April 2, 2014

Don't throw anything away.

Part of being cost-effective and paleo is being resourceful and making the most efficient use of everything in your pantry or refrigerator. Here are some tips on doing just that. 
  1. Use cooking to elongate the life of produce. Some things can still be used after their prime ripeness. Once it's been roasted for a few minutes, you'll never know the difference. Here are some examples: Roasted Peaches, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Roasted Asparagus, adding spinach in Smoothies
  2. Be creative.
    • When life gives you apples... make applesauce.
    • If a recipe requires celery and you end up using, let's say, 3 stalks out of the 10 stalk bunch... chop the leftover stalks into celery sticks and eat them with sunflower butter as a snack for the rest of the week.
    • We had a ton of leftover coffee from this weekend which I didn't want to throw away but also don't drink. It sat in the fridge for a few days until this great idea hit me: Coffee Ice Cream! Update to the Ice Cream post coming soon...
    • Turn an over-ripe avocado into chocolate pudding! (Recipe Book)
  3. Think outside the box. When I had thawed (previously frozen) strawberries sitting in the refrigerator, I blended them with almond milk to make strawberry milk for dessert.
  4. Freeze it. If you know you won't be making newly bought meat within two days, automatically put it in the freezer. That way it'll be there whenever you need it and don't run the chance of it going bad or feeling guilty for not making it.  If fruit, especially berries, is going bad, chop it and put it in the freezer for making jelly, smoothies, ice cream, etc. I've also done this with an avocado!
  5. Mix it with something else. This is my all-time approach to almond butter. I cannot bring myself to eat it raw. But, it's great in baked goods!
  6. Google it. If you end up with an ingredient with which you have no idea what to do, Google "paleo [ingredient] recipes." Chances are you'll find something worth trying!
  7. Throw it in a salad.
  8. Tropical "Cobb" Salad
    • My friend just taught me a way to use the stalk of a head of broccoli. Cut the peel, or outside, away, chop into slices, and use on salad for an extra crunch. This is essentially broccoli slaw. 
    • As I was chopping pineapple for dinner and making salad for lunch at the same time one day, I felt bad throwing out the core of the pineapple. Instead, I chopped it into small pieces and threw it on my salad. The result? This wonderful Tropical "Cobb" Salad
    • Ever wonder what to do with the flimsier middle pieces of a stalk of celery? You'll never know the difference from their crunchier external counterparts when their chopped and on top of a salad or mixed into Chicken Salad (Recipe Book)

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