I put water, the steam basket and chopped vegetables in the pot. The veggies steam until tender, then I remove them for supper and dump the water out….down the drain it goes, never to be seen by me again. It’s green water if I cooked broccoli, asparagus or green beans and orange if it was carrots. But what if there’s another way? What if that water could still be used, I’m sure there’s some nutrients that seeped out of the veggies into it.

 

 

 

During our practical skills classes we had a lady show us how to make homemade bread, and she said that potato water and other veggie water can be used in bread baking in place of the water! I was enthralled with that idea! She said that it adds even more for the yeast to eat. So since that class Cameron has used water leftover from cooking dry beans (either pinto or red beans, can’t remember) in some bread, and I’ve tried broccoli water and carrot water. I can’t wait to try potato water (read here for instructions on using potato water), and I’m trying to decide if I’m brave enough to use some leftover beet water sitting in the fridge.

 

 

Loaves made using leftover bean water.

Have you ever used vegetable water in baking bread?

Linked at Frugally Sustainable A Blossoming Life, and Living Well Spending Less.

 

 

In the kitchen as Mom peeled apples for apple pie, us kids grabbed the long peels from the bowl and munched away on them. Why was it so much fun to eat apple skins, I don’t know, but it’s a fond memory! :) It’s that time of year, apple pies, crisp, and applesauce, but who wants to waste all of those apple skins? Did you know that most of the vitamins and nutrients in apples are actually in their skin? I have 3 tips to help less nutritious apple skins end up in the trash!

  1. Simply leave the skins on! This not only is less wasteful, but it saves you a time-consuming step. You can still make pies, crisp and even applesauce with the skins. I wasn’t sure about leaving skins on for applesauce, but I found this post from Heavenly Homemakers about it.
  2. Make cinnamon apple skin snacks. Wash your apples before peeling, lay the apple skins, skin side down on a buttered cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon, bake at 150 degrees for about 30 minutes. Eat!
  3. Just eat the peeled skins as they are! Like I mentioned above, I loved this as a kid!

Want more ideas? The Kitchn has 5 awesome ideas including tea, oatmeal and jelly!

Baked apple skins

 

Linked at A Blossoming Life Frugally Sustainable and The Frugal Girls.


 

 

 

We all know that a giant canister of oatmeal can provide many healthy and filling breakfasts, but what if you make too much? What can you do with that oatmeal other than re-heating it or dumping it in the trash? I’ve faced this dilemma myself and have had fun experimenting with recipes. Today’s recipe is a sweet bread, with wiggle room for variety.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (When I made this with chocolate chips, I only used 1/2 cup of sugar and thought it still tasted great).
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (I used unsalted)
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (rinsed)

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separate, then combine. Fold in blueberries or chocolate chips. Put in greased loaf pan and bake at 350 until done (45 minutes?).

Varieties:

Chocolate Chip - I’m sure you could do this many ways, but I’ve done ti with a cup of chocolate chips instead of blueberries.

Muffins - I’ve also made it into muffins, just decrease the baking time.

TIP: Since this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter, that’s exactly one stick. Let the butter sit out a little before taking it out of the wrapper, then use the wrapper to grease your loaf pan!

Yummy bread, thanks to that leftover oatmeal!

Linked at A Blossoming Life and Tammy’s Recipes.

As I think about our future and I imagine our family living in Africa, among people with so much less than us. How will I be viewed if people see me throwing away leftovers, that I never got around to eating?  Of if I have to work at hiding the food we toss out? How embarrassing would it be for a family who barely has enough to eat, so see my food waste photos? Their problem is too little food and my problem is too much. Even if we never live in a third world country, God has always blessed us with more than enough food and allowing it to get wasted isn’t being a good steward of that gift. I wonder how much our grocery bill would go down if we didn’t waste any food, not even a scrap? I bet it’d be more than I realize. I’m on a mission, to waste less food! Even though I’ve talked about food waste before and ways to use it up, I’m starting a new series called Save the Scraps with ideas of how to use food that might otherwise get trashed. It might be leftover rice sitting in the fridge or the peelings from carrots or in this case, overripe strawberries…

Even when strawberries are starting to get mushy, you can still use them!

 

Of course you can just eat strawberries raw, but if you don’t eat them fast enough, they might start to get a little squishy and not look as appetizing. That doesn’t mean they need to be thrown out though! There’s plenty of ways to still use the strawberries!

 

  • Chocolate covered strawberries are simple, yet so elegant and the chocolate coating can disguise blemishes in the strawberries.
The homemade edible arrangement Cameron and Gracia made me!

A homemade edible arrangement Cameron made me a couple years ago...notice the chocolate covered strawberries!

 

  • Don’t have time to do anything with your strawberries right away? Freeze ‘em! Wash and cut them up, then lay flat on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once frozen remove from sheet and place in ziploc bag. Then put them back into the freezer until you want to use them.

Freezing Strawberries

  • Frozen strawberries work perfectly in smoothies!

Strawberry Smoothie

  • Many places donate food to our school, usually food that they can’t sell anymore. When we got tons and tons of strawberries, that were going bad, I tried my hand at freezer jam using some freezer pectin that I had gotten as a free sample, so my only cost was the sugar I added. I was amazed at how easy it was and even more amazed at how much better it tasted than store-bought. It just pops with fresh strawberry flavor!

Other ideas:

  • Strawberry pie,
  • Strawberry short cake,
  • Homemade strawberry ice cream or a strawberry sauce for topping ice cream,
  • Popsicles,
  • Frozen banana split bites

Got any more ideas to add to the list?

Linked at A Blossoming Life.

 

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