12 Food Scraps You Didn’t Know Were Edible

Header image

So you’ve just finished baking, roasting and frying up a delicious feast, and you’re about to throw away all your leftover food scraps – stop right there!

70% of household food waste in the UK could have been eaten. This not only represents a huge waste of money – but also a huge waste of resources. But we’re determined to make a difference! Find out more about Why Food Waste Is A Global Problem.

And if you want to join the cause at home, you can start with these surprisingly simple food waste hacks…

Pumpkin seeds

Next time you’re making squash or pumpkin soup, save those slippery seeds to be roasted into a tasty snack. They’re packed with nutrients and are great to stash in your desk drawer or lunchbox as an emergency pick-me-up.

Broccoli Stalks

It’s not only the leafy florets of broccoli that are edible – you can eat the stalks too! Slice them up and add them to your stir fry or soup, or you can spiralise them to use instead of courgetti.

Carrot Tops

This might feel counter-intuitive, but carrot tops are just as nutritious as kale or spinach. Blend them into your green smoothies, mix them into falafel, or layer them in a salad. You can even make pesto out of them.

Potato Peel

If you like your crisps super crunchy, this is a food scraps hack for you. Spread your potato peelings over a baking tray, drizzle with oil, season with salt, herbs and spices and bake until crisp. We’ve got a glorious recipe that will teach you How To Make Amazing Homemade Crisps right here.

Cauliflower Leaves

Instead of tossing away cauliflower leaves, try tossing them in a little oil and some salt and whack them in the oven for 30 minutes at high heat. They’ll turn out crispy like kale chips but with a more buttery flavour.

Vegetable Water

Boiling veg for a roast? Once the veg is suitably tender, drain over a pot and use the green, nutrient-packed water to make the gravy.

Cabbage Hearts

The heart of a cabbage is such a hidden treat! Radish-like in flavour with a moreish crunch, you can pickle it, use it in soup, or even slice it and serve it with dip.

Herb Stalks

Fresh herbs can upgrade a standard meal into flavour heaven, but did you know the most flavour is found in the stalks? Don’t stop chopping until you hit board!

Parmesan Rind

How many times have you wished you could eat every single morsel of parmesan attached to that pesky rind? We’re here to tell you that you absolutely can. Next time you whip up a batch of soup, layer that rind on top and watch it melt. This works especially well with French onion soup.

Sprout Tops

The leafy crown on a sprout stalk is yet another unsung hero, with a sweet fresh taste and all the nutrients of a sprout. Cook these “food scraps” the same as you would cabbage.

Leeks And Spring Onion

Do you tend to only use the white of leeks and spring onions? You’re missing out on half the goodness! Carry on chopping and get the whole plant in there.

Citrus Peel

It’s so easy to turn orange and lemon peel into a tangy sweet treat, all you need is sugar, water and a pan. Follow this recipe from BBCGoodFood and let us know how it goes.

What’s your favourite food-saving cooking hack? Do you know one we missed on our list? Let us know in the comments below! Or if you’re keen for more ideas on how to reduce your household waste check out 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Compost and 9 Simple Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste.