5 Easy Hacks to Keep Your Kitchen Waste-Free

nut pulp hummus

I have gotten quite a few questions lately on various things I’ve posted from my kitchen adventures. It sounds like you guys are interested in learning more about the little things I try to do to avoid making so much waste. You may already know this about me, but I’m always in my kitchen making some [delicious + healthy] creation. That’s why it’s so important to me that I’m not also making a ton of waste.

Of course I compost, but not everything needs to go into the compost bin either.

here are 5 of my favorite ways to minimize waste in the kitchen:

1. Tomato Paste. Do you ever buy that little can of tomato paste for a recipe that calls for some partial amount, say 2 or 3 tablespoons? After the recipe is made, I bet you save the rest, throwing it into your fridge. Amiright?

Ok, so you haven’t wasted it… yet. But I’ll also put money on the fact that about 1/4 of the time, when you need tomato paste again, you forget it’s there. And another 1/4 of the time, when you do pull it out of the fridge there’s mold on it. So you waste leftover tomato paste about 1/2 of the time. Did I do my math right? Or maybe these proportions are wrong.

Regardless, I have something that may help!

Scoop the remaining paste out into 1 tablespoon portions, then freeze them. Combine into 1 container to prevent freezer burn once they’re good and frozen.

2. Herb bombs. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a variety of fresh herbs always growing, year-round. But if you’re like me and don’t always have every fresh herb at the ready, you likely have to buy some herb bundles from the grocery or market.

I’m pretty good at placing them in a cup of water (like a vase) and keeping them chilled in my fridge. Although this can really help to extend the life of the herbs, after awhile they all start looking sad. If you get the feeling you’re headed towards limp herbs, take action before they become wilted.

Chop and add to an ice cube tray, fill with water to submerge the herbs, and freeze. Once set, pop them out, and label the container “[insert herb] Bombs.”

When thawed, they’ll have a different texture than fresh but the same bright flavor. Keep this in mind when picking which recipes to use these for. The bombs are GREAT for throwing into soups!

3. Nut pulp from making homemade nut milk. Once I started making my own dairy-free milk, there was the issue of what to do with the leftover nut pulp. There is no way I can just throw that into the garbage!

Although there are recipes to be found, turns out there’s a bit of a shortage. But that means lots of recipe-creating potential!

Some of my favorites are nut pulp crackers, 3-ingredient cookies (I make these and variations of them the most), and hummus.

4. Ginger root. This one might be the easiest hack.

To prevent your fresh ginger root from getting all tough and dried out, just put it in the freezer!

When you need it, cut off a hunk, put the remainder back in the freezer, and prepare as normal. I promise it tastes exactly the same, and the texture isn’t any different from fresh either. You can even mince or grate it while it’s still frozen. As with most things, don’t let it sit in there for years or it’ll get freezer burn.

5. Coffee (gasp!) First of all, I don’t know who on earth has leftover coffee. Haha, juuust kidding! Maybe it’s only a little, but don’t toss it! I have a great way to repurpose that extra. As with the herb bombs, you should have an ice cube tray on hand.

Freeze remaining coffee into cubes.

These can be used in smoothies (coffee cherry chocolate anyone??) or are you someone who typically needs to wait before having your first sip of coffee because it will scald your mouth? Scald/wait no more! Put one of these cubes into your coffee to bring it down to a drinkable temperature without it watering down your precious morning beverage.

It feels so right to minimize waste. Leave a comment below if you have any questions about these processes. I have other ideas for using nut pulp too, so let me know if you’re sick of cookies!

Thanks for reading.

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Yoga instructor and mental wellness coach Charlotte Wrzesinski

Hi, I'm Charlotte!

I wear many hats and understand everyday, real-life stress.

I am a mom, wife, pharmacist, yoga and meditation instructor, and mental wellness coach. I started focusing on wellness after having my second child as a means to manage stress, improve my own overall state of wellbeing, and become more balanced.

My transformation was so powerful that I made it my mission to help others achieve and maintain wellness in their lives.

Learn More About Me +

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