I am not kidding. What many consider to be garbage - the portions of food that we throw away - are perfectly edible, good and nutritious parts of the food we pay for!
I'm not talking about leftovers, (although leftovers are sometimes
treated like garbage) but I'm talking about things like those green
leaves left on the radish bunches, and the center core of a cabbage. No.
I am NOT kidding. Those are not only edible, they're good and they're
good for you to eat, cooked or raw.
Radish leaves are loaded with minerals and vitamins, just like any other
dark green leafy vegetable. They're tangy, and although sometimes a
little fuzzy, they add zing to your salads. You can also cook them, but
it takes a lot to make a serving, so if you don't want to put them in a
salad, add them to spinach or other greens when you cook them. You can
dehydrate or freeze them, too, if you want to stockpile them until you
have enough to eat as a separate dish. Just don't throw them into the
garbage; you bought them. Because they tend to go bad faster than
the radishes, it's a good idea to eat or process them otherwise within a
day or two of bringing them home.
Cabbage cores? Delicious raw! Slice or dice them into salads or stir
frys. Or eat them just like they are, with a little salt if you like.
This was always a treat for whichever kid was in the kitchen when Mom
used the last of the cabbage. (She was kind enough to share!)
Sure, there's more:
Any time you peel vegetables like carrots or potatoes, or trim
vegetables like celery or onions, scrub them first, then freeze the
peelings and trimmings until you have a gallon or so. Put it all in a
pot of water and cook until everything is done, then strain the solids (then
you can put them in the garbage, but the compost pile is better) and
use the remaining broth for a soup base. It's excellent also for a hot
drink when you have a cold or don't feel well otherwise. Add a little
salt to bring out the flavor and serve hot.
It's no secret that you can eat broccoli stems, and you'll even find
them in the grocery store in the form of "broccoslaw." It might be a
secret, though, that you can add the small, tender leaves found on the
stems as well as those on cauliflower. You can eat cauliflower stems as
well. Peel stems from both vegetables to remove the tough outer
covering. You can eat all of this raw or cooked. A really good soup can
be made by cooking peeled, sliced stems and young leaves of both plants,
then adding some diced ham and enough cheese added to make the water
opaque. No garbage here - it's an elegant soup.
Do you like sunflower or pumpkin seeds? Then you'll enjoy squash seeds,
too. You can eat the seeds of any winter squash. Toast them just like
you would pumpkin seeds. Wash, soak in salt water overnight and toast in
a slow oven until dry and very lightly browned. Or melt butter and mix
into the raw, clean seed, sprinkle a little salt and toast them slowly
in a skillet on the stove top.
Apple or fruit jelly can be made from the peelings and cores that you
throw away! Just use this garbage the same way you would whole fruit.
Cut away any bruised or bad areas and cook in water until tender.
Strain, and use the juice in any jelly recipe to finish. (Be sure to
wash the fruit well first if you intend to use the peels.)
And now for the super frugal tip: Wash empty egg shells thoroughly and
drop into a half cup of vinegar. Let it set until the shells are
completely dissolved, then use the vinegar however you normally would.
Egg shells are mainly calcium, so you get a nutritional boost.
Garbage? No way. It's good nutrition and frugal good sense to eat what others throw away!