Tags: DigIn, DigIn21, Magazine, DigInMagazine, JanFeb, leftovers, waste not

Waste Not: Giving New Life to Leftover Foods

These days, everyone’s trying to conserve. However, no matter how hard you try, you may end up tossing out some food you wanted to use. Don’t worry, though -- with a few good recipes and a little know-how, you can get the most out of all your foods! Maximize your kitchen’s potential (and stretch your food dollars) with these delicious food fixes.


Apples are one of nature’s perfect foods–delicious, nutritious and easy to enjoy and cook with. So, it’s natural that we tend to over purchase these tasty fruits and find ourselves with a few extras. Fortunately, when life gives you too many apples, you can easily make applesauce with this simple recipe.

Rinse, peel and cut 4 large apples into large chunks, removing core and seeds. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine apple chunks, ½ cup Big Y apple cider or juice and 1 teaspoon Food Club lemon juice. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the apples are very tender, mashing them with a wooden spoon to your desired consistency as they cook. Add 2 teaspoons Full Circle Market Organic ground cinnamon and serve.



Ever wondered what to do with those last few slices of bread–the ones that are a bit too stale for sandwiches but still perfectly O.K. to eat? We have a simple solution: Make homemade croutons!

Cut leftover or stale bread into large cubes. In a large bowl combine 2 teaspoons minced garlic with ¼ cup Food Club extra virgin olive oil. Add bread cubes and toss to evenly coat. Layer bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with either Food Club grated Parmesan cheese, dried parsley flakes, ranch dressing mix or onion salt. Bake in a 400˚F preheated oven for 5 minutes or until cubes are golden brown.



There it is: The last little bit of cereal at the bottom of the box. Not enough for a bowl and broken into tiny pieces. Is it worth saving? Of course, it is! Use crushed, unsweetened cereal like cornflakes, bran, wheat or rice cereal whenever you need breadcrumbs in a recipe. If you have leftover sugar cereal, crush it up and use it as a tasty topper for ice cream or yogurt.



If you can’t get your morning kick-start without a cup of coffee, you’ve probably poured your share of leftover java down the drain. Next time you find yourself with an extra couple cups of coffee, transform them (along with a store-bought pound cake) into a delicious, layered dessert.

Soak slices of pound cake in leftover coffee. Melt chocolate chips or chocolate pieces, you may have in the cupboard, in a small saucepan over low heat. In a serving dish, layer-soaked pound cake slices, whipped cream and nuts. Top with melted chocolate and serve.


Fresh Herbs

With their intense, full flavors, fresh herbs add wonderful depth to any recipe. However, they can have a short shelf life once you get them home. How can you keep herbs fresh long after their sell-by date? With an ice cube tray and water!

Rinse and chop herbs. Place 1 teaspoon of herbs into each ice cube section. Fill tray halfway with water and place in freezer for 45 minutes or until almost frozen. Remove tray, fill completely with water and place in freezer until completely frozen. When cubes are frozen, remove from tray and place in a tightly sealed freezer food storage bag and return to the freezer. Simply use as needed in your recipes, just as you would fresh herbs.



When you’re hungry for a salty snack, not much beats the delicious crunch of chips. But after you’ve opened the bag, enjoyed your snack and put it back into the pantry, what happens? Sooner or later those forgotten chips will be a little stale and no longer snack-worthy. Instead of ditching the remnants, use those chips in place of breadcrumbs in your favorite recipes.