We’re all curious about finding new ways to spend less, but these don’t have to be big changes. Reducing food waste not only helps to lower our carbon footprint but can also help us save money. Many of us throw away food scraps or those past their best, not aware of the potential recipes that can be created with them.
With this in mind, Jack and Beyond personalised cakes, an online cake shop with an adorable bakery and café on Battersea High Street, London, compiled some of the best recipes and ideas you can try at home to use up unwanted food scraps and create delicious desserts.
Zero-waste: Turn breads crusts into churros and other dessert ideas using kitchen scraps
Aquafaba (chickpea water):
Instead of pouring the liquid in cans of chickpeas away, aquafaba can be used as an egg substitute in a huge variety of recipes, including meringues! Simply replace each egg white that would normally be used with 2 tablespoons of chickpea water, and you can whip up vegan meringues in no time.
Once bananas are past their best it’s tempting to just throw them out and buy more. But there’s so many ways they can be incorporated into all sorts of cakes and desserts. Added to muffin, cake, and biscuit batter or used as a vegan alternative ingredient they add moisture and creaminess. They can stand in for sugar, eggs, and fat in pancake and waffle mixtures too! Blending them together with baking powder and sifted flour creates a batter that can be used for pancakes and in a waffle iron.
It’s just a fact that a lot of kids (and adults) don’t like bread crusts, but don’t throw them out! There’s a multitude of uses for leftover crusts, from croutons to bread pudding, to baked cinnamon sugar sticks: a delicious cross between a sugar doughnut and a churro. Simply toss the bread crusts in a bowl with melted butter, add sugar and cinnamon to taste, spread on a baking tray and cook for 5-10 minutes at 180c, or until they’re suitably golden brown. Fresh out of the oven, sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon for extra crunch.
Rightly associated with sweet foods, raspberries have a tang that compliments chocolate based cakes and desserts perfectly. However if they’re past their best, the texture can be off putting. This problem is easily solved by blitzing them to make a sauce, maybe a coulis to top ice creams and cakes, or even a vinaigrette to add a sweet twist to salads. Consider adding a twist of flavor and color, by crushing raspberries (or any other berries you like), and adding them to unbaked meringue. Be sure to sieve in order to remove seeds, and once smooth, drizzle inside a piping bag before you spoon in the meringue. Then when you pipe the mixture onto a baking paper lined tray for the oven, your meringues will have gorgeous swirls of pink.
Infamous for high levels of vitamin c, the rind of citrus fruits actually contains more than the fruit flesh itself! Candied peels are visually appealing as well as delicious, used as a topping on cakes, diced and added to biscuit mixtures before baking or just eaten neat (try them dipped in dark chocolate!). Boil the citrus peel in thin strips three times to remove bitterness (lemon, orange or grapefruit all work well), and then simmer the fruit in a sugar, corn syrup, and water mixture for an hour until they candy.
A delicious and cooling fruit associated with balmy summer days, it can be enjoyed year round when utilizing leftovers to make jam. After peeling the green skin, combine with berries, lemon, and maple syrup (or honey) to taste, in a pot until it boils. Simmer for an hour or until the rinds have softened. Once done, the mixture can be blended and taste tested, and once you’re happy it can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge and will last for a month.