The No Waste Challenge
What do you do with all your leftovers or forgotten veggies and fruits? Recycle them!
Recycling leftovers or forgotten veggies and fruits.
Have you ever looked in your fridge to find mushy fruit or shriveled veggies?
After you’ve spent the time, attention, and money on healthy food, give it love.
The No Waste Challenge
The concept is simple:
Find creative ways to use up those healthy foods that might get thrown out.
To be clear, we’re not talking about stuff that has fur, botulism, salmonella, or possibly its own sentient consciousness.
The careful cook’s rule: If in doubt, throw it out.
Then, if you still have some leftovers that are edible, here’s how to make healthy meals that make that food go farther.
Fruit will usually go bad in two ways: Mold and fermentation (yeast or bacterial breakdown of the sugars).
As long as fruit isn’t actively moldy, it’s usually okay to eat. Often, when fruit gets brown spots, it simply signals that the skin has begun to oxidize. In that case, it’s still ok to eat.
- Blackened, mushy bananas are delicious in Super Shakes.
- Cook fruit with meat. Try slicing up apples, pears, plums, and peaches, then tucking the fruit under chicken breasts or pork tenderloins before you roast them. Chop a mango or peaches into a curry.
- Try a fruit salsa by finely chopping or blending different fruits. Savory: Add lime juice, fresh cilantro, a chopped red or green onion, and spread it over fish or chicken. Sweet: try a sprinkle of cinnamon, some crushed nuts, and a little sweetener to make an easy fruit crumble.
- Freeze your fruit! Peel a banana and pop it in the freezer. Later, make “ice cream” by blending frozen fruit with a little protein powder and a splash of almond milk. Frozen grapes are delicious on their own as snacks, too.
- Chop fruit and put it into a pot. (A crockpot is a great, hands-off way to do this.) Simmer slowly until the fruit becomes a purée then cool it and place it in a jar. You can make applesauce or any kind of fruit purée, which you can then have with breakfast as a jam alternative. Sure beats the sugar-laden crap at the grocery store!
As with fruit, most veggies are okay unless they’re actively moldy. Often, cutting the moldy parts off make the salvaged veg still ok to eat. Taste test to make sure.
One exception to this general safety guideline are potatoes that have gone green. Potatoes are part of the solanum family, which includes deadly nightshade. The green pigment signals the presence of chemical toxins that are poisonous in high amounts. Be more careful with green potatoes and other nightshades.
To resuscitate veggies that have gone limp, throw them into an ice water bath for 15 minutes. Their cells will draw in water and they’ll become firm again.
- Make a “scavenger salad” out of every veggie you have on hand, along with leftover cooked grains and cooked protein. Toss it all up with some dressing and enjoy the variety.
- Grate the ends of carrots, zucchini, cabbage, rutabaga, and apple. Toss with a handful of walnuts, a spoonful of yogurt, a spoonful of strong mustard, and pinch of salt to make a savory slaw.
- Toss ’em in a vegetable soup. Chop your veggies, grab some vegetable stock from the store, and add everything to a pot. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes or so, blend it if you like, and garnish with some fresh herbs like Italian parsley or basil.
- Sneak them into a Super Shake. Try tossing a carrot into an apple-vanilla-cinnamon Super Shake, or a red pepper or tomato into a Super Shake with an orange.
- Make an egg scramble. Simply heat a pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. Pour in your chopped veggies and let them heat up by stirring. Beat 2-4 eggs with some salt and pepper and pour them in. Use a spatula and keep stirring until the eggs are cooked.
- Add leftover veggies to a stir fry.
The No Waste Challenge: waste less food—and less time and hard-earned money.
All while supporting a healthier, fitter lifestyle.