The United States is facing a big problem – the increasing amount of consumable food being discarded before retail sale or consumption, otherwise known as food waste. Each year grocery stores account for about 16 billion pounds, and American families 76 billion pounds of food waste.  

Here are a few suggestions on using common foods in different ways to reduce your food waste and become a food hero at home. 

Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits: Most people will peel an orange or grapefruit and throw out the peel because of its tough texture and bitter flavor. Instead, a better option is to cut the orange (or other citrus fruit) into small, thin, round slices and grill them. After that, you can use slices as a salad topping or component of a dessert. 

Cauliflower and broccoli: When cooking cauliflower or broccoli, most separate the florets, the part that looks like a flower or little trees, and discard the stems. A good way to use the whole vegetable is to slice it in half to separate the top from the bottom, season it with preferred flavors, and then grill or roast it. Consider cutting the cauliflower or broccoli into “steaks” to utilize the whole vegetable. You can also take the stems and finely chop them for a “rice” texture. 

Kale and other greens: When it comes to greens, most recipes will tell you to throw out the stems. Instead of doing this, save them, cut them into small pieces, and use them in a stir-fry. You can also utilize the stems of most greens for a pesto.

Squash: When cooking squash, it is normal to take the seeds out and toss them. Next time, try saving them and roasting them for a healthy snack. The seeds can also replace nuts in foods like trail mix, granola, pesto, and more!

It is important always to be mindful of when you are wasting food. Consider using these tips to help you save more of your food in the future! Click here for some delicious recipes that prevent food waste to get you started.

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