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People tend to throw away loads of food scraps in the kitchen, failing to recognize that much of the “garbage” can be easily repurposed.
Keep reading and I’ll show you a few tips and tricks for making your life easier if you’re an off-gridder or homesteader, or simply someone who likes to re-use items.
The most obvious thing one can do with food scraps is to place them in a compost pile, but we can do so much more with them than that.
Uses For Food Scraps #1: Egg Shells
Let’s start with my personal favorite food scrap: egg shells.
- Fertilizer for your plants. In case you did not know, all plant life requires minerals. Furthermore, egg shells contain lots of minerals, and if you grind them and mix the respective powder with the earth, your plants will love you.
- Deterrent for various pests. This category includes cats or deer messing around in your garden. All you have to do is scatter some crushed eggshells in the areas affected by these pesky “neighbors” and they’ll avoid bothering you in the future.
- Make DIY food supplements for you and your family. Calcium is a very important mineral for human health and we all need plenty of it, especially children. To increase your daily calcium intake, all you have to do is grind the eggshells into an extra-fine powder. Next, add a teaspoon of the respective stuff to your smoothie or other drink once per day.
- Improve your chickens’ diet. Some people feed their livestock oyster shells for that, but since you can give your chickens their own egg shells back, why bother?
- Make a candle. All you have to do is crack the top off really carefully and then fill the empty shell with paraffin or beeswax. After this, you put a wick into the mix and, voila, you just made yourself an eggshell candle!
- Make seed starter pots. Once again, just crack the top off carefully and put soil and a seed inside the empty egg shell. You’ll end up with your own fully organic seed pot which is already rich in minerals, especially calcium. It’s everything a plant needs to grow strong and healthy! In addition, you can place it directly in the ground.
Uses For Food Scraps #2: Apple Peels
Next on the menu is apple peels, as they also come with lots of good uses for your homestead.
- Make jelly. Apple peels contain tons of vitamins and minerals, along with pectin, which works wonders in making a tasty and healthy jelly.
- Clean your kitchen pots and pans. Apple peels are very acidic, and acids are great for removing stains and discoloration from your kitchen hardware, especially the aluminum stuff. All you have to do is fill the respective vessel with water, add some apple peels into the mix, and bring it to a boiling temperature. Then, turn the heat off and let it sit there for 60 minutes. Drain and rinse properly.
- Make apple vinegar. Put the apple peels inside a receptacle (like a jar) and cover them with pure water. Place a weight on top of the peels so they stay submerged under water at all times. Cover the respective receptacle and store it somewhere warm for at least 30 days.
- Filter pollutants in the water. How do they work? Well, it’s pretty basic: Just put apple peels inside a jug of water and they will absorb (by attracting and capturing) ions and various pollutants. Keep in mind that this method is not fail-safe. Apple peels will not purify the water completely and they’re not fool-proof against various biohazards. However, they will definitely remove at least some dangerous pollutants.
Uses For Food Scraps #3: Onion Peels
I know that they may smell bad, but don’t toss onion peels. Just use them! How?
- Dye your hair, fabric, or Easter eggs with them. For tips on fabric or Easter eggs, watch the videos below.
- Remove pollutants from water. Just like apple peels, onion peels can help clean water.
- Make an organic pesticide. Simply cook onion peels along with garlic peels.
- Soothe stings. Simply press or hold them on the affected portion of the skin.
Uses For Food Scraps #4: Corn Husks
Last but not least, corn husks are excellent for your homestead. For example:
- Make a water filter. Grind them into a fine dust and mix the dust with clay and coffee grounds. Basically, you must build a corn-husk bowl by adding water to the respective mix and transforming it into something resembling clay. Use that clay for building a bowl, and then let it sit in the sun to dry thoroughly, and that’s about it. The corn-husk bowl will act as a water filter if you fill it with water, put it on top of another vessel, and allow the water to soak through the corn husk bowl into the vessel. Moreover, all the contaminants will be left behind. You can rinse and re-use, ad nauseam.
- Weave and braid the corn husks into a DIY basket. Watch the video below.
- Cook with them. For instance, you can wrap delicate foods like fish in a wet corn husk during cooking, thereby preventing them from falling apart/burning.
- Make corn silk tea. Follow the instructions in the video below.
- Start a fire. Dried corn husks are highly flammable and great at helping get a fire going.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Getting Rid Of Ants – 11 All-Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Kitchen
Are there other uses for food scraps that you would have included? Share your suggestions in the comments below.