• Food Food

Home cook shares unconventional method of salvaging nearly expired produce: 'Great solution'

"Who doesn't want to save money and the planet simultaneously?"

"Who doesn't want to save money and the planet simultaneously?"

Photo Credit: iStock

As grocery prices skyrocket, expired food is enough to leave a pit in your stomach. Likewise, having to throw away goods only contributes to overflowing landfills and pollution. 

If there's anyone you can count on to salvage expiring vegetables, it's a home cook with a unique kitchen hack, such as Reddit user Is-That-Allowed. Here's how they save money and prevent excess scraps by using food before it goes bad.

The scoop

The hack is easy enough — you're making a bake. Search your refrigerator for whatever vegetables are on their last leg. Spice them up and roast them in the oven. When finished, blend them in a food processor, sprinkle with cheese, and pop the dish back in the oven to bake.

"Who doesn't want to save money and the planet simultaneously?"
Photo Credit: Reddit
"Who doesn't want to save money and the planet simultaneously?"
Photo Credit: Reddit

The blended vegetables make the perfect dip for pita or tortilla chips. The original poster described it as tasting like a pizza dip with a hummus texture. It could also be an excellent party appetizer or a practical way to get your kids to eat more nutrients. Of course, this hack is a delicious veggie snack you can eat to reduce food waste.

How it's helping

Food costs are at an all-time high. As such, the less expired food you have, the better for your wallet. Experts expect inflation to rise by 3.7% in 2024, with 64% of consumers anticipating increasing food prices. These costs have forced many households to rethink how they shop for food and how much they buy, sacrificing quality freshness for affordability.

Sadly, Americans waste $1,200 worth of unused food annually. Yet simple changes — like reducing waste by 10% and utilizing leftovers — may help you save $120.

Properly storing food also prolongs its shelf life. For instance, ethylene-producing goods — avocados, bananas, peaches, and mangoes — prefer 32 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit with 90% to 95% humidity. Meanwhile, onions and garlic last longer in 65%–75% humidity.

With 31% of wasted food occurring at the retail and consumer level, salvaging nearly expired produce is more important than ever. When landfills overflow, waste leaks toxic gases and seeps into the surrounding ecosystems. The transportation of goods also consumes ample energy and water. 

The Too Good to Go app can help you limit consumer waste, allowing you to purchase a bag of leftover food cheaply from the supermarket instead of the store throwing it out.

What everyone's saying

Other Redditors were quite excited about Is-This-Allowed's food hack. Who doesn't want to save money and the planet simultaneously? 

🗣️ Which of these groups has the biggest role to play in reducing food waste?

🔘 Grocery stores 🛒

🔘 Restaurants 🍝

🔘 Individuals 🗑️

🔘 The government 👩‍⚖️

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

One user said the hack blew her away: "Okay mind blown!!! I saw someone else post a 'ricotta bake' today and this looks similar but with tons of veg. Looks delicious!"

Some Redditors offered additional recommendations, such as one who called it a "great solution" before suggesting throwing the vegetables into a freezer bag until they have enough to make a soup stock. Another suggested they eat the roasted vegetables with protein for a well-rounded meal.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider