I've hit on this subject before, but once again I'm getting lots of emails about using kitchen waste. Compost and worm bins are the number one things people suggest, but hey, what about using the veggie discards for yourself? Remarkably there's a lot of "waste" that I actually turn into food for our dinners. Yes, I do have waste that goes to feed the livestock. (Only a tad ends up in the soil or compost. Zero in the trashcan.)
So have you thrown any of this out lately? .......
Corn silks - I make a tea out of them for helping treat bladder infections. I freeze the silks until I need them. I've talked with a woman who adds the silks to her corn soups. She says that you can dry them then run them threw the blender to make a flour. Wow, I'd have to have an awful lot of silks to make that worthwhile, but it's something to think about. Growing up I never realized that silks were edible because my parents meticulously picked off every last one before boiling the corn ears.
Corn cobs - These can be simmered to make a stock. Reducing to about 1/3 produces a corny sweetish stock.
Radish leaves - Great in stirfry, soups, and stews. They lose their hairyness when cooked.
Carrot Tops - I've never eaten them raw in salad since they're a bit tough and chewy. But I do use them when making various stocks. I've also used them as a garnish and snipped them atop mashed potatoes along with parsley.
The young leaves on broccoli and cauliflowers - I find these better eating than collards. Good in all sorts of cooked dishes.
Stalks, stems, and cores of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, asparagus - The tender parts are fine for cooked dishes and soups. The tougher fibrous parts go into the stock pot.
Watermelon rind - I remove the very thin outer tough rind. The white inner part goes fine in stirfry and curries. I've also pickled it. And it can be juiced or blenderized up with a smoothie.
Vegetable trimmings (carrot peelings, onion skins, broccoli stems, pumpkin guts, etc) I'll simmer all this sort of stuff up in the stock pot. The residue goes into the chicken and pig feed.
Vegetable Waste - waste after cooking veggies goes for stock or soup, depending upon the waste. Beet skins, sweet potato skins, the water veggies were cooked in (though I usually steam veggies instead of boiling them). Even the spent veggies at the end of stock making don't go not the trash. Nope, they are fed to the dogs or livestock.
Bones - Used to make stock and bone broth. Once spent, they go into the wood burning stove, then broken up and added to the garden soil.
Stale bread - Fine for bread crumbs, bread pudding, filling, etc.
Citrus rinds - For making zest. Peels are also good for flavoring drinking water. I often put lime and lemon peels into a gallon of water and set it in the frig.
Bones, Chicken carcass, Thanksgiving Day Turkey carcass - Great for stock! It simply amazes me that people throw bones into the trash. When I lived in NJ I had many friends who would give me their turkey carcasses after Thanksgiving. They were stored in the freezer until I had time to make soup and stock.