Make foods with peel appeal
When prepping fruits and vegetables, do you throw a lot away? Often, we toss out potato, apple and orange peels. Or maybe you don’t use the entire broccoli and only eat the florets. These can be eaten. Think: Potato skins, applesauce and candied orange peels. And broccoli stalks? You can peel the woody stem with a vegetable peeler. Chop and use in stir-frys, casseroles, as a pizza topping, or in soup or casseroles. Or grate it and add it to meatloaf. The first reader tip has a few more ideas.
Use more of the fresh foods you have. Use the fat on the steak as the oil to fry it, use broccoli stems/leaves, radish leaves (odd, they’re “fuzzy”), lettuce and cabbage cores, carrot greens, leaf lettuce and asparagus bases, etc. This takes a little research and care, as you don’t want to eat rhubarb leaves (poisonous) or potato peels with green (also not good for you), etc. There are plants that you can plant in which you use all of it: Chives and beets are the two most obvious. What about parsley stems? They taste like parsley and are edible, but they aren’t as pretty as the leaves. I grow root parsley, and it reseeds itself every year. There’s a lot of food that probably winds up in your trash that you might be able to use! — Judi, New Hampshire
SOFTEN BROWN SUGAR:
Put it inside Tupperware. Get the lid a little wet and put it away for a day. Sometimes this has to be done more then once, but it works like a charm. I do no not keep mine in Tupperware, but I do the same thing. Mine is in a jar that has a plastic liner on the lid, and I just get that wet. No muss, no fuss, the brown sugar is back to where it should be. — Pat C., e-mail
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY ROUNDS:
I was in Wal-Mart awhile back, and the kids asked me to buy them the Smuckers PBJ rounds in the freezer section. So I did. I was really disappointed. They were OK for the big kids (a bit indulgent for the price) and too thick to eat for the little kids. So I decided to duplicate it my way. I guess you could just cut them and put them in freezer bags, but years ago, I got a Pampered Chef cut-and-seal. They still have them. They run about $9, and I have used mine enough to pay for itself.
What you need:
— Peanut butter
— A good, fresh loaf of bread
— Sandwich bags
— Ice cream tub
Make all the sandwiches; I cut each one with my cutter. Place them each in a sandwich bag. I put them in the ice cream tub. Place in freezer. The ice cream bucket keeps them fresh. When you want a few, take them out to thaw. Throw them in a lunch box. They are really handy and very neat. The kids all love them. I make them in big batches. I don’t mind because I’m saving money and can make them healthy (wheat bread). I bet you could do just about any sandwich. In my busy life, anything quick, easy, healthy and already done is up my alley. — Louise, Georgia