Tired of emptying your compost bin?

(Kudos for having one!)

Try these hacks for utilizing food scraps:

VEGETABLE SCRAPS | Save ingredients like carrot, celery, onion or leek trimmings or root vegetables for stock. Note that a stock is only as good as its base ingredients, so avoid any scraps that are moldy/black, mushy or otherwise decomposing, or bitter, like onion skin. You can also make pickles from leftover vegetables and melon rinds.

CITRUS PEELS | Dehydrate or sun-dry and reconstitute for use in tea or baked goods (avoid peels with excessive bitter pith on them).

APPLE PEELS | Toss the peels with a bit of butter, cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 400° for 10–12 minutes.

FRUIT | Slice and freeze for winter use, purée for smoothies or to add to baked goods, or turn into jam.

CARROT, BEET OR TURNIP TOPS | Substitute for basil in pesto.

WINTER SQUASH| Purée and freeze; use in baked goods.

BONES | Save and use for stock.

RINDS FROM AGED CHEESES LIKE PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO | Freeze and use as needed to enrich stocks, soups or stews, or grind and incorporate into breadcrumbs.

BREAD | Use for crumbs, bread pudding or in a savory strata.

From fruit and vegetable peels, rinds, fronds and seeds to rendered animal fat, bones and leftover grains, Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of Food You Buy offers creative—and practical—uses for leftovers usually relegated to the trash. By Sherri Brooks Vinton (Da Capo Press, 2016).

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