Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fighting Food Waste

It happens to all of us... we buy a particular ingredient for a recipe and (because the packaging companies are sadistic) only use half or a third of the container, leaving the remainder to languish in the fridge. Or, even worse, we never get around to making that particular recipe and the cherished ingredients never get used in the first place! Yes, even in this age of economic slowdown and super-conservation, wasting food is still here... and I doubt it's going anywhere else soon.

I'm so tired of having to throw out remnants of ingredients, especially since I'm a certified food-hoarder (and Bulk Barn shopper)! As a result of all the baking I'd been doing, I've been trying to find creative ways of using up a lot of the leftovers, too! For example, I had some buttermilk nearing "detonation day" in my fridge from Thanksgiving (thank Goodness it lasts a while, essentially being pre-spoiled) and was desperate for a means of using it up. A search of my computer files yielded nothing (but granted, they aren't too organized... hey, I'm a college student!) so I turned to RecipeZaar (via Google) for inspiration. Lucky for me, I found exactly what I was looking for in this recipe! They were sweet without being sugary and stick-to-your-throat rich, and the buttermilk gave them this awesome smell out of the oven that reminded me of my mom's red velvet cake. I didn't do the frosting for these though, since cookies (in my kitchen, at least) should be good enough to stand unadorned! The only change I made was to reduce the amount of salt, and to add spelt flour in place of some of the white. Gotta get the grains in somewhere! It's close enough to the original, though, that I'm feeling okay sending it off to Bookmarked Recipes at Ruth's Kitchen Experiments.

Try as I might though, I still had some leftover buttermilk, so I made a couple other things - but you'll have to wait and see just what!

Buttermilk 'Nilla Cookies
Makes 36
1/2 cup shortening, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 375F, line cookie sheets with parchment or SilPat.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Combine flours, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add dry mix to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on racks.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 79.0
Total Fat: 2.9 g
Cholesterol: 6.0 mg
Sodium: 5.6 mg
Total Carbs: 12.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 1.3 g


  1. The timing of your post is quite funny because I am thinking about how to solve just this problem! I bought a tiny container of buttermilk for a recipe, but didn't use all of it. I'm trying to figure out what to do with it (muffins, perhaps, or scones), and then I see this post, complete with a recipe for buttermilk cookies! Unfortunately, I'd have to buy shortening, which would land me back in the same predicament. Still, isn't it funny how coincidences like this happen! :)

  2. I too have trouble with leftover ingredients. I made a note that as soon as the holidays are over to try to figure out a system where I can use this stuff up (if not all of it at least most of it). I also want to try to use some of the condiments that have been languishing in the fridge!

  3. What a great way to fight food waste! I'm always trying to use up the little leftovers and bits in my fridge.

    Thanks for sending these into the bookmarked recipes round up


Thanks for the feedback!