How To Eat Your Compost! Becoming A Food Waste Ninja…

by Tammy Taylor~

Food waste – we all hate it.  We work diligently to make sure none of that food we’ve paid our hard-earned money for is wasted.  But are we doing all we can?  Maybe…  But maybe not!  Have you ever thought about eating your compost?

Stay with me now, I’m not suggesting that you root through the compost heap and snack on its contents.  Today I’m talking about food destined for the compost heap.

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

Veggie Trimmings

The tough neck & stem parts of an onion are typically destined for the composter.  But instead I separate the paper skin and the tough onion parts. Then I chop the onion trimmings & dehydrate them. I use my coffee grinder to grind them into onion powder and BOOM!  I’ve easily saved those savory onion sections previously deemed too tough to eat & also replaced an item I used to have to buy.

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

I do the same thing with bell peppers, seeds & ribs from jalapenos and other savory veggie scraps.  They’re dehydrated & ground for seasonings.  I have a small jar for each of these byproducts.

Dehydrating Extra Fresh Produce

How about making sure fresh produce never reaches compost-worthy status in the first place?  For instance, I often buy a bunch of celery for a specific dish and then wonder if I’ll ever use the whole bunch.  (spoiler alert – the answer is always NO!)

So after I use the fresh celery for my entree I’ll often dehydrate the rest, both stalks and leaves.  The leaves are crushed and added to my crushed celery spice jar.  The chopped ribs are dehydrated and placed in a glass jar in the pantry.  Now it’s easy to add dehydrated chopped celery to a simmering soup.  It’ll rehydrate right there in the stockpot!

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

Regrowing Celery

What about that base part of the celery?  Well don’t toss it in the compost! That base section can be placed in water until it grows a few roots and then transplanted.  More fresh celery growing again for FREE!

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

Fresh Herbs

Whether rosemary, basil, sage or oregano, it can all be dehydrated for later.  I harvest a stem of fresh herb & strip & chop the teaspoon of fresh herb for my recipe.  But what about the rest of that stem?  Easy, I’ll strip, dry and crush the remaining leaves.  I add them to a seasoning jar for each herb.

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

Replanting Sprouted Produce

You know the drill.  You bought that head of garlic but things got away from you.  Next thing you know it’s gone too far.  It’s sprouted.  Wait a minute…  sprouted?  Why not PLANT it?

Yep, separating & planting each clove from that head of garlic will result in a whole new head from each individual clove, giving you much more garlic than you started with!

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

I’ve done the same thing with a sprouted red potato, cutting it up into chunks and planting them to grow into much more fresh produce than I started with!

Bread Crumbs

RancherMan loves me to make his favorite soft-fluffy sandwich bread.  And when I cut that bread into slices it sometimes makes a mess on the counter.  But do I sweep those crumbs into the compost bucket?  Nope, they’re my own version of homemade breadcrumbs!  I keep a small glass jar in the cabinet to hold them until I need them to bread Potato Cakes or pork chops.  If needed I can even season them with those dried herbs I didn’t toss in the compost earlier!

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

Fruit Peels/Cores Into Vinegar

Fruit peels & cores can be saved from the compost pile because they can easily be made into vinegar.  I’ve made both apple cider vinegar & pineapple vinegar from discarded core & peels. It’s a simple process and once again, I’ve made for myself a product I used to have to buy.

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

Bone Broth

Although I don’t technically put bones in the compost, it’s another opportunity to stop food waste.  After that delicious chicken is enjoyed for supper and the carcass is picked clean, the bones and trimmings are set aside.  I place them in a slow cooker (or pressure cooker if I’m in a hurry) and turn that waste into the most delicious, healthy broth you ever tasted.  Yet another thing I used to buy that now I’ve provided for myself.

Can you eat your compost? Come see ways I've saved food previously destined for the compost pile for delicious use in my kitchen. #TxHomesteader

So next time you’re headed for your compost bucket with the last scraps of food take note.  Hummmm…  Can we EAT this??  Oftentimes the answer is ‘YES’!

~TxH~

 

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6 thoughts on “How To Eat Your Compost! Becoming A Food Waste Ninja…

  1. MeanJean

    Ha! I finally found someone more frugal than myself! I have saved onion bits for soup base, but, never saved the onion/pepper bits for a spice mix– what a great idea! You do beat all Mrs.TaylorMadeHomestead!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL MeanJean – It all started when I excitedly purchased some jalapeno powder years ago so I could add the spice to my own plate without subjecting others to that kind of heat. Then I wondered (as I often do) “I wonder if I can make that myself??” Several days later as I was de-seeding jalapenos to bring down the heat level for company at a dinner party, the light bulb came on. Yep, I use that jalapeno powder all the time in many different dishes. And I have a spice jar that’s a mixture of many savory dehydrated veggies all powdered together – bell pepper and some of the onion along with various herbs. It’s my all-in-one seasoning & I like to use it with soups & such. Yep, I’ve been eating my compost for years! LOL ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. candace

    A couple of thoughts – I’ve never had great luck here in Oregon growing garlic heads from those little teensy annoying garlic cloves or the cloves that have sprouted but I do plant them and often just trim some of the sprouts for whatever I’m cooking and they keep on sprouting, I also toss them into the bag in the freezer that is destined to become vegetable broth. I do put bones in the compost, after boiling the daylights out of them they are very soft and quite free of any meat product so in they go. I never see them in the finished compost. I also sometimes toss them into the fireplace and then they still end up on the veg or flower garden. Crab and shrimp shells (I DO live near the Oregon Coast) go right into the compost. If you’ve ever seen a field that has had shrimp shells (Kind of stinky for awhile) spread on it you are missing something,

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love all your tips Candace, thanks for sharing! And you’re right, those bones are often crumbly after their broth-making cooking so I should totally toss them into the composter too. Especially since I have a tumbler so there’s no opportunity for wildlife to come scratching around for it. ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Patti

    When I first saw the message it said “How to eat your compost” you had me worried. I thought I was going to have to set up a go fund me page, that you guys were starving and resorting to……… 😉 I feel so much better after ready the full article and as usual it’s GREAT! Now I can sit down and enjoy my morning coffee knowing everything is honky dorey.!!!!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Patti! I must admit I was after an eyebrow-raising reaction to the title. But let me assure you (although we’re eating plenty of our pre-compost food these days in the form of onion powder, broth and much more) everything is definitely hunky dorey at the Taylor household! XOX ~TMH~

      Reply

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