Here is a wonderful way to save money, have gourmet items in your pantry and enjoy great tastes!
You will need a food dehydrator or an oven and a way to grind the dried material into a powder. Spice grinders, coffee grinders, food processors are all good. Work with what you have or are comfortable with. Once ground into powder, store the powders in baby food jars, spice jars or whatever tightly lidded jars you have handy. Sterilize and COMPLETELY DRY jars before putting powder in. Also, put an O2 absorber in each jar.
Those tomato peels that are usually flung in the trash when you can tomatoes? Dry them out, nice and VERY dry, grind them into powder. Tomato powder sells for big bucks in gourmet shops, but essentially, it is made from peels that would otherwise be discarded.
Use the powder to boost the flavor in soups, stews and sauces, add some to your tortilla recipe to make those gourmet *tomato wraps* most people pay a premium price for. Make your own pasta? Add tomato powder! Add to softened butter for tomato butter (great on steaks and fish!) Combined with dry milk and a few spices, you can have a quick and easy instant tomato soup! Toss tomato powder into your favorite breading recipe to add a little sparkle to the flavor of fried chicken or fried fish. Add a teaspoon to your salad dressing and shake!
Grate orange peels or toss in a blender or chopper to have your own orange zest without paying those high supermarket prices. Orange zest can also be used in home made soap recipes. I have even dried out orange peels, ground them up and added a teaspoon or two to a regular bottle of shampoo for a citrus-wake-me-up scent. Orange powder can also be used in sachets and pomanders to repel insects and freshen closets.
Orange peels (powdered) can have a *bitter* taste to them if you get too much of the inner white peel in the powder, so be careful of that! You can also add orange powder to salad dressings, breading, butter, ginger ale (orange ginger ale is pretty good). Use your imagination!
Dry those apple peels out nice and very dry and grind into powder as with tomato peels.
Apple peel powder is great to add to oatmeal and other cooked cereals. A teaspoon in a glass of ginger ale is lovely on a hot day, or add a teaspoon to a hot mug of tea on a cold winter night. Toss some apple powder into your body wash for a wonderful scent, or add to unscented talcum powder and dust some on! Apple powder can also be used as a sachet scent or in a pomander.
Slice up your leftover raw broccoli very thin and dry it completely. Grind into powder. Mix with cream cheese and sour cream and a smidge of tomato powder for a great dip. Broccoli powder + dried milk + water = cream of broccoli soup. (I always scatter some grated cheese on top) Again, use your imagination!
SPINACH STEMS AND PIECES
Dry out completely. Grind into powder. Spinach powder + sour cream + cream cheese + spices = terrific dip or spread for crackers! Cream of spinach soup when mixed with dry milk and water.
Add to pasta dough when making pasta. Add to flour tortilla recipe. Good to add to salad dressings or mayonnaise.
You have to be careful with this. If you grow your own or buy locally, you should be okay. You cannot dry out most store bought cuke skins as they are wax coated! That being said--dry out totally and grind into powder. Add to cream cheese or sour cream (or both-mixed) for a nice dip or flavorful spread. Cucumber is a pretty popular additive to bath salts, soaps, shampoos, etc. Add to alcohol and water (half and half) in the summer and put in a spritz bottle. Spray yourself to stay *cool as a...* you know the rest! A teaspoon added to a bottle of salad dressing is great for cool summer salads. Add to mayonnaise.
CELERY BITS AND PIECES
Slice thin and dry completely before grinding into powder. Use in place of celery seed in soups and stews. Add to salad dressings, dips, spreads or mayonnaise. I like to sprinkle it on deviled eggs (VERY lightly!).
CANTELOUPE RINDS (ALSO WATERMELON OR ANY MELON)
This one always gets me weird looks, lol! Okay, there is ALWAYS some leftover *meat* in that rind. Dig it out, slice it into thin slices and dry it out. (NOW you can toss those rinds in the compost heap!) Once dry, grind into powder.
A teaspoon in a glass of ginger ale is absolute heaven on a hot day in July! Adding watermelon powder to hot tea sounds weird, but is actually pretty good! Add some to unscented bath salts.
I have used watermelon powder in a white cake batter to make a watermelon cake. (It was terrific! Just add 3 to 5 teaspoons (depends on your tastes) to batter and mix in well. Add to softened cream cheese, sour cream and add a bit of honey and mix well to make a dip for fruits.
So, there you go...eat your garbage!