• Food Food

Chef reveals the biggest mistake most people make when preparing food at home: 'There's way more possibilities'

Learning how to use up vegetable scraps will make your cooking far more economical.

Vegetable scraps, Biggest mistake most people make when preparing food at home

Photo Credit: @morocooks / Instagram

Cooking influencer Matt (@morocooks) is sharing some of the tastiest — and most efficient — ways to use your vegetable scraps. 

The scoop

Matt starts his video by explaining that not all veg scraps should go into vegetable stock, as they can spoil the flavor. 

Broccoli and kale stems, for example, should be used only in small quantities, as too many can make your stock taste bitter. Potato and beet scraps, too, will make your stock taste, in Matt's words, "like dirt."

The best ingredients, in Matt's opinion, are carrot peels and tops, any leftover part of an onion, and celery tops and cores. You can also add herb stems, garlic clove ends, and ginger peel.

Mix these together in a bag and freeze until you want to use them. Once you are ready to turn them into stock, simmer the scraps in water for an hour. 

As for broccoli, kale, and potatoes, Matt has a simple solution — eat them. First, trim the end and outer layer of the broccoli stem, then add any potato scraps to a stir fry. 

Or, you can turn kale and broccoli stems into a homemade pesto. In another clip, Matt blends some veggie pieces with lemon juice, cashew nuts, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, and virgin olive oil to make a delicious vegan pesto.

"There's way more possibilities than vegetable stock," he wrote in his caption. 

How it's helping

Food prices continue to soar due to inflation, particularly for frozen vegetables, which are up by 18% compared to last year. 

As consumers look for ways to tame their grocery bills, learning how to use up vegetable scraps will make your cooking far more economical — and Matt's hack will ensure your dishes are packed with flavor, too. 

Rescuing food waste from the bin is also good for the planet. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, food waste generates around 8% of the world's planet-warming pollution — almost the same as that produced by road traffic.

If food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest air pollution emitter, behind the U.S. and China.

What people are saying

Instagram users have shared their own tips for saving scraps and cutting food waste. 

"Broccoli stems are so good and more nutritious than the florets!" one commented. "Don't waste on a stock or throw away. Just peel the outer layer off and and use the rest as you would the florets."

"Steamed broccoli stems go SO well in pasta and stir fry!" an Instagrammer agreed. 

"You can save mushroom stems for veggie stock too," another added. "I save chicken bones and skin for chicken stock (think rotisserie chicken). I also have a stock bag with bell pepper scraps (just cut off the white parts to reduce bitterness)."

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

Cool Divider