Zero Waste Food Scrap Recipe Guide (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Are you curious about turning food scraps into key ingredients for delicious recipes? If so, you have come to the right place.

Over the last few years I have really worked hard to reduce food waste in my household and I am happy to say we are now at the zero waste stage and have been for a while! Getting to this point took some planning and creativity when it came to using up vegetables and fruits so they didn’t go to waste, however, it has resulted in the creation of lots of tasty recipes that will help you use up random food!

In the past I have written guides with tips, ideas and recipe inspiration such as my guide for the Best Recipes to Reduce Food Waste which you can find here. However, this guide is different as it features recipes created to specifially use up the scraps of food typically thrown away!

At the moment I have just a handful of these specific recipes, however, this guide will get updated whenever I create a new recipe so it will always be growing.

Sweet & Sour Watermelon Rind

I was actually really surprised when I found out that the rind on all types of melon is edible as I had no clue! Watermelon is the only type I really like so it made sense that when I next bought one I saved the skin to try in a recipe. When eaten raw the skin is very hard and crunchy, however, once cooked it softens and actually has a really great texture. It isn’t sweet like the watermelon flesh and, to be honest, it doesn’t really taste of much making it great to add it into savoury recipes. If you are curious about trying watermelon rind in a recipe why not try my Sweet & Sour Watermelon recipe which you can find here.

Asparagus Ends Soup

I know it is common practise to chop off the woody ends of asparagus when cooking, however, it has always felt like such a waste to me. I have tried just throwing the whole thing into dishes and cooking them but the fibrous texture, although improved when cooked, is still there and it can ruin the meal when you are chomping down on what feels like a stick. I started to save all the woody ends up when I used the tips in meals and stored them in the freezer and, once I had enough, I used them to create this delicious soup. Due to the cooking method used for soup the texture of the stalks do not matter so this really is the perfect recipe to use them up in. If you are curious about my Asparagus End Soup you can find the recipe here.

Barbecue Cauliflower Ribs

I have been using the leaves from cauliflowers in meals for years now but I usually just save them and throw them into a stir fry, or something similar, the day after eating the cauliflower. Due to the shape of the leaves and the thick stems that run through them, I have always thought that cauliflower leaves would make a great plant based rib alternative. When I decided to create this little zero waste series focusing on using food scraps as the main ingredients, turning the cauliflower leaves into ribs just seemed like the obvious choice. If you are curious about my Barbecue Cauliflower Ribs you can find my recipe here.

Banana Peel Bacon

This is definitely going to be the one recipe on this list that will cause a few raised eyebrows so, if you are still with me at this point, I commend you. We get through a lot of bananas in my household because I drink a lot of smoothies and, it turns out, the peels are completely edible. I know a few people will worry about pesticides but you can get around this by choosing organic and/or thoroughly washing your bananas before eating. It is best to use ripe bananas for this, however, you can leave the peels to ripen for a few days after eating the banana if necessary. This is one of those recipes you shouldn’t knock until you have tried as the seasoning used makes it taste bizarrely similar to bacon. If you are curious about my Banana Peel Bacon you can find the recipe here.

Sweet & Salty Pumpkin Seeds

Not just for pumpkins, my Sweet & Salty Pumpkin Seeds can be made using the seeds of any squash you have to hand and they make a great tasty on the go snack or work well sprinkled on top of soups and salads. It never really made sense to me why people would discard the seeds from pumpkins but then go out and buy ready made savoury snacks, often including seeds, in shops when they could just make their own! This is a very simple and versatile recipe and, in my opinion, would be the perfect recipe to get started on your zero food waste journey. Get the recipe for my Sweet & Salty Pumpkin Seeds here.

DIY Coffee Scrub

Clearly this is not a recipe for something edible, however, I felt it made sense to include it in this guide as the main ingredient is discarded coffee grounds. If you regularly use coffee beans or ground coffee rather than instant why not try this easy DIY Coffee Scrub instead of throwing the coffee grounds away or composting them. I used to spend a small fortune on coffee based exfoliators so creating my own using just three ingredients has saved me money and helped me to reduce waste. If you fancy trying my DIY Coffee Scrub you can find it here.

I am currently in the process of working on another lifestyle idea that uses up the peel of citrus and I have a few ideas about how to use up apple cores so keep your eyes peeled for those! In the meantime, if there are any other food scraps you think I could create a recipe from let me know in the comments.

If you like this guide and want to show some support please leave a comment below or visit my Ko-Fi account to donate! x


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