• Here are some tips and tricks to use up a few speciality ingredients you may be using this season.


    Fruit & veggies

    • Blend leftover berry pulp and seeds into your morning smoothie, or swirl into yoghurt or oats for a fruity finish.
    • Add discarded tomato cores and seeds to your favourite tomato pasta, stew, bolognese or other tomato-based sauce.
    • Grow avocado pits as a fun DIY project with the kids.
    • Zested an orange? Enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice with your breakfast
    • Clean out juiced grapefruit skins and place flat in a muffin tin like bowls. Prepare a sachet of jelly and fill the grapefruit skins. Refrigerate until firm and slice into wedges. These are a hit for kids parties!
    • Don’t throw away the oil from your bottled artichokes. Use it in salad dressings, marinades, sauces and in any other recipes where you would normally use oil. 
    • Make a crispy roasted snack by rinsing leftover tinned black beans and tossing in spices and a glug of oil. Roast at 180ºC for about 1 hour until crisp.

    RECIPE SUGGESTION: Salad nicoise


    Herbs & spices

    • Store leftover thyme and sage by bundling them in a damp paper towel and storing in a sealable plastic bag in the fridge.
    • Tamarind paste: The acidity in tamarind makes it a great meat tenderizer so add some to your next marinade!

    RECIPE SUGGESTION: Honey tofu & pineapple with rice noodle salad


    Nuts & seeds

    • Use up any leftover drips and drabs of nuts in a mixed nut brittle.
    • Thicken up salad dressing and smoothies by adding a few teaspoons of chia seeds.

    RECIPE SUGGESTION: Berry & coconut chia puddings



    • Make a whipped goat’s cheese dip by blending together goat’s cheese with half the amount of cream cheese until smooth. Add yoghurt or a splash of milk for a softer consistency. Season to taste and finish with lemon juice, zest and fresh herbs.
    • Make a sour cream glaze for cakes and doughnuts by whisking together 1 part sour cream to 2 parts sifted icing sugar, adjusting slightly to reach your desired consistency and sweetness. Add a dash of vanilla essence for extra flavour.
    • Add leftover buttermilk to mashed potatoes or potato salad for extra tang and creaminess.
    • Parmesan chips are a great garnish for salads or enjoyed as a salty snack. To make them, place small mounds of finely grated parmesan on a lined baking tray and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Bake at 180ºC until golden and crisp. 
    • Leftover cream: Make chocolate fudge sauce by heating together 200ml each cream, sugar and cocoa powder with 100g butter until combined. Serve hot over ice cream.
    • Save your empty cream cheese tub as a container for work snacks like raisins, nuts and chips.

    RECIPE SUGGESTION: Seeded broccoli rice


    Jams & pickles

    • Hollow out vanilla cupcakes and fill with berry jam before icing for the ultimate spring tea party treat.
    • Kimchi can be added to almost anything to add extra spice and funk. It’s delicious added to stews and casseroles (especially ones with chicken), layered into a toasted cheese sandwich or mixed into fried rice.
    • Add finely chopped pickled ginger to a stir-fry for a fiery kick

    RECIPE SUGGESTION: Homemade cheat kimchi



    • Store prawn shells in a bag in the freezer until you have enough to make a delicious pot of prawn stock. Fry up the shells with some chopped onion, celery and carrot and add any other whole spices you’d like. Top up with enough water to cover and simmer until a vibrant orange colour. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface, strain and enjoy!


    Baking ingredients

    • Open yeast packet: Keep open sachets of instant yeast fresh and dry by sealing closed with sticky tape.
    • Keep your leftover egg shells – dry them out in the oven for a few minutes, then grind them up in a food processor and add to the top of your garden soil to keep away bugs and snails.

    RECIPE SUGGESTION: Green supreme pizza


    ALSO SEE: What is zero-waste cooking?

    What is zero-waste cooking?

    Feature image: JulieAlexK via Getty Images