Wednesday, May 25, 2022

For Such A Time As This: Part 2, Let Nothing Go To Waste!

In these difficult times, I'm committed to taking A Working Pantry to a deeper and hopefully more helpful level.  I want to challenge us, you and me, to rise to the occasion of coping with the difficult times before us ... for such a time as this.

Today, in part 2, I want to talk about something that we really need to practice and get so good at that it becomes second nature.  That's the skill of letting nothing go to waste.  For such a time as this, we need to find a use for and use up everything that is useable.  

As I work on improving and cultivating a 'letting nothing go to waste' mindset, this is what it looked like for me today...

I harvested broccoli from the garden this morning and I found a use for absolutely every part of it.

First, I cut the florets from the stalks and set them to soak in salt water for about an hour to make sure no bugs, worms or insects of any kind were in the florets.

While the florets were soaking, I took the stalks and sliced them about 1/4 inch thick, then ran them through a food chopper.

I also washed and chopped (by hand with a knife) the leaves and readied them for the dehydrator.

Next, I blanched both the stalks and florets for about 3 minutes in low boiling water.

When the blanching time was up, I removed both the florets and the stems and placed them in a bowl of ice water.  (We keep 16 oz soda bottles filled with water in the freezer for things that we need to cool down or keep cool in a cooler. That's what I used to cool this water.)

After a couple of minutes or so, I drained and laid the florets out on sheet pans then placed the pans in the freezer for 24 hours to flash freeze.

(Once they're completely frozen, I'll bag them in freezer bags, label and add them to the freezer portion of our pantry.)

I put the chopped and blanched stems in the dehydrator along with the chopped leaves.

Once the stems and leaves are completely dried, I'll powder them and add the powder to my vegetable mix.  (I use the vegetable mix in meat loaf, pot pies, soups, stews and casseroles.)

There was only a small handful of bits and pieces that were discarded and those went into the compost container.

Nothing went to waste!  Putting the leftover bits and pieces that were discarded into the compost bin is not wasting, it's turning it into something usable ... compost.

Over the next several days, I'll be harvesting and preserving more broccoli using this same method.

I hope you've enjoyed this 'let nothing go to waste' post.  If you have, please feel free to share the link with others.  People are hurting and are scared.  They need to know that there are things we can do and developing the mentality of 'letting nothing go to waste' is the first of many I hope to share and challenge you to implement in your life.

Remember, we are not powerless!

Until the next post,

patsi

Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.'

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18 comments:

  1. Such a great series, thank you! We, also, practice ‘no waste’ (made easier with chickens and a composting system as well!). Last week, on Lili’s blog (creative savv) she linked to a free e cookbook from Ikea Canada that was ‘no waste’. It had some interesting recipes, including how to make bacon from banana peels!
    Those of us who missed the WW2 rationing days (I have a sister who turned 83 today and well remembers) have some learning to do and you are helping greatly,
    May God bless your home! Conni

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    1. Conni, thank you! I'll have to check Creative Savv blog for the link to the free e cookbook. I'm subscribed to her blog, but I missed the link!

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  2. I love the topic of no waste, and this was/is one of my big goals for the year. I've once again begun saving scraps for the chickens and compost pile, as well as using things up or freezing them before they go bad.
    I love how you used every part of your broccoli. That is so satisfying, isn't it? As a side note, I just recently found out that sunflower leaves (and petals and of course seeds) are edible. So guess what got planted last minute in the garden with the excuse of "we can eat them". :)
    I'm also pinching your frozen soda bottle tip, as the constant replacing of ice is for some reason my least favorite part of blanching.

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    1. Kelsey, it's amazing how much further what you have can be stretched when you adopt a no waste policy.

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  3. I would love some information about how you incorporate the vegetable powder mix in your cooking.

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    1. MamaHen, I use it in meatloaf, casseroles, soups, stews, etc. A tablespoon or 2 of mix in any of these would allow you to sneak some veggies in the dishes.

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  4. Thank you for sharing how you let nothing go to waste! I need to be more mindful of this, and I love how you dehydrate and powder veggies.
    I watched a chef use the green tops off carrots, and while they are a bit too grassy tasting for me to make pesto etc, perhaps I could dehydrate them?

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    1. I received fresh carrots last year in a farm to table box and I saved those green tops. They do have a flavor similar to parsley so I dried them and used them in place of parsley.

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  5. We have been working hard on no waste as well. I like broccoli stems cut into sticks to eat raw like carrot sticks. They are so crunchy and delicious. A few days ago Hubby made too much toast for breakfast. I said make two and he made two each so I cubed up the extra slices and put them in the air fryer for a few minutes and have been eating those croutons on my salads every since. I find that we have far less wasted food if I cook only what we will eat at one meal. If I want leftovers then I cook with that intent. This has pretty much eliminated those surprise finds in the fridge that have to be thrown out. We compost every bit that we can because we will need it next Spring so we have to replace the 25 or more gallons we have already used thus year.

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    1. Lana, what a great idea to cut the stalks into sticks for eating. I've never done that but will definitely be trying it.

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  6. I like the idea of a vegetable mix, and will keep that in mind. For the first time last week, I dehydrated a greens mix. The idea to use a water filled bottle for cooling down is brilliant. We don't often buy these, but are sometimes given water bottles at events and such. I'll have to remember to keep them.

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    1. Laurie, the frozen water bottles do a great job cooling the water down.

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  7. My Mother was a child during WWII and she taught me that the sweetest part of cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli is the soft part of the stem - just cut off the hard, woody outer covering. My Grandmother used to give it to her children as a treat, because here in the UK sweets were rationed. My husband laughed when he first saw me eating it as I prepared cabbage, but he didn't think it was such an odd thing to do once he had tasted it!

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    1. Tracy, that's very interesting, I'll have to try that when I harvest more broccoli! Thank you for the tip!

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  8. In one of the Beverly Cleary books, Versus and Ramona are snacking on a cabbage core

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    1. Anonymous, I'm a Beverly Clearly book fan!

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  9. This was great. Just this morning we purchased a bunch of broccoli crowns on sale at the store and saved $3. Now I know exactly what to do with most of them! Some are being roasted tonight for dinner. The rest I will prep following your instructions for freezing for a future use. We don't have a dehydrator yet, it's on my wishlist. Any recommendations on a good quality one?

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    1. Rebecca, I have 2, one that I've had 30 plus years (Nesco) and it still works great. The other is an Excalibur (the basic model) that I purchased some 5 years ago and it works great too. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement!

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