Besides just trying to get my money's worth when I buy food, I try to get every last use out of food after I bring it home. We buy the most nutritous food we can, and I try to make sure none of that goes to waste.
I buy whole free range organic chickens. At first I was too scared to try to cut it up them myself, but after watching video demonstrations on the subject, I went for it. And it's not that hard! Buying whole chickens is more economical. It costs almost as much to buy 2 chicken breasts as it does to buy the whole chicken.
First I separate the chicken into 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks and 2 wings. These will all be used for meals.
To make sure none of my chicken goes to waste, every bit of bone, fat, skin, or gizzard goes into my broth. When the broth is done, a layer of fat will form on the top. I peel this off and use it for cooking.
From one chicken, you are left with meat, broth, and cooking fat.
Like chicken, with beef or any other meat, you want to save those bones. The bones are loaded with nutrition. I usually save a baggie in my freezer and fill it with bones until I've accumulated enough to make broth.
Besides the bones, you will need carrots, celery and onions for your broth. Anytime we go on a picnic and have leftover carrots, those go into my broth bag in the freezer. For onions, I used to throw away the outer layer (you know the one right under the skin?) because it is usually a little tough. Now, I peel off the skin and throw the outer layer in the freezer. Celery and carrot ends can also be thrown into the freezer for later use in broths.
Some vegetables just aren't good for broths, though, so those go into our compost bin. I'm fairly new to composting, but I love it because it's a way to make sure nothing goes to waste: even the scraps get used to turn into great soil to grow more vegetables.
When our bread is starting to get stale, or when all we have left is a crust (bread skin, my kids call it) that no one wants to eat, I throw that in the freezer also. My bread ends get used for bread crumbs or croutons.
We save all our bacon grease in a jar in the fridge. You can use it where you would use any cooking fat, but because it has such a strong flavor, I like to use it most when cooking eggs and omelets, or when sauteing green beans.
We save and reuse all kind of containers: store bought yogurt containers are used to store our homemade yogurt in, hummus containers have been reused for feta cheese or pesto, old spaghetti sauce and peanut butter jars hold our rice and beans in the pantry.
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays.
Real Food Wednesday 8/20/2014
9 hours ago