Transforming Food Waste

Transforming Food Waste: Leftover Oats

Oatmeal is a favorite of both our children and senior clients, and we serve it several times a week. We use local New York State oats to make both our oatmeal and our granola. Suffice to say we have a lot of oats and oatmeal in our kitchen. When you are faced with a few cups of leftover oatmeal, instead of tossing it try transforming it into muffins!  Serving homemade muffins, as we do also, is a cheaper, healthier alternative than purchasing them and gives your clients a new, delicious menu item. 

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Leftover Oatmeal Muffins

Yield:  50 muffins

6 cups all purpose four
1 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp baking powder
1 to 2 tbsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups raisins, cranberries, coconut, mashed ripe banana, blueberries or any other addition you like!
4 eggs
4 cups leftover cooked oatmeal
2 cups milk or yogurt
½ cup vegetable oil or melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and any of the dried fruit or other additions that you are using.   In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs then add the oatmeal and mash with a fork or whisk to break up any clumps.  Add the milk or yogurt and the oil or butter.  Stir mixture to just combine.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir briefly just to combine; over mixing will make the muffins chewy. 

Pour into prepared muffin cups (sprayed with vegetable spray).  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done.  These muffins don’t brown too much on top.  Serve warm.  Best eaten the day that they are cooked!

Transforming Food Waste: Broccoli Stems

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One of the first produce items we switched over to fresh when we began our kitchen transformation was broccoli. We had to spend a great deal of time thinking about each of the steps that were involved in preparing fresh broccoli from cleaning, cutting, boiling, draining, all the way to serving. Frozen broccoli is consistently packaged in even sized florets, but fresh broccoli can have much more variation in portion size. We serve our broccoli with a large portion of stem, but when we are preparing to cook it we still cut off a lot of stem. Instead of putting the broccoli stems in the compost we try to use them in other areas of our menus because it is such a nutritious vegetable. Adding stems to soup, shredding them into salads, and mixing them into vegetable lasagna are all common options. Check out some of the New York Times Recipes; especially try their variation on coleslaw with broccoli stems and red peppers.

Transforming Food Waste: Banana French Toast

Transforming food waste into creative new meals can have multiple benefits for a kitchen: reducing cost, eliminating garbage and compost, adding more nutrients to dishes, and  'sneaking' fruits and vegetables into recipes. 

We will be sharing a series of blog posts with our online community that highlight some of the ways we transform our food waste. First up is our delicious Banana French Toast recipe that re-purposes over-ripened bananas and stale bread.  Our clients love our french toast and it's a great way for us to use up ingredients in our kitchen. While our bananas are eaten up quickly by our clients, we still usually have some leftover. Instead of throwing them away, we love to use them in this recipe! 

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Banana French Toast

 

Serves 100

 

100 slices of bread (we only use multigrain) 

45 eggs

12 cups milk

½ box brown sugar

6 tbsp Cinnamon

4 tbsp Vanilla

¼ cup oil for greasing pans or Pam spray

12 or more over ripe bananas

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, mashed overripe bananas, and vanilla.   Dip bread into egg mixture and let it sit for long enough to absorb some of the mixture.  Lay bread slices onto greased sheet pans.  Put into hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove and keep warm in 200 degree oven.  Serve hot with jam or jelly (or cooked sliced fresh, leftover, apples, if not using bananas).