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What do you do with your leftover oatmeal?
Make cookies? Eat it anyway? Add it to pancake batter?
*whispers* Hide it in chocolate cake?
Friday’s Deals & Steals round up on Facebook mentioned a free 20-page download of the eBook From Garbage to Gourmet. It’s a book that’s been on my “want to read” list for quite some time now, so I was going to take advantage of the freebie myself when the author of the book Carrie Issac sent me an email, telling me that you guys were the perfect audience for the book.
Well shoot, I thought. Now I HAVE to check it out!
I cuddled up with my copy of the book and while the kids played camping in their tent, I read the whole book cover to cover. Holy smokes, am I so glad I did!
You guys know I’m serious about not wasting food. We eat leftovers, we plan our meals and use food twice whenever possible because wasting food is essentially wasting money. Admittedly though, there’s always room for improvement.
I can be lazy. I don’t always want to eat the bruised apple. Food has begun to spoil in my fridge when life got busy and I ran out of time to do something with it.
To say Carrie is passionate about not wasting food is an understatement. She knows just what to do with that bruised apple so that it doesn’t ever hit the trash can. Got limp celery? There’s a fix for that. And what about the leftover soaked oatmeal that the kids weren’t crazy about to begin with? Turn it into cake!
From Garbage to Gourmet has it all covered, and then some. It is the ultimate guide for foods that fall into the what-am-I-supposed-to-do-with-this-now category, but really, it’s so much more than that.
The no-food-left-behind way Carrie approaches food rubs off on you. Reading her tips on using up half an avocado or the ears of corn sparks the inner-Tiffany to be less wasteful and more creative with the food I do have so that in the long run, I’m not only being a good steward of my money I have, but being a good steward of what I’ve spent my money on.
Her last bit of advice in the introduction really hits home with me too. She talks about the guilt of waste – the awful feeling in our gut when we see something in our fridge or pantry that we know we won’t eat, but don’t want to throw away because we know we spent money on it and throwing it in the trash can would be the epitome of wasting money.
I TOTALLY get that; don’t you?
From Garbage to Gourmet has recipes, but I don’t think that’s the best part. Don’t get me wrong – the recipes are GOOD! In fact I’m sharing one today that’s based off a recipe in the book and it got three thumbs up (Mr. Crumbs wasn’t available for testing).
I really think the best part of the book is the changed mind set it brings. It doesn’t just tell you what to do with your leftover food. It gives you hope that you can really use up every last bit of food you have. That your hard-earned money won’t go down the garbage disposal without a good fight!
I chose to make a version of Carrie’s Leftover Oatmeal Chocolate Snack Cake because we almost always have leftover soaked oatmeal come Tuesday. If I forget to soak it with yogurt instead of kefir or apple cider vinegar, we’ll have leftovers on Monday.
It also has two of my most favorite words in the title: chocolate. cake. If I could somehow figure a way to use up leftover soaked oatmeal AND make chocolate cake at the same time… well shoot, I’d be silly not to give it a shot!
So I took her recipe and modified it just a bit by using wheat flour, reducing the sugar, using yogurt instead of milk, coconut oil instead of butter and adding leftover coffee (another tip found in the book). We thought the cake was delicious and certainly one to keep around. The ingredients could be swapped with whatever you happen to have on hand, and you could easily add more oatmeal too (which are those lighter colored specks in the cake), and we’ll definitely do that next time.
- 1 cup wheat flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup granulated sweetener
- ½ cup coconut oil (or butter)
- 2 Tbsp leftover brewed coffee, optional
- ¼ cup yogurt (or buttermilk or milk)
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 1 - 1½ cups leftover cooked oatmeal
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter an 8x8 glass baking dish. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil. Remove from heat and add yogurt, coconut powder and sugar and stir until well blended and sugar is dissolved. Add egg, oatmeal and vanilla, stirring until thoroughly combined.
- Fold the cocoa mixture into the flour mixture until just, but thoroughly, moistened. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Got some leftovers that you’re not sure what to do with? From Garbage to Gourmet has an index in the back that lists the ingredients in alphabetical order, making the leftover dilemma quick and easy to resolve. Next to her tips on using up food items you’ll find over 80 recipes that are worth of feeding company – and they’ll never know they’re eating leftovers!
Don’t think you have $10 worth of excess food? Carrie challenges you to keep a log of every food item you throw away for a few days to a week. Every single thing you throw away must be logged. Everything. Complete her challenge and see how much it adds up to. I bet the total will be more than you thought!
Got a tip for using up leftover oatmeal? Leave it in the comments!
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