Make meals, not waste – how to cook something delicious from your kitchen scraps

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Limit your food waste with these delicious ideas to make the most of your leftovers, writes Amy Norbury

As a nation, we’re working hard on reducing our food waste. A recent report by the government’s advisory body, the Waste and Resources action programme, says that household food waste has dropped by around seven per cent per person over the last three years – but that UK households still waste around 4.5 million tonnes of food that could be eaten every year, worth a staggering £14 billion.

Whether you’ve got a glut of veg that’s past its best, or want to make the most of every last scrap of edible food, here are some tasty ideas to get you started.

Potato peelings

Potatoes are the single most wasted food item – and also one of the most versatile. If you like your crisps on the really crunchy side, then look no further than your potato peelings. The peel of potatoes is packed with nutrients so instead of binning them, spread them over a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and spices before baking in a hot oven for a tasty, nutritious snack.

Pumpkin seeds

If you’re making pumpkin soup or pie, don’t throw away the seeds once you’ve scooped them out. Roast them with a sprinkling of seasoning for a healthy pick-me-up – a great alternative to nuts or crisps.

Carrot tops

The leafy green tops of carrots are perfectly edible and, in fact, make a great alternative to basil for making a pesto – simply blend with nuts and a bit of garlic.

Cauliflower leaves

You can use cauliflower leaves to make a delicious alternative to kale crisps – just toss in some oil and seasoning, then bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes.

Broccoli stalks

If you usually use the leafy florets and chuck the thick stems then stop! Broccoli stems are great for bulking out soups, slicing into rounds to add to your stir fry or even spiralising to create a super healthy vegetable alternative to noodles or pasta.


Strange as it may seem, aquafaba – the juice from tinned chickpeas – is a great vegan alternative to eggs when it comes to making meringues. Just whip it up exactly as you would the egg whites and voila! Perfect vegan meringues every time.


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