So you know food waste is costing you, our farmers and the environment, but you’re sick of being spoon fed solutions that are good in theory, but don’t work when reality bites.

Enter Youth Food Movement Australia’s SpoonLed series, food waste advice from young people. We’re gathering up the best solutions that actually work and are freakin’ delicious. Read on to give food waste the flip!

Reckon you’re too broke to eat real food this week? Yep, we’ve all had one of those weeks where something else ate up the food budget (*cough*coffee*cough*). But now you can have your real coffee AND your real food too. Get a load of these slick secret ingredients that you’ll never chuck out again. Here’s how to turns scraps into snacks, soup and plenty more by eating root-to-stalk.

Stemmin’ stalk waste

Ok, sorry to burst your broccoli bubble, but it turns out those stalks are damn delicious. Peel off that tough outer skin at the base of broccoli stalks and you have a sweet, nutty path to vegetable heaven on your hands. Cut it up just like the florets, sear it and consume just as normal. Or you can get fancy and elevate them to the centrepiece of your plate.

And guys. Kale chips are so yesterday when you could be roasting your cauliflower leaves (it’s okay, you didn’t know). Wanna dip them in something equally delicious? Hummus will never be boring again when you’ve blitzed in your spinach stalks (known to the rest of the world as chard or silverbeet). Sub in beetroot leaf stalks and your dip will be tickled pink.

Hang on to the rest of your kale stalks and other herbaceous stems for your own signature bouillon.

Top it off with greens

Looking for some greens that are outrageously delicious and a little different? Start looking at the greens on top of your root and stalk based veg in a whole new light.

If you want a little pepperiness and crunch, you can’t go past radish tops. For a parsley stand-in for anything cooked, carrot tops and celery greens are awesome (they also make a good pesto with a healthy dose of lemon and garlic).

Leek and shallot greens are just as delicious as their white bottoms – leek greens just need a little extra cooking.

The one caveat here is rhubarb leaves, which are poisonous. If you’re ever unsure if something’s edible, a quick Google will give you peace of mind (and maybe, dinner).

Save Our Skins and Rinds

Stop sweating over pumpkin peel if you’re going to roast it – if you let it chill, it’ll soften up nicely.

If you really feel the need to peel your potatoes, do it with potato skin chips in the mind too (they’re extra amaze with leftover bacon fat).  It’s a gift to your future self, you can thank us later.

In addition to giving your water jugs a refreshing lift, citrus peels can also save everything from your chopping boards to your white shirts (and they’re the basis for preserved lemons).

Those parmesan rinds will add plenty of umami to your next soup or pasta sauce, so stash that baby in the freezer for later. You can thank our pal at Gourmet Traveller for that one.

Don’t just stock up on scraps – bouillon it!

If action hasn’t quite caught up with your intention of saving your scraps to make stock (or, “consumme” if you’re a fancy pants restaurant), we hear you. Why fill up all that freezer space with water anyway? The smarter way to do it is to blitz any scraps you really don’t want to eat with coarse salt, to make a stock-cube (aka bouillon) like substance. That’s right, you never have to lug any stock home again. You can thank the oh-so-trendy 101 Cookbooks and River Cottage for more details on this little gem. If you don’t have a food processor, you can always chop your anger out on your defrosted scraps and practice those knife skills.

Looking for more scrappy inspo? Prepare yourself! It’s time to show food the respect it deserves.

About Youth Food Movement Australia

Youth Food Movement Australia is growing a generation of 16,000 young Australians who care about their food choices and are co-creating a more sustainable food future. Their volunteer-powered food projects work with industry, councils and universities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Launceston and Western Sydney, with more chapters already sprouting up. An estimated 32,000 hours of volunteer time have resulted in 36 events all over the country.