April is here, which means it’s Earth Month! It’s an entire month dedicated to environmental justice and sustainability. Did you know that American consumers throw away 27 million tons of food each year? That leads to clogged landfills, greenhouse gasses, and an economic loss of $144 billion. So, here’s how to fix it: prioritize your leftovers!
We’re giving you four delicious ways to repurpose leftover lunches.
Freeze your meals
You made too much food and you can’t finish it? A great way to preserve your food is by freezing it! A fun fact about frozen fruits and vegetables is that they keep their vitamins and minerals, and they’re sometimes more nutritious than fresh ones. Foods like soups, casseroles, bread, and meat still taste great after they’ve been frozen (and thawed of course). The next time a banana goes bad, just put it in the freezer! It’ll make a tasty banana bread or yummy smoothie (no thawing necessary).
Get creative with food scraps
Instead of throwing away those potato skins, why not make chips? I’m sure you can do this with your eyes closed, it’s so simple. You just need to drain the potatoes, dry them with paper towels, add oil, salt, and pepper and roast them for 5-10 minutes (you can always try deep or shallow frying them as well). Maybe even easier – if you’re a fan of vegetable stock, save your carrot peels, celery ribs, and whatever other vegetable scraps you have (something sweet like corn, bell peppers, etc.). Bring the scraps to a boil, strain, and freeze. There you go, flavorful delicious goodness made from food you might otherwise toss in the trash!
Leverage your overripe food
Avocados are known for going bad fast. The good news is, you can make a great dressing, a rich pasta sauce, or guacamole from scratch with fresh cilantro and tomatoes. Your options are endless! Every now and then, we can’t finish all of our fruit in time, so you can make a strawberry daiquiri or jam with overripe strawberries. It’s extra sweet, hard to resist, and perfect for summer!
Revive greens in cold water
Do you have soggy lettuce or floppy broccoli in your fridge? There’s an easy fix. You can put lettuce whole in water if it’s still intact. For broccoli, trim the bottom or cut the florets and put them in water. Putting vegetables in ice-cold water can help revive them and even make them crisp like new. The next time you see a soggy veggie, you’ll know what to do!
Now that you know how to repurpose your lunch while saving the planet, it’s time to try these tips out! Start by freezing your meals, then maybe make use of those potato scraps! Once you’re an expert, maybe you can try adding some sweet scraps like apple peels to your breakfast pancakes!
Finally, we need to talk about composting!
If you just can’t muster the energy for our four tips above, you can always save the landfill and compost your scraps. You can even start an indoor compost bin (and we promise – from experience – that it doesn’t smell). Give it a try!