04/21/2015 04:31 EDT | Updated 04/21/2015 04:59 EDT

15 Kitchen Scraps You Should Never Throw Out


Food waste in Canada is a serious problem.

According to a 2010 study, every year Canadians waste $27 billion worth of food and about 1 in 4 food items are are thrown out without being consumed. It's a waste of money and it's harmful to for the environment.

Careless cooking and poor food storage are just two of many reasons why landfills across the country are filling up with methane producing waste, the David Suzuki Foundation reports.

In honour of Earth Day, help reduce your food waste by upgrading your storage skills and take a closer look at the way you prepare your foods.

Tossing too many egg shells? Try putting them in your coffee filter first for a better balanced brew. What about those thick potato peels? Roasting them results in a crunchy, crispy treat.

Below are 15 different ways to give your kitchen scraps a new life.

  • Broccoli Stems
    Broccoli Stems
    Don't spend extra money on broccoli crowns, those stems are perfectly delicious all on their own. Simply cut off the end, shave the stalk slightly and serve steamed, raw or roasted.
  • Zucchini Tops
    Zucchini Tops
    Don't let those knobby zucchini tops go to waste. Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and author of Prune suggest you should clean and boil the tops with a teaspoon of salt then drench with olive oil for a soft, flavourful appetizer.
  • Fruit Peels
    Fruit Peels
    Fruit peels add flavour to liquors, smoothies and teas. Even citrus rinds are great when candied or turned into chips.
  • Egg Shells
    Egg Shells
    Phú Thịnh Co/Flickr
    Egg shells can be used in a multitude of ways from a natural fertilizer to a drain cleaner to coffee neutralizer. And adding an egg shell to your coffee filter will result in a smoother tasting brew, says lifehacker.
  • Bacon Fat
    Bacon Fat
    The taste and smell of sizzling bacon strips is irresistible, but the leftover bacon fat can be a little gross to look at. Instead of scooping it up and throwing it out, save the fat for cooking other decadent dishes like bacon caramel corn.
  • Parmesan Rinds
    Parmesan Rinds
    Parmesan rinds are packed with rich salty flavour making them perfect for soups or broth. Hamilton recommends chewing or tossing the rinds once they have softened releasing the flavour.
  • Potato Peels
    Potato Peels
    Crispy roasted potatoes taste even better when you leave the skins on, so why not roast your potato peels for the same effect?
  • Wilted Celery Stalks
    Wilted Celery Stalks
    Shutterstock / ninikas
    Old celery may start to wilt, but adding it to soups, stews and stocks will bring it back to life.
  • Salmon Skin
    Salmon Skin
    If you like baking salmon you probably get it without the skin. Try something new by purchasing the salmon with the skin then taking it off and deep frying it. Hamilton says the crispy skin goes great on salads.
  • coffee beans, ground coffee and instant coffee in three bowls
    coffee beans, ground coffee and instant coffee in three bowls
    Coffee is a natural odor eater, simply place the used grounds in a small container in the fridge or freezer and notice an instantly neutralized scent.
  • Tomato Peels
    Tomato Peels
    Peeling tomatoes is tedious. Instead of throwing out those thin skins Hamilton suggests saving them and grinding them up into a flavourful powder for stews and sauces.
  • Chard Stems
    Chard Stems
    Instead of tossing those Swiss chard stems roast them for a rich earthy flavoured snack.
  • Old Bread
    Old Bread
    James E. Petts/Flickr
    You can save old bread for another day by soaking it and popping it in the oven, or you can turn it into breadcrumbs! Leave the loaf out and uncovered to dry quickly and grind it in a food processor for fine crumbs.
  • Bones And Shells
    Bones And Shells
    I Believe I Can Fry/Flickr
    Save those bones and seafood shells for a flavourful homemade stock.
  • Old Fruit Salad
    Old Fruit Salad
    Another Prune provided tip, Hamilton says overripe fruit salad can be blended and added to cocktails and smoothies for a super sweet treat.

Also on HuffPost:

Food Waste: What You Can Do