In our house, eating healthy is a high priority for us. Produce is the main ingredient for all of our dishes. We can actually say with confidence that we eat the optimal number of servings a day. With that said, we end up with a lot of produce scraps. Sometimes we compost them, but sometimes we get creative. Here is a list of 12 unique ways you can reuse produce scraps to save money, be green, and have fun using your imagination.
- Seedling pots. Use your left over scooped out avocado shells for mini biodegradable seedling pots. This is a great way to start your seeds for you garden. Once they are big enough to be transplanted, you can just plant the whole thing in the ground, peel and all.
- Air freshener/Potpourri. On an oven rack, dry left over peels such as lemons, limes, apples, etc. and use them to make homemade potpourri. Who doesn’t like the smell of fresh fruit?!
- Face moisturizer. Use the inside of a peach or nectarine rind to gently scrub your face. These fruits are high in potassium and Vitamin A and work great at re-hydrating your skin.
- Bug repellent. If you love nuts as much as we do, then I am sure you will have some shells laying around. Grind these up and sprinkle them around your garden plants. They work great at keeping slugs and other pests away.
- Metal shiner. Citrus rinds and pulps work great for polishing metals due to their high citric acid content.
- Salad bowls. Larger fruits like watermelon, cantaloupes, and honeydews that have been scooped out work great for serving salads and such. Not only are they strong, they are also pretty. Squashes such as acorn and spaghetti can be used the same way too.
- Candy. Boil left over citrus rinds in a mixture of equal parts water and sugar until the liquid is absorbed. Then drain and coat with granulated sugar. Viola, you have some tasty candy.
- Shoe polish. If you are in a jam, use the outside of a banana peel to quickly polish and shine your shoes.
- Charcoal extender. If you like to bbq, don’t just rely on charcoal. Mix in some peanut shells too. These shells burn slow so they work great for grilling on.
- Get pickling. I personally am not into pickled items, but my husband is. Take any left over rinds you have, fruit or veggie, and pickle them in sugar, vinegar, and spices. The different rinds can make some really great side dishes or appetizers.
- Jam/Marmalades. Next time you are making jam, incorporate some rinds into the mix. They can add some great flavour to the finished product.
- Aluminum foil substitute. Next time you want to grill some veggies on the bbq, wrap them in cornhusks instead of foil. It works just as good and is a greener option. This also works for meat too.
- Settle the tummy. If you or your child have an upset stomach, boil a little pomegranate skin in water with cinnamon and drink it once cooled. It helps to tame those tummy troubles.
As you can see, produce isn’t just great for diet. It can be used in many ways in many areas of your life. So join me on the green living journey and start re-using your produce. Next Monday, I will share 8 more ways those lovely garden treasures can be used.
If you have gotten creative in reusing regular items, share with us your tips below.
These tips have been based on ideas shared by the Green Cheepskate, Jeff Yeager.