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We like to live the motto of "healthy meets delicious". We enjoy cooking healthy, living great, and sharing the adventures we have along the way.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not


    We love finding new ways that combine saving money and being healthier. We could not believe that in America we waste 40% of the food we purchase. The problems that seemed to happen in the household were buying in too large of quantity or making too large of portions. I personally feel one issue that happens it that people have good intentions when buying produce at the store, but loose interest when they get home.

            We try our very best to not waste food. If I make too much at dinner, we try to eat it the next day or can it for later use. It often come in handy on those days you don’t feel like cooking. We also like to come up with items that use products that would normally throw out. We decided to do this article to share ideas of reducing waste in the house.

             If you are like us, sometimes those amazing deals at the store are too amazing to resist. Then you get home and think how two people are going to eat twenty-five pounds of carrots. One suggestion is making juice or smoothies. We often don’t have time for breakfast, and will provide us the needed vitamins until we make time to eat. Also think purees and soups, easy, little effort, and no preservatives!

            We adopted waste not, want not from our experience of working many years in kitchens and bakeries, where waste is not usually an option. Restaurants will find ways to turn scraps from steaks into hamburger meat, or bakeries turn old danish into filling for bear claws. I remember first learning these cooking secrets and was kind of grossed out, but realizing there was nothing to be alarmed about. These items were perfectly good, just no longer considered desirable items.

            Now we make our own stock, recreate items into tasty treats, and searching for alternative solutions instead of throwing items away. Just be aware, sometimes products are too far-gone and just safer to throw away.

Pear Banana Muffins:


2 c flour
½ c maple syrup
2 T molasses
3-4 over ripe bananas
4-5 over ripe pears
½ c Pear juice (or apple)
½ c butter
1 egg
½ t ginger
½ t cloves
1 t baking soda
¼ t baking powder
½ t salt
powder sugar (optional)


            Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, place the softened butter and mix with a blender. Add the egg, molasses, maple syrup and blend all together. Add the ripe bananas and pears, mix together. Add the juice, making all the ingredients well together. Add the ginger, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until everything is well mixed together.

            Place them in a muffin tins and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Remove from tins and allow to cool. Dust with powder sugar and enjoy.

This is the perfect breakfast item, and can easily be altered depending on what items are in the house. I often substitute the bananas for applesauce or plain yogurt, and the pears can be substituted with all sorts of fruit such as apples, pineapple, cherries and peaches. Try substituting different liquids as well, orange juice, coconut water or lemon juice. I also like to kick up the health, and use alternative flours, such as whole-wheat or rice flour. These recipes are great way to used items that no longer seem desirable and don’t need to feel bad about wasting food. Also a bonus, no sugar is needed since the ripeness from the fruit is super sweet.

One tip I find useful is freezing the fruit. Often we will have that one banana or pear that just didn’t make the cut. I just stick them in the freezer until I have enough to make into something.

Chicken Stock


2 chicken legs
leftover chicken fat/bones
leftover veggies pieces (carrots, celery, onions, etc.)
2 bay leaves
2 T basil
2 sprigs thyme
3-4 garlic cloves
½ T whole peppercorns
3 sprigs parsley
16 c of water (1 gallon)


            In a large pot, place all the above ingredients. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer, covering the pot. Allow to simmer for five to six hours. If you prefer to remove the fat, allow to cool, then skim off the top fat layer. I will do both, labeling the one with fat, since I find it nice in some recipes.

            Strain the stock, discarding all the bones and vegetables. I place my stock in canning jars, reserving for later use. You can also freeze the stock, or keep in refrigerator, but use it quickly if this is what you choose. Enjoy!

I love this recipe because it is simple and doesn’t have the sodium supermarket stocks have. You can add salt to this, but I often wait until ready to serve recipes, often storing will increase the saltiness. I try to make stock often, since bones and end pieces of vegetables can accumulate fast. You will also be surprised by how often you will use the stock, and the money you will save making you own.

Hope this was helpful! Let us know if you have any ideas or want to know how to save items in your house!

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