Do you have an Ends-Bag?
What do you do with your veggie & fruit tops, your bottoms, your brown spots, your too mushy (yet still edible) grapes, the carrots peels, that cantaloupe that the kids just had to have – but now they don’t want to eat?
Where do they all go?
Do you throw them out?
Do you put them down the garbage disposal? The trash compactor?
Do you compost them?
Wanna know what I do…
I freeze them! …All in one handy-dandy, gallon sized ziploc bag!
Yup folks, I’m a freezer, big time – are you?
You see, there is so much food waste in this country it’s actually down-right depressing, not to mention a huge waste of money for all of us. The average American family wastes up to 25% of all of the food that they purchase!
So much of the food that we throw out is actually still 100% edible. And, when you are eating a mostly plant-based diet, the room for error gets even larger. If you don’t stick to your plan, or if that inevitable bag of produce gets shoved in the back of the fridge and forgotten about, you could be in for some serious spoilage my friend.
Well, no longer mama!
*Que the bright lights and the white background and the chorus of angels*
Enter – Dun-da-na-naaaa! – the Freezer!
You see, I take the majority of my fruit and veggie peels, tops and bottoms, and the grapes that are “too-soft” for my kids to eat and throw them in what I so eloquently call, my “Ends-Bag” in the freezer. There they will sit for as long as needed, keeping their nutrient content as is, without any worry of spoilage and just waiting for the perfect time to be used.
What do I use them for you ask… well, Green Smoothies of course!
Yup, you heard me right, Green Smoothies.
When I make a smoothie, I simply grab the bag and throw a handful or two into the blender to substitute for the fresh fruits that I would normally use in a recipe.
They are all fruits and veggies that I would normally add, so why not take them from a stash that would otherwise be thrown out, rather than ones that my kids will still eat fresh?
So, what’s actually in my freezer bag? Wanna start your own?
Here are just a few of the items that I put in my Ends-bag:
- Too soft grapes
- Too soft strawberries (or any berries)
- Strawberry tops (Yup – the green tops, are just that – greens, so eat away!)
- Carrot peels (a large majority of a carrots nutrients are actually found in the peel)
- Pineapple core (if you don’t have a vitamix or a blendtec, make sure you cut it up into bite sized pieces before you freeze it)
- Pineapple pieces with brown spots
- Mango pieces that are spotted
- Kiwi that is “too ripe”
- Anything else that happens to spend one too many days in my fridge!
Just an FYI – Watermelon and apple do not freeze well (in my experience), so I compost those.
And, I generally use the ends- bag for sweet fruits and veggies only. I have a separate banana bag and freeze greens alone as well.
Wanna get the kids involved in your families ends-bag?
Whip out the sharpies and let them decorate the bag! Once it dries, start filling it and freeze-baby-freeze. The kids will be so excited to get their custom-created bag the next morning (or afternoon) when it’s smoothie time!
Do you have an ends-bag of your own? If so, what’s in it? Lemme know in the comments below.
If you are new to the ends-bag, let me know how it works out for you!
Now that you have your End-game all set – peel, dice, and slice without waste and blend-baby-blend!