Zero Waste Tips: Ways to Use ALL of your Produce

Did you know that food waste makes up over 30% of all human waste? This Earth Month, Texas Farmers’ Market is making strides towards our goal of creating a zero waste market and community. One way you can cut down your food waste is by composting it through our FREE community composting program (currently available at Lakeline, but we are fundraising to bring it back to Mueller this summer!). There are also lots of great ways to use parts of your produce in your meals that you may not normally think of! Read on for some of our favorite zero waste food tips.

Celery Leaves can be used in a variety of different dishes, or as a substitute for parsley! We love using them to make this easy Celery Leaf Chimichurri that makes a delicious topping for soups, pastas, or your protein of choice. You can also juice them!

Carrot tops are another ingredient that can be used to make chimichurri, and they also make an amazingly fresh Carrot Top Pesto! We love making this pesto and dipping the carrots in it, it is also delicious on sandwiches, with pasta, or as a salad dressing.

Beet greens are not only beautiful but they are one of the healthiest greens you can eat! They contain even more nutrients and antioxidants than the beets themselves, so instead of tossing them out, try using them in your next stir fry or salad, like this Zero Waste Beet Greens Salad packed with other spring produce. You can also cook with radish and turnip greens!

Green Onions can be found all over the market this time of year! Stick the bottoms in a jar with a little bit of water, place them on a windowsill, and watch as they continue to grow!

Did you know that you can dehydrate mushrooms and grind them into a powder that makes an amazing topping on salads, pasta, stir fries, and more? Our Operations Manager made us some and it adds an amazing umami flavor to almost any dish! A great way to use your excess mushrooms that have been sitting in the fridge all week and give them new life.

This tip came from Ryan at f-stop farm – Cilantro Root can be used to flavor soups and stocks, and is commonly used in Thai cuisine! Ryan brought whole cilantro plants to the market recently and we grabbed one to give it a try – it adds such a delicious flavor to soups like Tom Yum.

Last but not least, one of our favorite ways to use veggie scraps is to make a stock! Just toss any scraps that you want to use – things like onions, greens, carrots, garlic are perfect – into a container in your freezer. To make a stock you can follow a recipe like this one for vegetable stock. If you aren’t vegan, lots of people also like to use bones in their stock!

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