggie Stock: Save all your vegetable trimmings, peels, and ends in a container in the freezer. Once you have enough, boil them in water to make a homemade vegetable stock.

2. Leftover Bread Pudding: Use leftover or stale bread to make a bread pudding. This can be either a sweet or savory dish, from a classic cinnamon-raisin bread pudding to a strata with cheese and vegetables.

3. Frittata: A frittata is a great way to use up vegetables that are past their prime.

4. Homemade Pesto: Use carrot tops, beet greens, or radish greens in place of, or in addition to, the traditional fresh basil in pesto.

5. Compost Cookies: Save any crumbs or broken pieces of chips, pretzels, or cookies. Mix these "compost" ingredients into a cookie batter and bake.

Remember, achieving a zero-waste kitchen takes time and practice. Even small changes can make a big difference.

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