Making the most of your kitchen leftovers is cost-effective and ecological. A little effort of recycling and reusing can be applied to your kitchen scraps instead of throwing them away. Life Hacker suggests some ways to reuse your pantry leftovers.
Here’s what Life Hacker recommends on how you can reuse and recycle your leftover drinks:
1. Soft Drink. You can make barbecue sauce with any leftover cola you have. The sugar content makes for thick and flavourful sauces, and the sugar also caramelises when you grill. After you simmer the cola and the other ingredients together, you’ll have a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce that will last several months in the refrigerator.
You can use it to clean your toilet bowl instead. Pour some in your toilet and let it sit for an hour. The acids in the cola will help break down stains and other residue so you can scrub everything off easily.
You can even use leftover carbonated drinks in the garden. Lemon-lime flavored drinks can be added to your watering can before you water your flowers. The citric acid and the sugar from the soft drink will give your flowers a growing boost. You can do the same with leftover soda water to make your plants grow faster and healthier. Soda water has phosphate and other nutrients that help enrich your garden soil.
2. Champagne & Wine. You can cook with any leftover wine you have.
You can make vinegar from leftover wine, champagne or sparkling wine. Just take whichever one you have and pour it into a mason jar. Then cover your jar with a few layers of cheesecloth. Store your mason jar in a cool, dark place for a few months and taste it periodically to see when it turns to vinegar. Once it’s ready, store your vinegar in a bottle with a stopper. You can even combine that wine vinegar with some leftover red or white wine to make salad dressing.
You can also make warm, cozy beverage from it; you can mix your leftover wine with various herbs and spices. Or, if you barely have any wine left in the bottle, try leaving it open near your fruit. Instead of crawling all over your fruit, flies and bugs will be attracted to the sugar in the wine and get stuck in the bottle.
3. Beer & Liquor. You can use leftover beer for cooking in several different ways. Beer makes for a great ingredient in batter when you want to fry up some snacks. The carbon dioxide and alcohol in the beer help create a batter that is crisp and flavourful. You can also use beer to marinate meat before it hits the BBQ. Not only does it tenderise the meat and give it some great flavour, it’s possible your meat will be healthier too. If you’ve have rusted-up pots and pans, you can even use leftover beer to polish them. The acidity of the beer helps break down the rust so all you have to do is let it sit for a while and then wipe it off.
Make some homemade liqueurs from almost-empty bottles of liquor. There’s no distilling necessary and it’s easy to do. All you need is the base alcohol and a mix of sugar, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. With a little time, everything will marry together to make a delicious drink.
If you have some leftover vodka, and you don’t want to drink it, you can use it as a deodoriser.
4. Coffee. You can use leftover coffee instead of water in your cake batter. This works especially well with chocolate cake, and you can also do this when baking brownies for a little added flavour. You can also combine leftover coffee with milk, cream, eggs and sugar to produce some homemade coffee ice-cream. We even have a simple guide to show you how to make ice cream easily.
Your leftover coffee has plenty of uses outside of the kitchen too. Take a cotton swab, dip it in your recently steeped coffee grounds, and then apply it to the marks in your wood furniture. This will help hide your furniture’s scuffs and scratches. You can also water your acid-loving plants with coffee once it gets cold.