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7 Amazing Things to Make out of Your Kitchen Scraps

Hi this is Daisy, Bella’s sister! In this post we wanted to move away from the commonly known examples of using scraps (such as composting and making stocks), and talk about some really fun recipes that I have compiled over the past few years. Here’s the shortlist and keep reading for more details.

  1. Vitamin C powder from citrus rinds
  2. Chalk from eggshells
  3. Coffee grounds exfoliator
  4. Potato (or apple) peel crisps
  5. The wonders of Aquafaba (chickpea water!)
  6. Soap from old cooking oil
  7. Grey Water

1. Vitamin C powder from citrus rinds

Forget spending $20+ on vitamin C tablets when you have all the vitamins you need hiding in those citrus peels you were about to throw away! Did you know that the peel contains almost 2 x more vitamin C than the flesh? So, to do this, firstly you need to make sure that you are only using organic citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins, lemons, grapefruits etc.) – this is because pesticides can seep deep into the skin. 

Here’s how:

Step 1: Wash all the fruit thoroughly and peel off the skin. Keep the pith (the white part) as this is also full of vitamins. 

Step 2: dry all the peels out. This can be done by leaving them on a cloth in a dry warm place for 2-3 days or alternatively you can put them in a fruit dehydrator if you have one or into the oven on the lowest heat for 45 minutes – checking every 5 minutes or so. Afterwards they will shrink a lot so don’t be worried. They are ready when you can snap the pieces in half with your fingers. 

Step 3: Now, put the dried peels into a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder, and grind them into a powder. 

Step 4: Finished! Now you have nutrient rich vitamin C powder that you can add into smoothies, on top of yoghurt or basically anywhere you want!

I know organic oranges can be more expensive but when you think about how much a bottle of Vitamin C is, the costs weigh out. Also, at your local farmers market you can often find reasonably priced organic produce – and you will be supporting your local economy!

Note: this is not a medical fix for Vitamin C – we are not doctors. If you need prescribed Vitamin C speak to your Dr.

2. Chalk from eggshells

If you eat eggs, then you may be wondering whether those shells that you keep throwing into the bin could in fact be useful – well they are very useful! You can actually use eggshells for all sorts of things but here I am going to talk about my favourite – chalk! All you need is eggshells, flour, hot water and some cardboard toilet rolls. 

Step 1: once you have 6 eggshells, clean them out and place them into a mortar and pestle (or a coffee grinder).

Step 2: Mix your eggshell powder with flour and very hot water in a ratio 1:1:1 (I recommend using tbsp as common measurement). You can also add food colouring to the mix to make different coloured chalk too.

Step 3: Once you have about 7 or so tablespoons worth of mixture then spoon it into one toilet roll mould (make sure all rolls are on a tray to catch any water leaking).

Step 4: Repeat this until you have made as many chalks as your amount of mixture allows.

Step 5: Let them dry for 2-3 days and voila you have chalk!

3. Coffee grounds exfoliator

I try not to put things in or onto my body that I cannot pronounce the names of. That is why it is so cool that you can make some amazing skin care products straight from your kitchen scraps. One of my favourites of these is coffee ground exfoliator.

Step 1: Each day add your used grounds into a container in the fridge.

Step 2: After about 3 days of doing this (or until you have about 1 cup of grounds) take the container out and lay out the grounds on a baking tray.

Step 3: Dry them out in the oven on the lowest heat for 15 minutes – or until they feel dry.

Step 4: Take the grounds and mix with coconut oil (or any oil of choice) until you get a consistency that feels nice. For me I like the mixture to be quite thick as I can really feel the exfoliation happening but its up to you as you like!

Tip: turn your scrub into a gift by putting it into a glass bottle and tying with string!

4. Potato (or apple) peel crisps

Personally, I don’t tend to peel my potatoes very often, I prefer the rustic look and texture. However, there may be times when you do need to peel them, and you might be wondering what you can do with the leftover peels. Well, they make AMAZING crunchy chips!

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

Step 2: Put all your fresh peel into a bowl, grab some oil (any oil), salt and herbs of your choice (I really like rosemary) and toss them together.

Step 3: Transfer to baking sheet (with baking paper).

Step 4: Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crunchy!

Tip: If you want to do the same with your apple peels, then just change the salt for a brown sugar and cinnamon mix to coat them. 

5. The wonders of Aquafaba (chickpea water!)

If you are trying to have a more plant based or vegan diet you have probably come across aquafaba at some point – one of the most magical ingredients that exists in the world (in my opinion). Aquafaba is that thick water you find in a can of chickpeas – that you have probably poured down the sink. But little did you realize this starchy liquid is absolute gold for making things, from mayonnaise to meringues and chocolate mousse. It whips up exactly like egg whites.

Here are my favourite recipes for meringue, chocolate mousse and mayonnaise. Whilst your there, check out the other recipes by these food bloggers – they are all amazing!

How good do these look! These are the vegan chocolate mousses made by Bianca Zapatka on the link above.

6. Soap from old cooking oil

Picture taken from our soap teacher from Joo, and her website

One amazing new skill I learned whilst living in Helsinki is to make my own soap from leftover cooking oil! While volunteering with an urban farming group I met an amazing Taiwanese girl who taught me her community’s way of making soap together – this is her website with all the ingredients and steps.

The recipe is so incredibly easy I couldn’t believe it and my sister Bella who suffers from eczema said that it is the creamiest, least harsh soap she has used 😊. To summarize, the ingredients that you need:

  • 150g Lye (the stuff from that scene in fight club – so wear gloves!) – you can get information on how to buy lye here. Don’t be put off by this, it’s so easy to get and you wont regret it! (Plus, your Christmas presents will be sorted for years to come).
  • 280 mL water
  • 1 L used cooking oil (less dirty oil makes whiter soap)
  • A few drops of scent oil of choice (we were in Finland so we used the ‘scent of a sauna’ haha)

For the steps to actually make the soap though I recommend following Joo’s instruction video.

Tip: you can also use this soap to clean your dishes and around your house too! Just check Joo’s website for all the info.

7. Reuse Grey Water

I have put this point here mainly for our Australian readers (In AUS many of us have grown up with water restrictions and have a healthy respect for saving water). With climate change, water shortages are going to become a bigger problem in many countries around the world, so we really need to think about saving and re-using water where we can. Grey water is non-toilet water from plumbing systems such as hand basins, showers, washing machines and baths . Here are some ways that you can save grey water around the house:

  • Catch the ‘warm up’ water in a bucket that you keep in the sink (I use an old large yoghurt container). We waste so much water just by running it and waiting for it to get hot. When the bucket is full use it to water your indoor plants or garden.
  • Keep a bucket on the floor while you shower so that you can catch the water before it goes down the drain. Then you can take this water for your garden.
  • Any leaky taps in the house that you meant to get fixed but haven’t got around to it? Just keep a small bucket under it to catch the water and then use it to feed the plants.
  • This isn’t technically grey water, but I keep a bucket under the drain pipe of my house for excess water. When it rains you’ll at least get 1 bucket, rather than it all flowing onto the street and into the drains.

Thanks for reading!


Published by busybeebella

An energetic and enthusiastic young writing passionate about scientific communication.

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